Fusing Augmented Reality With Mixology

The Challenge

In the competitive Drinks and Hospitality market, The Alchemist stands out from the crowd as an elite group of luxury restaurant and cocktail bars, specialising in molecular mixology and delivering a theatrical guest experience in both the preparation and serving of drinks.

Seeking to reach a new audience and encourage more customers to discover what their brand has to offer, The Alchemist were looking for a digital partner that could help them bring their unique drinks experience to life.

We worked with xDesign on the creation of our Augmented Reality cocktail menu and app ‘The Conjurer’ during 2018. The project involved a number of stakeholders and with various moving parts. xDesign were pivotal in ensuring the project was delivered on time and encouraged us to incorporate a gamification element into the app for added guest engagement. Communication was fantastic and expectations were well managed between parties. Since its launch the app has had over 25,000 downloads and the bespoke serves and app play an important part of our menu and constant evolution of the brand.

Jenny McPheeHead of Brand, The Alchemist

The Solution

Our Product team immersed themselves in the Alchemist brand, engaging with their Marketing, Brand and Commercial teams to understand the objectives behind a brand new digital product.

It was clear from the outset that they weren’t looking for another generic brand loyalty app, as The Alchemist brand already spoken for itself and repeat custom was commonplace.

Aiming to deliver something innovative and engaging for their customers, we pitched a unique Augmented Reality App that would enhance and enliven the guest experience, while also encouraging sharing on social media channels.

The app used specially-designed coasters that were served with a custom range of drinks and would trigger on-screen animations utilising the brand theme of key spirits to bring the drinks to life.

For example, The Hendricks Gin steampunk animation would play around the drink itself, while encouraging the user to share the animation across their social media channels – enabling The Alchemist to reach new users and not just those who were already aware of the brand.

Going Above and Beyond

We knew that customers would love interacting with The Alchemist brand in a new way but we also saw an opportunity to bring new customers to The Alchemist through the same app.

We implemented user testing to help us discover what kind of hook new customers would need to download the app, interact with the brand and share it on social media. Through the user testing, we came up with the idea of ‘collecting’ different cocktails to unlock a secret cocktail that could only be accessed through the app.

The Results

The app was downloaded more than 30,000 times during the initial launch period and it completely changed the way people engaged with The Alchemist brand. It encouraged new visitors and old ones, generating more than £250,000 in additional revenue across 25,000 secret cocktails within the period. It saw huge popularity across social media as people talked about the drinks they’d collected and the secret cocktail they’d unlocked.


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