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Service Station Market: Brand Launch


Topaz is now a major player in the service station market in Ireland, but this brand did not exist before 2008. It is an Irish entity developed to meet Irish consumer needs. Shell and Statoil had decided, for strategic reasons, to withdraw from the Irish market. The new owners were not from an oil company background. They were anxious not to be constrained by the boundaries of traditional oil company heritage.

This was crystallized in the idea that the new brand should equally well accommodate “a carton of milk as a can of lube oil”.

Our research had a key input to the success of the brand at a number of levels:

– Understanding consumer needs
– Speedy and cost effective mechanism for screening and selecting the name, identity and design for the new brand.
– Determining factors of success
– Understanding the needs of staff and station owners
– Providing a cost effective mechanism for analysing sales data
– Pre and post studies monitored change and developed a series of “Do’s and Don’t’s” for sites
– Developing key performance indicators and a cost effective mechanism for monitoring performance against these yardsticks
– We also developed a simple segmentation system facilitating market planning

From research four brand pillars were created as touch points for the Topaz brand.
These pillars are:

– Social and environmental responsibility
– Innovation
– Trust
– Value

B&A market research has been integral to the development of the Topaz brand over its lifespan to-date. The brand owners see the value of quality and actionable research and are committed to integrating research into their strategy going forward.

“Using our research we have been able to channel our board’s vision into selling more products our customers want on the shelves, connecting with them through things that matter to them – environment, CSR, and value.” (Elaine Mellon)

This research won the Marketing Society Research Excellence Award for Business to Business in 2010.


"...we have been able to channel our board’s vision into selling more products our customers want on the shelves..."

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