A craft beer made with social media, human sentiment and analytics

Craft brew SMAC CSC blogs

The ingredients for making beer typically include grains, hops, yeast and water. But IBM and Havas helia, a digital marketing agency that uses analytics (along with intuition and creativity) to help businesses build brands, recently joined forces to craft a beer based on an analysis of human sentiments expressed on social media.

Using a linguistic analysis tool called Watson Personality Insights, the team set about to develop a beer with characteristics that reflected popular human sentiments as expressed on social media around New Year’s Eve.

Interestingly, the aspiring brewmasters determined that the top most-shared emotions during New Year’s were bitterness and regret. Just kidding! The top sentiments reflected in social media posts, emails, messages and forum comments as the new year began were “love, joy, harmony, cheerfulness, optimism, resolution and excitement,” reports Rob Kleiman over at trend research firm PSFK.

From there, Kleiman explains, the team took those sentiments to “categorise each beer according to different human adjectives, such as ‘assertive,’ ‘friendly’ or ‘intelligent.’ He adds:

Then the IBM Watson team began to analyse 2,800 different beer recipes while giving the computer descriptions about the ingredients, recipes, tasting notes and beer reviews. This method helped to identify the perfect recipe.

The team turned the actual brewing over to High Peak Brew Co., a British-based microbrewery. The result: 0101, “the first smart beer brewed by data.”

This is just one interesting example of how cognitive analytics can be used to mine unstructured data for patterns, connections, and sentiments in order to customize products or services. Those enterprises best able to truly understand their customers — not just their likes and preferences, but their emotions — will be most able to build strong brand loyalties.


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