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Case study

SBF GB&I: Win The Weekend

We helped Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I deliver a multi-faceted trade communications campaign to give convenience retailers the one thing they can’t get: time off.

Our trade communications remit for Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I (makers of Lucozade, Ribena, and Orangina among others) goes beyond launching new products and providing category guidance.

FMCG & Retail

Hanover’s Food & Drink team advises businesses at every stage of their life cycle. We work with everyone from start-ups beginning their journey and raising awareness of their offering, to multinational enterprises looking to join up their communications across different territories.

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We help SBF GB&I win the hearts and minds of the 35,000+ independent retailers and thousands of wholesalers responsible for selling its drinks, helping to demonstrate that the business is a true trade partner to the convenience channel.

Borne of our direct relationships with retailers within the channel, and our constant and consistent monitoring of the issues they actually talk about, Win The Weekend was launched with the aim of giving store owners the one thing they cannot get themselves: time off.


Over the last few years – and particularly since COVID-19 – the issue of retailer mental health has been given greater prominence across trade media. Trapped behind counters without breaks for seven days at a time, small family-run businesses were suffering – often silently. As one retailer told us, the only break some retailers might get is to go to the cash & carry.

To support what we knew ourselves anecdotally and through worries highlighted by industry bodies, we commissioned research with 500 retailers to examine the barriers to taking time off. The results were striking and helped crystallise our plan.

Win The Weekend started by offering one lucky retailer the chance to win a £5,000 cash prize and two days off to take some valuable and much-needed time out. We recruited an award-winning retailer to help “mind the shop” for two days, alongside retail experts from SBF GB&I and our own team.

We drove the competition through print ads, social media, retailer WhatsApp groups and retail platforms like Shopt. We briefed SBF GB&I’s sales team to talk to retailers directly. The net results was that we received almost 1,000 entries – far above the number of entries publishers typically receive for their competitions. A traditional competition might receive 100 entries. Win the Weekend exceeded this by 900%. We knew we were delivering what retailers want.

The winning store owners – Tracy & Michael – couldn’t have been more grateful. And equally pleasingly, neither could their customers. In a Facebook post announcing to regular shoppers at their small village store in Lincolnshire that there might be some unfamiliar faces behind their counter for a couple of days, we saw hundreds of likes and positive comments. All of those comments had one overarching theme – well done Tracy & Michael: you deserve it.

We spent two days in their store and pushed content from this through the trade press via print, social channels, and two engaging videos – one to drive traction with our trade audience, and one for our SBF GB&I team to present to internal stakeholders. We shared thought leadership via columns and opinion pieces. We equipped SBF GB&I team members with the tools to present our work at trade events.


The reach of the competition itself, and the content after, were superb. But we wanted to ensure Win the Weekend lived beyond this, to ensure it was more than just eyeballs and coverage numbers.

Through our research and by speaking with our retailer network we gathered tips on how leading retailers get time off and created a downloadable handbook for retailers, to provide them with practical tools. We hosted this on SBF GB&I’s own website, pushed it via social media and worked with SBF GB&I’s sales team to push this into stores and wholesale depots directly.

Retailer feedback has been extraordinary. Nisa retailer Amrit Pahal told us it was “an amazing idea – proper genius”, while One Stop store owner Aman Uppal said “this idea from start to execution has been outstanding”. Bobby Singh said that it was a “great campaign, really hitting home and supporting retailers physically and mentally”, while Trudy Davies called it a “fabulous initiative”, and added that she “could have done with this when my children were young”.

Retailers at a trade event spoke openly in the room about how their mum had missed their wedding because they had to mind the shop, and about how they would have to miss their son’s wedding for the same reason. Retailers agreed that the campaign was important, well-handled, and necessary.

The great news is that the success of Win the Weekend means the initiative will continue on, with Win The Weekend II launching off the back of this.

© Hanover Communications 2024, an AVENIR GLOBAL company. All rights reserved.