graham burchell quote web

Plugholes are everywhere; you’ll find five in a typical UK home. Challs recognised their potential over 25 years ago: plughole care purchases had traditionally been made in distress and consumers had overlooked the category until Buster changed the way people think about plugholes.

As a relatively small company, our challenge was how to engage consumers with plugholes, and design was the answer. Working with brand design consultancy Elmwood, the power of Buster design has been awarded a record three Design Effectiveness Awards from the DBA.

Consumers in the plughole care category had traditionally been faced with a wall of power graphics and loud colours. Confronted by shouts for attention, they simply didn’t know where to look. The answer? Change everything. Buster underwent a complete design overhaul in 2004 and again in 2009, challenging category norms with simple, calm design and a change of tone, which cut through the noise.

Elmwood applied ground-breaking design principles to create cut-through. Biomotive triggers are sensory cues that affect our subconscious, generating emotion and action before the conscious part of our brain can respond. These can be used to prompt instinctive action in consumers. In everyday life, we naturally gravitate towards moments of visual or auditory calm, as we rarely experience them. The Buster design experience was simple, calm and with a clear visual hierarchy.

Challs is clear about the messaging hierarchy and has stayed consistent in its approach to design over its 25 years. We follow three simple rules: tell them who we are, what we do and show the end result.

Where does this leave the category? Through our lead we have totally transformed plughole care and as a result it has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Others are trying to imitate our approach but design is an ever-evolving process. Challs’ commitment to the development of the category through Buster has changed the UK landscape and continues to do so. Now we’re working to change the landscape of the category worldwide.

Graham Burchell is managing director of Challs International