Replicating Stella Artois’ brand strategy using big human data

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Mindspeller was founded in Leuven (Belgium), the beer capital of the world. We chose Stella Artois, an internationally renowned beer brand, for creating a showcase that demonstrates our methodology and how the Mindspeller AI works.


A few years ago, Stella Artois rebranded its premium lager. When creating this showcase, we assumed that the brand team behind Stella Artois defined following brand associations during the rebranding exercise:

  • ‘Belgian’
  • ‘Quality’
  • ‘Taste’
  • ‘Perfection’

In this showcase, we try to replicate how these supposedly new brand associations could be validated using Mindspeller and how they could be brought alive in new marketing communications to be launched after the repositioning.

Note that this showcase was developed in a matter of hours, whereas the branding concepts and communications of Stella Artois were developed over the years. This in itself proves that Mindspeller is an instant source of ideas for new narratives that resonate, for an affordable budget.

Step 1: Explorer

When repositioning, we advise our clients to focus merely on 1 or 2 new brand associations to be successful. We queried Mindspeller AI to come up with a concept that could cover this assumed wish list. Combining the concepts ‘Best’ and ‘Food’ seems like an interesting rebranding ‘destination’.

When entering these concepts into our Mindspeller rebranding AI navigation system ‘Pathfinder’. The below graph illustrates how our Mindspeller Explorer application came up with this suggestion (see output below).

Step 2:  Association Wheels

But let’s first quickly take a look at some Points of Interest (POI’s) circling the position of the brand in Mindspeller’s neural map compared to the concept ‘food’ as suggested Intended Association.

There’s already a few connections between the two, so it seems like we may  have an interesting candidate Intended Association as ‘destination’ input for Mindspeller’s storyline Pathfinder. 

Step 3: Neuropositioning check

We will first perform a quick sanity check by benchmarking the semantic or ‘psychological’ distance we may need to cover to reach this Intended Association in the minds of the target consumer for the Stella brand.


Mindspeller neuro-positioning radar chart confirms that Stella already has significant headway on its shortlisted Intended Associations compared to one of its main competitors, Heineken.

Assuming the concept ‘environment’ might be more of an intended association for the Heineken brand, the Mindspeller neurometrics confirm that this is indeed the only concept on which Heineken is scoring higher than Stella (when plotting against Stella’s assumed intended associations). A higher score means that the concepts are already semantically closer to each other in the consumer minds, meaning it is likely to require less marketing budget to trigger these intended associations over time.

To benchmark our neuro-metric scores, we add some hallmark brands that are assumed to score high on the intended associations  (eg. ‘Burger King’ to ‘food’ and ‘Tesla’ to ‘environment’).

Step 4: Pathfinder

Now we’re ready to explore some potential storylines that could have served as a briefing for our creative agency.  By connecting some of the nodes shown in the upper right hand quadrant of Mindspeller’s pathfinder, it only takes us a few minutes to draft a first narrative.

With Pathfinder, we have now created the gist of a potential campaign storyline: Hungry friends drinking Stella from a fancy glass while eating delicious, quality food in a Belgian classy restaurant over diner. 


Now let’s take a look at the campaign material that was actually used by the Stella brand, completely independently from Mindspeller  (as the brand was not a Mindspeller client at the time).

Indeed we see that the Stella marketing team independently came up with a similar campaign narrative compared to the one Mindspeller’s AI suggested. The difference being, that it takes Mindspeller a few hours to come up with the storyline and gives us peace of mind knowing that the briefing is substantiated based on the latest consumer neuroscience insights. 

Interested to start augmenting your intuition with Mindspeller? 
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