How Ocean Bottle identified new customer groups through consumer profiling

Unsure who their customers were, Ocean Bottle launched a profiling project that led to a new affordable range.

Consumer profiling
Consumer goods
London, UK
50-200 employees


After five years in business, Ocean Bottle had come a long way from their crowdfunded roots. Despite having sold more than a million units, they realised they didn’t have a good understanding of who was buying their reusable bottles. 

We started out thinking that we were going to be predominantly D2C and then very quickly the B2B side of things took off. And we quite quickly lost touch with who our customer was. We realized we needed to carry out some research and I wanted to find a tool that was agile and could get the scale we needed.

Iona Ratcliffe, Head of Brand, Ocean Bottle


Ocean Bottle wanted to speak to two audiences – their existing customers, and non-customers using a competitor product. Because the market for reusable bottles has matured considerably in the past few years, they needed to understand more about these brands and their messaging. Themes they wanted to explore included: 

  • What are consumers thinking about when buying a reusable bottle? What are their needs?
  • How do they feel about different brands? 
  • What does purpose mean to them? What does sustainability mean? 
  • What does cost versus value look like?

They also wanted to dig into the importance of activism. Ocean Bottle’s mission is to end ocean plastic (with the sale of every bottle, they collect a thousand ocean-bound plastic bottles) but some people in the business felt this messaging should be toned down.

There was quite a lot of tension within the company about the word activism and where we stand on being activists. So I just wanted to just tackle that. Attest is really good at helping with stakeholder management; rather than having to go round and round in circles, we can just do the research.


Some key discoveries were made through Ocean Bottle’s consumer profiling project, including that their existing customers were older than they thought. They also uncovered opportunity among consumers currently using competitor products, and used the Attest platform to help organise them into target groups.

The segmentation tool has been really useful for drilling down into our core customer. We netted out with four different groups but we finally decided that ‘Progressive Peigh’ and ‘Active Ash’ were the two key ones.

The data showed that Ocean Bottle could appeal to the high-value ‘Active Ash’ persona with impact messaging, which helped put the debate about activism to bed. Meanwhile, insight about ‘Progressive Peigh’ highlighted the need for a more affordable ‘gateway’ range of products.

We learned that price was a big barrier to ‘Progressive Peigh’. We realized that we needed to integrate a lower priced product so we quickly got NPD working on a more accessibly priced product.

Ocean Bottle are now creating advertising to target these key personas, and plan to carry out more granular research to assist with channel planning.

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