Posted on 27th November 2017

Helping Rio’s Relaunch Reach Retailers

Plum Ideas are proud to be working with Hall & Woodhouse to communicate their zesty new rebrand of iconic soft drink, Rio.

The Dorset-based brewery and drinks company have recently given their long established Rio brand a fresh and funky reboot, and needed to communicate this new look to the independent convenience retail sector.

Rio’s Background

Rio is a well-established soft drink brand with a loyal following. The drink is known for its distinctive tropical fruit flavour and Rio is seen by consumers as more authentic than some soft drinks in the same category.

Though research showed that customers viewed Rio as more authentic, natural, and better tasting than the competition; these values weren’t represented on the current packaging and communication. Hall & Woodhouse therefore overhauled the soft drink’s visual branding with a new look inspired by Brazilian street art and added the strapline, ‘Celebrate the Sunny’. New pack formats were introduced, most notably a 500ml PET bottle format in both Tropical and Tropical Light (No Added Sugar) variants; and price marked packs were made available for the whole range in response to demand within the independent retail sector.

A key point for Rio is that they don’t sell their product through major supermarkets, instead focusing on the convenience retail sector, placing a high importance on supporting independent retailers. It was therefore vital that the rebrand was communicated effectively to this market.

Getting the Word Out – Our Work with Rio

Given Rio’s focus on the independent sector, effectively communicating the brand’s new look was critical. Hall & Woodhouse appointed Plum Ideas to help promote the brand’s fresh new style because of our vast experience with the independent convenience sector. We have worked with a number of household food and beverage names to drive distribution in this sector, including KETTLE® Chips, Red Bull, and Chewits to name but a few.

We developed a communication programme that used both direct mail and trade press advertising to announce the relaunch; and adapted the brand’s new consumer branding style to create lively and engaging marketing materials. The new tagline ‘Celebrate the Sunny’ was adapted to become ‘Sunshine for Your Sales’; which we used across all trade communication. We made sure to emphasise Rio’s heartland of independent operators, a crucial element of the brand’s values and proposition.

The campaigns consisted of two waves of communication; the first to introduce the new branding and improved recipe for Tropical Light (No Added Sugar), and the second to launch the 500ml PET bottle format. Both waves included promotion through direct mail and trade publications. We also developed a point of sale kit which retailers could request free of charge; Plum Ideas received and fulfilled all of these requests on the company’s behalf.

In order to drive distribution, we included an exclusive offer within the direct mail campaigns which encouraged retailers to stock Rio’s new 500ml bottle format. Sophisticated production and personalisation techniques enabled us to track and analyse the performance of this offer.

Response and reaction to the campaign has been very positive, with significant numbers of independent retailers stocking up since the relaunch, and taking on the new bottle format.

Big Agency Experience without the Big Agency Price Tag

Our team have worked in some of the largest marketing and branding agencies up and down the UK, and each team member brings that expertise to every client relationship. We’ve been operating for almost two decades, working on projects spanning a range of sectors. Bringing our big agency experience together with a small overhead is something our clients really appreciate, and an aspect of our operation that brings us great pride.

So if you’ve got a marketing challenge on the horizon, large or small, why not get in touch? Drop us a line at or call us on 01384 697980.

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