Stimulo partnered with Amica to design a new lighter case able to turn BIC’s universal product into a difficult-to-copy exclusive item.
Design strategy at work
During our design lab phase, several proposals where evaluated and matured. A metal sober body was selected for a high-end consumer perception, combined with the sof-touch of the bottom part, making it heavy and warm at the same time. Users could feel the value through the metal look and weight, while enjoying the rubber warmth. The lighter has a protections cover, which is mechanically opened by a spring loaded hinge released by a pusher button at the front.
The project goal was double: enhance user experience by using a valuable case, while preventing competition to easily copy the design.
Given its heavy weight and cost, a zinc alloy was chosen for the main body, which we complemented with thermoplastic rubber using a double injection process. The concept soon seduced the BIC board members because it was adding real value to the product at a low cost. Given the big production estimations, around 5 million units per year, Stimulo worked on cost optimization. The engineering team made a conscientious job reducing the material used in the product pieces as well as the assembly time. To assure the quality of the product and the project timelines, Stimulo participated in the industrialization of the lighter case in China. Before BIC launched the new lighter case, Stimulo took care of the photo-shooting sessions to ensure the product benefits were clearly communicated.