Bringing consumers closer through the Consumer Centricity Academy for Suntory

The Insight Academy: a cultural change driver for Suntory

Suntory trained 300 employees on consumer insights in global and local management in a two-year program.


The challenge

World-leading consumer food and beverage company Suntory was established in 1899. The organization is steeped in tradition with a rich heritage; but Suntory Food & Beverage Europe saw the need to change the internal culture in order to bring its consumers and its employees closer together. Thus, a core component of its strategy was to implement a marketing competency program in the European and African territories, focusing on the art of writing good consumer insights – enter the InSites Consumer Centricity Academy.

Our solution

Suntory rolled out the Consumer Centricity Academy program in two years’ time. That is where they challenged themselves to train over 300 employees across Europe and Africa to identify strong consumer insights and act on them, to bring the consumer closer to the core of the company.

Some of the core questions addressed by the Academy included:

  • What is an insight?
  • Why do we need to be insight-led?
  • How does one identify a (great) insight?
  • How do we create a real, sustainable impact by turning these insights into action?
  • Why do we need to be relevant to remain competitive in the 21st century?

So, the first year of the activation predominantly focused on training employees in the various modules offered by the Academy over the course of the two-day face-to-face workshops, organized in six different cities.

During the second year, we hosted two-day onboarding training workshops every quarter (which was especially beneficial to the business’ new joiners). The sessions included both global and local management teams; but the customized content addressed the specific team and market needs; it also co-created next steps to truly embed the process in the company culture.


The impact

Suntory has described the process as “a cornerstone for cultural change in the company”; they thus lauded the inducement of the mind-shift, as employees could see the value of bringing the consumer closer to the heart of the business. Additionally, Suntory noted numerous improvements across multiple business units; they continue relying on the learnings from the program to guide the company’s journey.

“The Consumer Centricity Academy has really been the cornerstone of a cultural change in our company. Besides the capability of writing good consumer insights, the program has also delivered a mind shift, everyone in the company started to realize the added value to our business of having consumers at the heart.”

Jeroen van Vliet, Consumer Insight & Innovation Manager, Suntory

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