Sugru: Building a Brand around a Community

Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh - founder of Sugru, (the magical self-setting rubber) invited us to Sugru’s HQ, fittingly located in an old button factory in Hackney.

Whilst studying an MA in product design Jane became frustrated by the manufacture and design of products that have a limited shelf life. We’re trapped in an everlasting cycle of replacing stuff that has gone ‘out of fashion’ with the same but newer. Only - of course - for it to lose its cool in another 6 months’ time. Jane wanted to make a change to this of make, take and dispose attitude and asked, “What about valuing the stuff we already have?”

And from this the idea for Sugru was born.

Here Jane tells us about the importance of the community behind the product, and how that has helped grow the company. How could you encourage your community to champion your brand?

Sugru in brief:

  1. In June 2005 Nesta offered a £35,000 grant to help the company get off the ground.
  2. By November 2009 they had sold their first 1000 packs.
  3. By 2010 a review in The Telegraph launched orders for the company beyond what they were prepared for. In June they relaunched with a warehouse full of Sugru.
  4. In September 2012 Jane recieved an award from the London Design Festival as a Design Entrepreneur.
  5. By March 2013 Jane’s dream of Sugru becoming a huge household name had grown a large step closer as the product was stocked in 300 B&Q stores across the UK and Ireland.