Q8 – Transforming a gas station chain into an attractive convenience retailer



A quite traditional chain of gas stations, Q8 was facing numerous new competitors in an increasingly complex category, ranging from unmanned low-price gas stations to high-profile, international convenience brands entering the market. Additionally, local supermarket chains were taking an increasing share of wallet of the late-hours-small-basket shopping due to more liberal opening hours.

Advance was asked to help reposition Q8 in order to raise awareness of and build preference for its convenience offering. The goal was to attract more motorists to their locations, thereby gaining a larger share of both the growing convenience market and the price-sensitive gas market.

We soon realized that communication wasn’t the only answer to the challenges Q8 was facing. No matter how appealing, campaigns would never turn a gas station into a convenience chain, or make the assortment attractive to an on-the-road/on-the-go consumer who was asking for other products and services than the average gas station customer. We simply had to reimagine the core offering before even thinking about how to communicate it.



Together with Q8 retail management, we set out to fundamentally rethink the offering. The cornerstone in the strategy was the creation of a convenience store sub-brand– Qvik-To-Go. It was a physical manifestation of the company’s willingness to dramatically change to meet changing demands. The in-store layout was completely redesigned and new product categories added, including baked goods, freshly made sandwiches, organic coffee, and a new assortment of healthy snacks. The convenience store quickly achieved the strategic goal of becoming a destination in itself, and not just an add-on to the petrol pump.

The next step was making sure the customer experience lived up to the promise of the new offering. Advance toured the country together with senior management helping to train employees in delivering a more customer-centric service. With service standards taken to new levels, and with a revitalized core offering, the communications platform was redesigned to draw attention to the new product categories, and to create a better synergy between tactical product offers and more brand-oriented messaging.

After establishing a strong platform for the brand, we introduced QvikOffers with a view to motivating customers who typically paid at the pump to venture into the store. The offers took the form of a voucher dispensed at the pump that could be redeemed in the shop. The tactic helped increase basket size and the same mechanic was extended to digital platforms where Qvik Offers could be redeemed or shared via smartphones. This gave Q8 a new and relevant presence in the social channels and improved loyalty.



The concept was a huge success with more than 310,000 QvikOffers redeemed in the first 32 weeks of the campaign

The campaign also generated 15,000+ likes for Q8 on Facebook and 12,120 dialogue marketing permissions. What’s more, redeemed QvikOffers generated 10% extra profit than regular transactions and, today, more than 5% of QvikOffers are redeemed, equating to a ROMI of 6.97%. In 2013, our work was recognized with the Advertising Effectiveness Award.