A Brand Development Story

Stretching a brand into new categories

Blue sky

Standard Brands is the holding company of Zip firelighters, the number one brand in Europe and the market leader in the UK, Ireland and France. They are known for their various ignition products for both indoor fires and barbeques but were looking to stretch the brand into new categories.

They were willing to harness innovation in all categories so were therefore looking at the extreme end of the Innovation Spectrum, where they were happy to explore ‘blue sky’ areas.

We held a Market Exploration workshop in which we analysed the main functional and emotional benefits that Zip offered. We then used these associations as stimulus to create a list of leverage points that Zip could own, before working these up into possible product categories they could stretch the brand into. The team were asked to judge these potential categories on a strict list of criteria to ensure that any innovation within these categories could be differentiating to the territory, appealing to consumers, practical and deliverable and relevant for the Zip brand.

We discovered during the course of the workshop that there were 4 high level categories that answered all the criteria and were suitable and interesting areas for us to explore further.


We then held a 2 day Idea Generation workshop to explore the 4 areas in more detail and generate new product ideas for each area. We used a combination of linear and lateral creative thinking techniques so that we could push our innovative thinking to the maximum. Outside Experts were invited to participate for each area to give presentations on the category before contributing to product ideas and this gave us some in-depth knowledge on a new category and some fresh insights for products that Zip could deliver.

The top new product ideas were worked up into concepts and then researched with consumers in a qualitative research phase (conducted by London Brand Innovations) The ideas were received positively in terms of consumer appeal and relevance for Zip and have resulted in one of the product ideas being developed and launched successfully.