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How to create a Highly Successful New Brand Launch

or why F5 Isotonic took 60% market share at launch (defeating incumbent multinational brands in Sri Lanka)

The Brief: New Brand Launch

Elephant House, the leading beverage company in Sri Lanka briefed us to create a new brand from the scratch for their a range of isotonic drinks. Task was to compete with international brands like GATORADE (Pepsi) and 100 PLUS (F&N) on the domestic market and to create a successful new brand launch.


Before jumping into naming and design exploration, we used the time for a market audit in Colombo. We not only went into in traditional and modern retail but as well observing the life style of the key audience of young male Sri Lankans.

Sport plays a big role in the life of those, whether watching or playing Cricket and Rugby. The masculinity was present in physical appearance.

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Naming & Design

We were looking for a great name for this new brand, something SHORT, CATCHY and with a MEANING to relate and remember. We came up with “F5”, the function button no.5 on your keyboard, what stands for REFRESHING (the screen) – a name once understood, never forgotten!

The design does not follow colorful and sweetish look of the competitors, uses a manly black theme and carbon structure together with neon variant colors, to create shelf impact, through maximum visibility. The short brand name was translated into a big and bold logo, not to overseen!

Brand Identity lives beyond the Brand’s Packaging (but the pack is often the base)

F5 launched in the highly competitive market, dominated by international power brands with big spending power.

We extracted the Brand Assets from the branding and packaging design, defined the imagery style and brand voice to complete the Brand Identity.

From there we translated the Brand Identity into a Brand World making sure the brand communication is used in the most consistent but creative way.

Like this, F5 was able to gain recognition quickly across all relevant touchpoints at retail, out of home and digital/online and to engage with its audience at best.

We created an unmissable visibility in shelf by introducing the color black into the multi-colored mess. Black to clearly stand out from the competitors as well as to enhance the increase performance of the vibrant variant colors.

packaging design halls candy thailand square44
packaging design halls candy thailand square44
packaging design halls candy thailand square44
packaging design halls candy thailand square44

The Result – New Brand Launch

What was instrumental to success?

The Brand Launch of F5 achieved a 60% market share within 6 month after the launch and beat GATORADE and 100PLUS.


F5 is not soley an isotonic, but borrowing cues from sports drinks, energy drinks and isotonics (ie casting the net wider).
Audience Focused Design: When we did our deep dive into the target audience, we uncovered that there was a heavy skew towards male drinkers. Therefore, strongly focusing design on the male sport-loving audience really resonated.
Make it Fashionable: A sports drink doesn’t just need to be something super functional. Coming up with a pack design that looks fashionable, creating something that people don’t mind to be seen with helps to maximize visibility beyond the point of purchase or the gym. Especially in a market like Sri Lanka where great packaging designs are still few and far between, having a great looking brand travels fast.

to follow the brand: check out their Facebook page here

Inspired? Would you like to discuss launching a new brand? Need help with brand naming or brand logo design? Or are you in need of a packaging design or bottle shape design that will help your brand get seen, get noticed and get sold? Get in touch here, to start a conversation today!

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