Women and Whiskey

The Project

Nearly a third of American whiskey drinkers are women and that number is still climbing. Bacardi Ltd. identified this under served group as an opportunity, and approached The Sound to conduct a study to understand them better and ultimately design a new drink specifically for them.

When a woman walks in to the bar and orders a vodka soda you don’t think twice about it, you might even get annoyed. When a woman walks in and orders a whiskey you immediately sit up and take note, you think, ‘this woman knows what she likes’ and there is nothing hotter than that!

Whiskey Expert, Head Bartender, Washington, D.C.

The Challenge

It was important to understand the motivations behind why women drink whiskey and understand what the right product and approach should be when marketing to women in such a masculine category.

The Sound was challenged to do an in-depth dive into understanding leading edge female whiskey drinkers as well as experts in a number of US markets.

An online community started to sketch out the landscape and helped us to identify the best respondents to take to the next stage. We then conducted in-person ethnographies with our whiskey-drinking ladies and their friends – both at home and in their favorite bars, to help bring their world’s to life. This exploratory phase was supplemented with further discussions and interviews with industry experts such as food bloggers, high-end and dive-bar bartenders, distributers, bar owners and notable whiskey experts to add broader market insights.

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Finally, The Sound conducted a workshop with key stakeholders on the project to immerse them in the world of the female whiskey drinker. We added comprehensive tastings, which featured the whiskeys that our ladies were drinking or aspired to be drinking to help create strong and inspirational platform territory.

The Solution

Ultimately, the insights gathered helped to create a new whiskey innovation, made for women, that will eventually be put in front of consumers. The details of this project are still top secret, so you’ll have to wait until 2018 to see where we ended up! It’s on ice…until then.

Putting Soul Into Segmentation


Client Love

This was one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever worked on. I will be coming back to The Sound for all qualitative insights from now on.

Tara Ulanoff, Insights Manager, Bacardi Ltd.

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