Diageo opens ‘Collaboration Center’ to improve the consumer experience
In the interest of “future-proofing” the alcohol category, major industry player Diageo today announced the opening of a 17,000-square-foot complex that is billed as a destination to uncover insights and foster cutting-edge tech innovations.
The Diageo Collaboration Center in Stamford, Conn., where the British alcohol maker opened a new North American office last year, is designed to be symbiotic with customers, distributors and agencies alike in identifying ways to keep Diageo and its products relevant in what the company calls a “rapidly evolving consumer landscape.”
Diageo manufactures a range of top-selling booze brands including Smirnoff vodka, Guinness beer, and Johnnie Walker and Crown Royal whiskies.
Located within the company’s new Stamford campus, the Collaboration Center will complement Diageo’s existing Experience Center at its global headquarters in London, and is positioned adjacent to the company’s North America Innovation Lab, thereby offering visitors additional opportunities to parley with the site’s lab team members.
“We are focused on being consumer-centric and leading the industry in insight generation and leveraging data,” says Claudia Schubert, president U.S. Spirits and Canada at Diageo, who calls the Collaboration Center a “game changer.”
Replete with meeting areas, work stations, an amphitheater and in-house bars, guests of the Collaboration Center are in for an educational experience that spans two distinct zones: “See It,” which is built on immersive technology to share trends and insights, and “Live It,” which provides what Diageo calls “simulated examples from various purchasing occasions and consumer touch points,” like bars and liquor stores.
Over the course of a day-long visit, visitors will be guided through a series of eight rooms that blend cutting-edge tech with hands-on learning, with the goal of helping Diageo understand the rapid changes occurring in the alcohol beverage industry’s present and future.
“The Collaboration Center is all about understanding the consumer and the shopper, as well as recognizing what the true needs of our customers, distributors and agency partners are and how, through their experience at the Center, they will be able to advance their businesses in exciting new ways,” says Steve Wallet, Diageo’s VP category, shopper and e-commerce.
Visitors to the new Collaboration Center will be invited to get first-hand experience and knowledge from the company’s resident mixologists; consumers can also utilize relevant virtual reality technology to make the Center accessible for those who are currently unable to visit in-person.
The Center was developed in line with Diageo’s Society 2030 targets, a 10-year plan of action that will aid the company in creating “a more inclusive, responsible and sustainable world.” It is LEED Gold Certified as environmentally friendly and makes use of Energy Star appliances, the alcohol maker says.