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Pad branding gets thumbs-up from Dragons’ Den

Pad branding gets thumbs-up from Dragons’ Den

Boot Buddy, a simple and ingenious device for cleaning muddy boots has been featured on Dragons’ Den – and Pad Creative designed the branding and website.

The product featured in the first programme of the new series, which aired on BBC2 on Sunday 24 July at 9pm.

Boot Buddy was invented by Arminder Dhillon and his older brother Gurminder who were looking for an easy and quick way of cleaning their muddy boots after sports. At the time Arminder was just 11 and Gurminder was 21. Gurminder said: “We were sick of being told off by mum for bringing mud into the house, so after football training one day Arminder took a water bottle, plastic knife and a washing up brush then combined them. I thought it was odd but his idea worked, well sort of.

“We then took the idea and had proper designs drawn up. After looking at all the different variations and possibilities we agreed that our original shape was the best. After a couple of months we were presented with a 3D prototype and to be fair it cleaned boots very well even though it was just a print-out.

The idea lay dormant for a couple of years but the brothers received such good feedback from everyone who tried Boot Buddy that they realised it could work as a business, Arminder, Gurminder and mum Rashpal asked Pad Creative to design the branding and website for Boot Buddy. That was back in 2014 when Arminder was just 13 and Gurminder was 23.

Gurminder said: “My initial Google search for a local design agency came up with Pad Creative so I rang and asked for a quote. I was so relieved that they were friendly, helpful and not nearly as expensive as I had feared! Adam Bishop was the Designer who answered that initial phone call and he’s the one we’ve worked with all the way through, along with Creative Director Alison Steward. They invited us in for a meeting and spent a lot of time while we talked through who we are and what we were looking for.”

Adam said: “It’s really important for us to get to know our clients and their product so that we can give a tailored design that’s absolutely right for them. From that first meeting we understood that the designs needed to be consumer-friendly and should sit comfortably alongside the big sports brands. The branding had to reflect professionalism, reliability, convenience and outdoor/active lifestyles. The accompanying palette and supporting devices of muddy footprints, grass and activity icons very much reflect the outdoors and the fun activities which result in dirty boots.

“It was important that we fully understood the market. The fun is in the activity itself – Boot Buddy is a solution to the otherwise arduous task of cleaning. Less time cleaning means more time having fun!”

Arminder was at school for that first meeting but he has been very much involved in the decision-making for his invention, choosing and approving colours and branding throughout the process.

Gurminder applied to Dragons’ Den soon after Boot Buddy’s launch in March 2015 but didn’t hear anything. He reapplied a couple of months later just as the business was taking off. Sales were going very well and by Christmas the business had almost sold out. The family were on a high – and that’s when they heard they had a conditional place on the show.

Filming itself involved hours of sitting in the Green Room waiting to be called on set. The family arrived at the studios at 6.30am but weren’t called into the Den until the afternoon. Gurminder said: “After all that time it would have been easy to lose concentration and fluff the most important part but we held it together. The Dragons could see we have a quality product and Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Touker Suleyman all snapped up the chance to invest in Boot Buddy, investing £20,000 each.”

Adam said: “It’s really exciting to see my designs on TV. I’m proud to have played a part in Boot Buddy’s success.”

Dragons’ Den aired on BBC 2 on Sunday 24 July at 9pm. Watch it on iPlayer