Manufacturer of plughole cleaning products.
Company name: Challs
Company size: Small
Company web site:
Date of Foundation: 1990
Nr. of Employees: <50

Case summary:
The Challs case shows how a manufacturer can integrate Design into their business and, through a New Brand and New Packaging, differentiate its product. When Challs moved to develop their own Brand of plughole cleaning Products, they had to build a complete Brand Identity in a very competitive Market. Challs made the “plughole category” their own to ensure that the supermarkets would stock their product and enabled them move towards leading their Market niche. This resulted in them significantly increasing their Market share and dramatically increasing sales, in 2007 by 100% as well as Growth in margin and employment. Two points proved critical in the success of the Process. The first one was the Management of the designer selection, the second was the focused Differentiation that could structure all Design development and Brand development. Challs identified and addressed two sets of stakeholders: the end Users, who are predominantly women, and retail buyers. This lead to the development of a specific language that involved emotion, and set the Brand apart from the Competition. Because of Challs’ experience of the Design consultancy that developed the Brand,Design has influenced other parts of the business. It is now seen as a key factor for business development.

Challs manufacture and sell plughole cleaning products under the brand name Buster. This category is dominated by large multinational brands sold through the major supermarkets.

The company was first set up in 1990 to sell plughole products under licence to a well known drain clearance company. In 1997 there was a mutual agreement to end the licence and so the plughole products moved into an existing branded range of various cleaning solutions called Buster. Over the next few years Challs had intermittent success with the range. Being a small, little known company, their products were regularly pushed off supermarket shelves in favour of the bigger players. In 2001 Challs had the opportunity to be involved in a three year initiative with the Design Council (UK) to demonstrate how design could enhance British manufacturing. This proved to be a turning point and has subsequently enabled Challs to become a major player themselves. ..

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