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Illamasqua K Shocolat Three Sixty Brand

Brands of tomorrow: Forward thinking

By The Drum | Administrator

August 21, 2008 | 19 min read

Spotting a brand with a bright future is never easy, yet it is the aim of every agency-side marketer. But how do you identify and develop such brands? And what new brands are currently making a name for themselves? The Drum trawled the industry to identi

Of course, we all want to count as client the world’s most-recognised brands. We want the big, sexy briefs and we want a global outlook. We want car brands, we want beers briefs and we want electrical goods accounts. But we can’t all have them.

But there are opportunities out there. If you help make them. And from little acorns mighty oaks do grow.

The development of new brands, and then their subsequent growth, is the commercial life blood of many an agency. And what could be more satisfying than watching a brand that you have helped nurture from its embryonic form, grow into a household name?

The Drum polled the industry to find out about some of the most interesting brands that are tipped for growth. Some have already made it big. Others will are currently gaining momentum.

From the brands suggested we have selected a diverse cross-section. Some that could be huge. Others that will be happy having secured their own niche in the market.

Either way, the brands overleaf will certainly be worth keeping an eye on over coming months and years.

Zopa has been tipped in the financial press as the Ebay of the banking world. A social lending website...

Social Lending is where people lend and borrow money with each other, sidestepping the banks.

In a nutshell, as Zopa explains, it allows people with spare money to lend it directly to people who want to borrow it. No bank in the middle, no huge overheads, no unethical investments. To minimise any risk, the money each lender puts in (over £500) is spread among at least 50 borrowers (and likewise each borrower gets their money from a number of different lenders).

All lenders and borrowers enter into a legally binding contract with their respective borrowers and lenders. Zopa manages the collection of monthly repayments, and if any of that money is not paid on time, uses exactly the same sort of recovery processes that the high street banks use. Zopa earns money by charging lenders and borrowers a 0.5 per cent fee.

Launched in 2005, the business is led by a management team that comprises many of those that founded Egg in the UK. The company is based in London and backed by Benchmark Capital and Wellington Partners.

The online brand now operates within the United Kingdom, United States, Italy and a service is being developed for Japan, with each geographical area operating a slightly different model.

The name, Zopa, stands for Zone of Possible Agreement, a negotiating term identifying the bounds within which agreement can be reached between two parties.

With the social revolution taking place online at present, bank managers the world over may be slightly worried by Zopa.

Make Mine a Builders

Brand agencies have ideas for other people, right? But sometimes they get attached to them and can’t bear to let them go. When someone at Elmwood Design asked, ‘anyone fancy a cuppa?’ one reply was, ‘Make mine a builder’s’. A brand was born.

Jonathan Sands, chairman of Elmwood and managing director Richard Gowar, formerly president of Global Brands at Allied Domecq, brought it to fruition.

After consumer and trade research, including tasting sessions with 300 builders, a blend from three East African countries was developed. It brews to full strength in just 20 seconds and is brisk, thirst quenching and easy to gulp. The manufacturer is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership so it’s responsibly sourced.

The brand has secured listings in all four of its target channels: multiples, builders’ merchants, speciality stores and food service. It’s on the shelves in Asda, Speedy Hire (Eastern Region) and Long & Somerville. It’s being sipped by coolsters at Treacle in East London and glugged by sports fanatics at the KC Stadium.

Launched in Asda in 2007, It sold over 250,000 packs in that first year. That equates to 20 million refreshing tea breaks. It’s now worth £410K and looks set to grow.

Accolades have been coming in thick and fast. In a recent taste test on UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, Make Mine a Builders beat six premium brands: Yorkshire Tea, Twinings English Breakfast, Betty’s Tea Room Blend, Peyton and Byrne Builder’s Tea, Tregothnan Classic Tea and Teapigs English Breakfast. The brand was also highly commended at the Benchmark awards and is up for an award at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. The postbag is bulging with letters from fans who love the taste – builders and non-builders alike – and the brand makes people smile. How many other tea brands have a picture of a builder’s bum on the bottom of the box?

In the next five years, Make Mine a Builders will grow its distribution footprint across all channels to improve availability.

Marketing will be focused on improving brand awareness, brand knowledge and encouraging trial to drive volume and value and consolidate its position as the Britain’s only branded builders’ tea.


Über cool Scottish chocolatiers Kshocolât puts a luxury and designer twist on the world’s favourite indulgence.

The Glasgow-based company, which describes itself as a Scottish company with a global vision, sells its luxury chocolate bars, sweets and gift boxes in the UK and 22 countries around the world including the US, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

As well as exporting globally, the luxury chocolate brand can be found in John Lewis, Liberty, Conran and Harvey Nichols amongst others and will soon be available in 750 Pier 1 stores in the US.

The brand is also available at the Four Seasons hotel chain and on BA European business class flights, although chief executive Simon Coyle, who launched the company in 2003, says the company plans to grow the availability of its products in supermarkets as well as through its recently launched online store.

The brand – which has worked closely with Glasgow, New York and London-based creative studio Marque to develop its stylish look – recently revealed a £1m investment package.

Kshocolât now aims to grow its retail sales by 300 per cent in 2008 and relocate to a large new warehouse and office facility at Cardonald near Glasgow Airport.

The funding will also allow Kshocolât to increase its marketing spend to nearly £500,000 this year.

Kshocolât’s range include the likes of chilli-infused chocolate which covers both pecans and almonds, white chocolate with lemon and pepper and dark chocolate with orange and cardamom.

Staying Cool

Independent serviced apartment specialists, Staying Cool, was set up by directors Paul Taylor and Tracey Stephenson in 2005. The pair had both worked away from home for long periods of time and thought there had to be a better alternative to expensive boutique hotels and blandly furnished serviced apartments.

They came up with the concept of Staying Cool: boutique serviced apartments for independently-minded and sophisticated travellers, where the emphasis is on style, individual design and excellent customer service.

Each apartment is kitted out with bespoke pieces from some of the UK’s leading designers and promises the luxurious fluffy robes and king size beds found in boutique hotels, but combined with bang up-to-date technology, such as flat screen TV, iPod dock and wifi.

The unique and individual styling of the apartments was the inspiration behind Staying Cool’s newly refreshed brand identity, developed by Manchester-based Hemisphere.

Spanning the creation of a new logo, stationery and promotional collateral encompassing everything from key fobs to toiletry bottles, the rebrand has also seen the launch of a new magazine-style website (

Staying Cool has been credited with effectively designing the genre in Manchester, where they were winners at the 2008 Tourism Awards.

It now has 15 apartments in the city and has recently opened up a further 15 in Birmingham’s newly refurbished (by Urban Splash) iconic Rotunda. Apartments in Devon and Barcelona have also been added.

Future plans for brand extension include a bigger urban roll-out in both the UK and Europe, as well as Staying Cool in the Country and Staying Cool by the Sea.


The world is now well used to ethical branding and green companies. So how do you develop a ‘green’ company that will stand out from the crowd and get your business across to potential investors and clients? Even more challenging is how to create a brand, generic terms and a language to suit a totally new ethical concept.

Edinburgh brand consultancy Tsuko was tasked with developing a ‘green’ brand that will stand out from the crowd and get the business across to potential investors and clients.

The resulting brand is Verdex, a next generation ‘green’ company, creating a groundbreaking source of bio-oil; the product is ‘ethicrops’ the new generic name created for the oil producing plants ‘farmed’ by Verdex which do not need food producing land to proliferate.

These crops do not compete with food farmed on arable land, therefore, producing industrial quanities of essential oil from a sustainable source.

With crops currently being grown in China, Ethicrops are revolutionary in an age where the demand for sustainable products continues to grow.

The bio-oil produced from Verdex’s ethicrops will be sold to producers of paints, cosmetics and plastics, who can then market their products’ genuine ‘green’ credentials. However, as the generic term ethicrops becomes embedded in the consumer conscience so demand for products made from ethicrops will increase.

Kitty Cooper

Ethical doesn’t have to be ugly! Kitty Cooper’s mission is to provide a glamorous alternative to traditional ‘eco-styled’ footwear.

Kitty Cooper English Originals produces ethically made women footwear and offers retailers the opportunity to have a range of shoes custom designed to their specific requirements based on predictions of future trends.

Each pair of shoes are individual and are hand made in London from recycled vintage fabrics. Glamorous recycling, if you like.

Kitty Cooper gained a first-class degree at Cordwainers’ Institute, part of London College of Fashion and worked for a time designing China-made shoes for a number of High Street retailers.

Her expertise in vintage fabrics comes from several years spent dealing vintage clothes and accessories on Portobello Road, and other London venues. Here she was constantly struck how, in the past, beautiful things were cared for and re-worked.

Her designs are now inspired by the shapes, styles and craftsmanship of past eras, as well as the vintage ‘make-do-and-mend’ sensibility which is the antithesis of modern throw-away fashion.

Like many others, she was troubled by the widespread, unsustainable and unethical use of materials, labour and resources. It was this that inspired her to launch her own brand.

Kitty Cooper shoes are hand made by a family business in East London, and where possible all the components are sourced from and made within the UK.

The brand supports small local industry and all its fabrics, ribbons and trims are vintage – from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Leather is a natural by-product of the food industry. Most leather is tanned using Chromium – an ecologically harmful toxic pollutant, which is carcinogenic and can be absorbed into the skin. Kitty Cooper shoes are made from leathers tanned using organic substances such as the seed pods of the Tara tree, or the Valonea oak.

An online store has been created by Bolton-based agency Fudge.

Super Jam

Fraser Doherty, now 19, started making jam at the age of just 14, after being taught his Gran’s secret recipes. Within a couple of years, he had left school and was cooking as many as 1,000 jars of jam a week in his parents’ tiny kitchen. He soon realised that he would have to move production into a commercial setting if his fledgling enterprise was to continue to grow.

After research, Doherty discovered that sales of jam have been in decline for the past couple of decades; mostly because of its unhealthy and old fashioned image. He set himself the ambition of completely reinventing the world of jam by coming up with a healthier and more modern brand. SuperJam is a range of 100% fruit jams, which are made primarily from ‘Super Fruits’, such as blueberries and pomegranates. The range is stocked nationally by Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and hundreds of independent stores.

As a result of this runaway success, Fraser was awarded the ‘Global Student Entrepreneur of The Year Award’ in 2007 in a competition that saw him compete against 750 students from around the world. He was the first ever winner from outside North America. He has also been invited to have tea with Gordon Brown at Downing Street. SuperJam has been entered into the National Museum of Scotland (alongside iconic brands such as Irn-Bru, Tunnocks and Baxters) and SuperJam is attracting interest from some of the biggest supermarket chains all around the globe.

The company has also enjoyed wide-spread media coverage in the likes of The Times, BBC and The Independent.

He has also established a charity, ‘The SuperJam Tea Parties’, that runs tea parties for lonely and frail elderly people from care homes and sheltered housing across the country. There is live music, dancing and fancy food and drink sponsored by the lovely folks at Waitrose. For the elderly people, it is a chance to have a bit of fun and make new friends.

Trees Can’t Dance

From its base in Northumberland, Trees Can’t Dance produce an eclectic range of sauces, rubs, spice blends, oils and ketchups.

The company began growing its chillies on a beautifully located, if unlikely site, clinging to the very edge of the North Pennines in the spring of 2005.

A range of 60 chillies from every corner of the world were planted with optimism that seemed to fly in the face of conventional horticultural wisdom. At 600 feet above sea level such a project was at best seen as “a challenge”.

Despite this it soon had its first, staggeringly large, crop of chillies.

Each recipe is the product of much research and many hours hard labour over a hot stove and Trees Can’t Dance aim to produce more than 90 percent of the chillies it uses to make its sauces and spices. Like many other fresh, new brands, Trees Can’t Dance plays on its environmental approach and, although not organically certified, it produces all its goods without the use of pesticides, or herbicides and without any chemical or artificial fertilisers.

The firm also intends to introduce a wind turbine to its site to generate green electricity to allow it to control the temperature in its biotunnels, pump stored rain water to where it is needed most and still have enough power to satisfy most of the processing and packaging demands of the kitchen and storeroom.

Part of the Trees Can’t Dance project involves the regeneration of the two acre site it occupies to grow the crops, process the chillies and produce the sauces and spices.

Formerly a site servicing the local agricultural sector, it suffered with the decline of small scale agriculture in the area. However, the team has developed the existing building into its custom-made commercial kitchen allowing them to go from seed through to finished sauce on site.

The firm has also planned its own chilli festival to celebrate the full regeneration of the site.

With packaging (and web) designs by Northumberland agency WDA, the range is currently sold at delis and specialist food shops across the UK.


It’s not often that a real contender comes along threatening to knock cosmetic giants MAC and co off their pedestals, but Illamasqua, which doesn’t actually hit the beauty counter at Selfridges until October, is certainly aiming to do just that.

The cosmetics brand, the brainchild of Yorkshire-based agency Propaganda, headed up by Julian Kynaston, is positioned as a nighttime make-up brand, which allows women (and men, obviously) to use the strong vibrant colours to discover their alter egos after dark.

The brand will be launched exclusively at one of the most coveted make-up counters in the land – Selfridges Oxford Street store in London – and already the fashion press are billing the official birth of the Illamasqua brand as the biggest thing to happen in cosmetics in the last 25 years.

With the brand and its edgy, daring and vibrant colour ranges Propaganda has MAC counters clearly in its sights as it looks to empower women and men through make-up, particularly during the chap-slap revolution currently taking place.

As with any brand, the product has to match up to the promise and with a brand heritage reaching back to the 1920’s Berlin club scene and the manufacturing process stretching from Central Europe to Australia the actual product itself is expected to hit the mark by fashionistas. And with them all on side it is a sure fire bet that the Illamasqua brand is one set for super stardom over the next five years as the brand rolls out across the UK and globally.

A £300,000 press advertising campaign will back up the launch, but with the screeds of editiorial expected (and already much has been written by an eagerley waiting fashion press) the actual value of the anticipation being created would be hard to nail down.


Three Sixty Brands’ aim is to bring success to new and ailing brands, unlocking and building their value. As such, The Drum turned to Jo Halliday, the company’s marketing director, for some advice on how to nurture a successful brand.

Brand equity is a huge asset which is often undervalued in the financial health of a company. A strong brand can make the difference between success and failure in today’s turbulent economic climate, but how can you spot a winning brand of the future?

It would be difficult to create one set of rules. Some successful brands emerge fresh to market from young entrepreneurs with little industry experience, others come from powerful multinationals. Success will depend upon many factors ranging from how reactive consumers are to accepting new brands within a category to how well the brand has managed to communicate with its target audience. Despite planning, good fortune and timing will always play a less quantifiable role too. However there are a few things to bear in mind when ‘talent spotting’:

• Is the brand built upon a clear consumer need?

• Are the USP’s clear versus the competition?

• Is there a clear positioning strategy, both for the trade

within a category and for the consumer, against the


• Is the pricing right versus the competition and is the

product available in credible outlets?

• How well is the brand communicating its core

proposition and is this reaching the target market?

Once a brand has been developed a few golden rules of brand management also apply.

Only develop brands with full trademark protection/patent protection: without it the assets of the brand will never be fully optimised and value will plummet.

Consider the full brand value management process: Take a holistic view which allows brand management to drive the full process from supply, finance, positioning and communications. This strategic approach will help to create real ownership to help strengthen brand equity.

Optimise the full value: At all points in the management process, the brand must be at the heart of a business’ decision-making process. This focus is required to realise the brand’s maximum potential. Goals should be set for achieving growth through quantifiable KPIs for volume and profitability and also for equity measures such as share, loyalty, awareness and consumer benchmarks.

Planning the exit: If the brand is at the centre of the business and the value is understood in the context of financial health, then the exit is a key component.

Nothing is guaranteed in the life of a brand, but by putting it at the heart of the organisation there will be more focus on ensuring that the brand is grown and developed to the advantage of the bottom-line.

Illamasqua K Shocolat Three Sixty Brand

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