Case Study: Driving online sales

Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus gin: 93% rise in online sales

Laithwaites listed Manly Coastal Citrus Gin online and in-store in February 2020. But sales were lagging behind the forecast for spring and summer 2020.  We discovered from engaging with the retailer that this was down to lack of understanding of the brand story and awareness.


To increase sales we needed to improve:


  • Manly’s Spirits reach and brand awareness for Manly Spirits across the retailer’s core audience. We wanted to get the audience to learn about Manly Spirits’ story and why it’s different.
  • In-store staff’s knowledge. We wanted to educate in-store staff about the brand story, the SKU’s tasting notes and pairings. We wanted to empower them to improve the customer experience around the SKU and ultimately sell the product better.


We arranged a meeting with the retailer to agree requirements and objectives for an awareness marketing campaign. That’s how we understood our options to promote Manly Spirits. It also showed what Laithwaite’s needed from us for this campaign. Together with the retailer, we created an integrated digital marketing campaign centered around:

  • A vlog featuring Manly Spirits’ owners.
  • A cocktail video masterclass using Manly Spirits Coastal Citrus gin delivered by Laithwaites’ in-house Wine and Spirits trainer.

We chose to do a vlog format because it was the most appropriate medium to tell Manly Spirits’ unique brand story. Cocktail masterclasses are educational ‘how-to’ sessions and video is the most appropriate format for this content. The UK was also in lockdown at the time and the period saw an increase in consumption of video content. So it was a pertinent choice for us.

We repurposed the video through Laithwaites Wine and the Sunday Times social media accounts, website and newsletters. It also featured on Manly Spirits’ social media channels, which we manage, and our own. That’s how we increased the reach of the activation. The video:

  • Featured on 32 social media posts from Laithwaites Wine and the Sunday Times Wine Club
  • Generated 53,000 engagements and 390 followers

We also reached out to each retail store directly, sending each a message on Instagram from the @manlyspiritsuk Instagram account. It started a dialogue with each store where we discovered that some stores didn’t have the SKU in stock. We followed up with training documentation and a simple reminder: you need to have the product in stock to sell it!

We supported each store individually in driving awareness of Manly Spirits on social media. We asked each store manager to take a picture of the product in-store and share it with us. We featured this in Manly Spirits and bbb’s Instagram feed and stories, tagging each Laithwaites store. That’s how we told Manly’s audience which Laithwaites store stocked Coastal Citrus.


This two month campaign delivered:



Increase in online spirits sales between September 2020 and October 2020


Increase in overall spirits sales from April 2020 to October 2020.


increase in positive online reviews of the SKU.

As a result, Laithwaites extended the listing into their ‘peak’ seasonal Christmas range