Innovation Strategy and Customer Experience

James Squire Brew Bars, Lion Co.


James Squire is Australia’s leading craft beer. In 2011-12 we helped develop their 3-year innovation strategy, which included ambitious plans to re-enter the brewbar market with 12-18 new bars. We needed a concept that struck the right balance of a distinctive and appealing local bar in a thriving small-bar market and a durable operational fit-out.

How to Impact acted as strategic creative director to the Brewbar concept, working with James Squire’s internal teams and creative partners.

The resulting concept revolved around the consumer truth of wanting to feel like a rogue for a night that mirrored the brand truth of the charming rogue James Squire.

Operational innovation came from the choice of an architect to design the bars, so that the build has a more enduring, infrastructural point of difference using materials like fire-blackened timbers, untreated black steel and a diverse palate of design features drawn from intimate Japanese bar design, Russian prison tattoos, molten glass and cinema facades.

The first two bars opened in Adelaide and Newcastle at the end of 2012, and have reported sales of 200% of forecast.