Reversing category decline & reclaiming dominance

Re-establishing DB Export as the market-leading beer in New Zealand.

"BIG’s ability to quickly get under the skin of a culture and discover fresh insights led to a breakthrough for DB. The difference they bring is going much deeper than what people say, to really understand human motivation.

Unlike conventional research agencies, the BIG team develops strategic solutions that lead directly to actionable plans and real results. They can help clients balance the courage required to find white space in the market with grounded commercial pragmatism. 

The innovative introduction of ‘philanthropy’ as a DNA value and a new positioning which tapped into the entrepreneurial spirit of our DB drinker led to the award winning Brewtroleum."





DB Export had a long established presence as the favourite beer in New Zealand but was fading in popularity during a challenging time. Healthier lifestyles saw the category long in decline worldwide, and the rise of craft breweries diminished the number of beer drinkers choosing mainstream beers.


We needed to halt decline in the category as well as bring DB Export back into favour.


We delved deep into the history and DNA of the brand to uncover strands from the origin that had remained hidden, but served as fundamental to its being while also being relevant to consumer mindsets today and in the future.

Marrying this with unique insights uncovered through qualitative research we identified a huge opportunity for DB Export by looking at their customers from a perspective they’d never before discovered.


We presented the DB team with new insights on their target market that would reframe their entire approach. DB drinkers were more than meets the eye. They cared more than they had been credited for.


And with this awareness came an attitude of action and wanting to make a difference. Alongside we knew that invention and action was inherently within the DNA of the brand from the founder of DB Breweries Morton Coutts. 

We boldly introduced ‘philanthropy’ as a DNA value. This repositioning gave new purpose to the brand that tapped into the shared entrepreneurial spirits of our consumers and founder alike, empowering the brand to think differently about its role in the world and turning the category into an inspirational one.


Our strategy led to the award-winning innovation – Brewtroleum, turning left over yeast from the production process into bio fuel in NZ.

Winning at Cannes while making positive movements in sustainability, sales of the product increased as drinkers bought beer to do their part for the environment.

We had successfully set a strategy that changed the way consumers thought about drinking beer forever.

© Big Transform 2021