Beck’s goes All in on AI for their new beer Autonomous
The beer and brand are entirely creatively assisted by AI – From beer to broadcast
This approach brings several seen and unforeseen benefits
We hear a lot lately about being ‘All in on AI’, a phrase brought to the fore by Tom Davenport/Nitin Mittal’s excellent book by the same name. All-in on AI is where companies fully commit to and embrace AI at every level for higher returns. Beck’s beer is a great proponent of this, dedicating itself to AI in a big way. A bold move, but what is the critical thinking behind this approach?
They have been brewing beer for over 9,000 years, with incremental growth worldwide. Today, production volumes have reached well over 2 billion hectoliters annually. The industry is very competitive, and companies must stand out and grow a broader consumer base to gain market share.
Beck’s by AB InBev is no different. They see themselves as an innovative brand, leading them to celebrate their 150th year of trading. To commemorate this significant milestone, they made a beer called Autonomous. This Pilsner-style brew is 5% ABV, made from natural ingredients, and sold in a hybrid container of half glass and half aluminium 330-ml tin/bottle. Beck’s is trialling this with 450 units and looking to extend it if successful.
What is unique is that AI has been a significant part of the whole process from beginning to end:
- AI invented the recipe
- The name ‘Autonomous’ was thought up by AI
- AI created the logo and branding
- AI helped create the tin/bottle design
- The marketing and advertising used a suite of AI tools
- Lots more
This approach is unique in the beverage industry, as this is the only company that has used AI at all levels of product development.
Beck’s beer designed by AI – Image © Beck’s beer
Key thinking and insights
Beck’s opted to use AI in all aspects of beer development rather than simply examining sales data and spotting opportunities or markets. Some may say this is an audacious move to stand out and capture the public imagination. Indeed, this is a bold move; however, strategically, this may be a masterstroke in many ways. Why?
Recently, many AI analysts have written about the importance of committing fully All in on AI to achieve a healthy return. Simply ‘using’ or ‘bolting on’ a bit of AI will not cut it to get a return on AI investment. By committing fully to AI, Beck’s is discovering how this technology can transform the industry is still a big step. I think this is a highly clever move to leverage the brand and reposition the enterprise internally and externally:
- Commitment – This is a bold commitment to AI, aligning all aspects of the enterprise towards a new unified direction.
- Learning and understanding – The process is a perfect way of developing new ideas and experiences.
- Framework – Creates an internal AI framework for broader adoption across the organisation. Once established, future AI can be ‘spun up’ to improve automation, personalisation, optimisation, sales and sales conversion, and the streaming process.
- Bigger returns – With a more significant commitment to AI can yield higher returns by improving data flows, and skill sets, opening new growth opportunities.
- Bold – The move can be a bold statement in the marketplace, attracting more attention and differentiating from existing products.
- Perception – Stand out amongst opposition and investors as an innovator, changing the perception of
- Fresh looking – Huge marketing potential giving higher brand awareness
There are so many benefits of this ‘All in approach’.
- If you are looking to implement AI, go bold.
- Try to go bold by getting complete buy-in from your whole team
- Do explore how to, as Tom Davenport says in his excellent book, Go All In On AI.
- Create a framework to allow easy ML/AI development and innovation.
- Think how your AI will add value through creative advantage or operational & decisive efficiencies. Anything less is an expensive R&D project.
I have no affiliation with the companies, technology, or people mentioned, and it is designed to highlight the thinking. This analysis is 100% independent for the benefit of the data/business community.
Further reading and references
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