Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Check out how this company SQUASH’D a downturn in market sales by rebranding and revitalizing a fruit drink brand! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

September 27, 2021

Marketing has a huge influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions. 

… and for Britvic plc, a British producer of soft drinks and fruit juices, responsible marketing is key to attracting a lot of consumers in various parts of the world. 

One of the ways the company markets its products?

By positioning its drinks as something that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle! 

Britvic aims to encourage positive behavior and perception changes toward its products, showing customers how its brands play a positive role in supporting healthy living. 

One of the brands the company highly focused on in 2019? 

The “supertanker brand,” Robinsons! 

[Robinsons is called the “supertanker brand” because it is Britvic’s leading brand portfolio. It also has a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II, which means the brand can supply drinks to the Royal Family. This gives Robinsons prestige treatment compared to other brands.] 

According to Chief Marketing Officer Matt Barwell, Britvic made drastic steps to address Robinsons’ decline in sales and market penetration for almost a decade. 

He said, 

“It’s hard to turn around that sort of ‘supertanker brand.’ Retailers see the category declining, they reduce it in space and the category reduces further and you get squeezed and then other people pile into the category and the competition gets harder and everyone fights on price.”

To address this concern, Britvic redefined the brand’s place in consumers’ lives to redevelop a broader appeal among customers. 


By delisting GBP 20 million worth of Robinsons drink flavors to introduce a new “good, better, best” strategy with premium tiers! 

These premium tiers, which highlight the drinks’ health credentials, include: 

  • Superfruit Cordials
  • Orange & Acerola Cherry 
  • Raspberry & Goji Berry 

These drinks contain added vitamins and minerals and have no artificial colors and flavors, delivering on two of the most prominent customer drivers for Britvic―taste and health. 

Aside from that, the company collaborated with supermarket company, Sainsbury’s, to reverse a downturn in Robinsons’ squash sales in the market. 

Just to clarify: We’re not talking about the “squash” that is a genus of herbaceous vines in the gourd family. We’re talking about squash, as in the non-alcoholic fruit syrup in Britvic’s “Squash’D” product line, which is a series of dilutes that add a fruity flavor to any liquid diet plan. 

When market research showed that “people were looking for real fruit health propositions,” Britvic reformulated Robinsons’ Fruit Cordial and Fruit Creations squash collections. 

This meant adding a twist to the squash products by putting in real fruit bits, creating a juicier and fruitier beverage without artificial colors and flavors. The aim of the reformulation was to manufacture a “refreshing blend of flavor creations” for grown-up taste buds. 

According to Laura Priestly, head of category management at Britvic, 

“The biggest growth in consumption is tap water. Adding squash to tap water is a great way to enhance the taste. It was a real opportunity for the consumer, and a real opportunity for both manufacturers and retailers, if we can maximize that.” 

The company also helped develop new marketing strategies with its partners by suggesting that Sainsbury’s reduce its store promotion fixtures to divert customers’ attention to the squash products. 

Priestly said Britvic chose to partner with Sainsbury’s because most of its shoppers were health conscious and were therefore aligned with the marketing of Robinsons’ squash. 

The collaboration resulted in a 6% increase in the sales of the squash products, and Britvic won the Grand Prix at the Marketing Week Masters Awards in 2019 for its revitalization of the Robinsons brand! 

This shows how the right partnerships and collaborations in the business sector can also help improve a brand or company’s image!  

Retail analysis company IGD’s category insight manager, Simon Attfield, said that building trading relationships with Sainsbury’s was the biggest benefit in Britvic’s category management. This is because buyers and suppliers were able to solve problems in the marketplace while saving resources. 

He said, 

“Collaboration is now becoming more of a norm. Lack of cooperation, skills, and training partner capabilities used to be key barriers, but as a function we’ve moved on. We’re getting better at it.” 

By working together, Britvic and Sainsbury’s brought back value to the Robinsons brand by creating simple innovations of the products and marketing these drinks to increase consumer uptake. 

In the past five years, Britvic plc has recorded steady revenues of:

  • GBP 1.4 billion in 2016
  • GBP 1.4 billion in 2017
  • GBP 1.5 billion in 2018
  • GBP 1.5 billion in 2019
  • GBP 1.4 billion in 2020

Based on these numbers, we can see that 2019 was one of Britvic’s best performing years in the past five years… and part of that is credited to the revitalization of the Robinsons brand!

Britvic plc’s Earning Power: Valens Research vs. As-reported numbers 

Britvic plc (BVIC:GBR) makes for a great case study that we come back to regularly. One great reason?

The company has proven itself to be a better earning power generator than investors might think.

So, how well has Britvic been growing its business in the past years?

The research doesn’t lie—nor do the results. Earning power (the blue bars) continues to show results higher on average than what traditional databases show.

The blue bars in the chart above represent Britvic’s earning power (Uniform Return On Assets). Historically, Britvic has seen generally robust profitability. Its Uniform ROA ranged from 10% to 22% in the past sixteen years, or an average of 16%. Uniform ROA is at 11% in 2020.  

The global ROA is just 6%. 

The orange bars are the company’s as-reported financial information. If you relied on these numbers, you will see a company with understated profitability. As-reported ROA (return on assets, a measure of earning power) only ranged from 5% to 9% in the past sixteen years. Its as-reported ROA in 2020 was only at 5%, which is 2 times lower than its Uniform ROA in 2020. 

That’s what you’ll see in Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and most other databases.

The company’s stock price also performed better than the rest of the stock market over the decade, which we can see in the blue line in the chart below. Its returns have been well above the market.

The numbers show that Britvic has been doing well and making a profit. 

The company believes that some of the most pressing challenges around the world are centered around health. That’s why Britvic ensures it provides consumers with a choice of great tasting drinks that are safer and better! 

In terms of marketing, the company always advocates for the use of responsible marketing when promoting its products, including choosing the right partners and collaborations. 

For Britvic, having a responsible approach to marketing is an important part of building customers’ trust. 

To sum all these points up, the company makes sure its products appeal to consumers’ taste preferences while staying true to its core: Building a rich heritage of healthy drink brands. 

In other words… 

Marketing its drinks “with integrity and respect for consumers’ health and well-being!” 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some company’s marketing strategy. 

…Only for the audience to later find out that their product was a flop, or worse, that the company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole. 

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the role of marketing is always paramount to that success. 

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies. 

However, the difference between our case studies and the numerous ones out there, is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group).

By looking at the true earnings of a company, we can now rely on those successful businesses to get tips and insights on what they did right.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve on. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful. 

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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