sterno home

Finding Their New Northern Star

BOLTGROUP developed a brand strategy for Sterno Products after their acquisition of a new company, and created a new division name, Sterno Home.
What We Did

Brand Strategy

Brand Architecture

Brand Naming

Visual Identity System

Brand Design + Communications

Experience Design

Color Palettes


Brand Guidelines


Brand Coaching + Training

Brand Stewardship

Brand Production

Fabrication Coordination + Fulfillment


When our friends at Sterno Products acquired an entire new company, in a whole new category, in another country, they thought perhaps some brand help was in order. They came to us for strategic brand assistance. How do we take the new company, which has two divisions—ambient and outdoor lighting—and bring them into the Sterno family of products? Since 1997, Northern International, Inc. had been designing and selling indoor, flameless candles under several brands, as well as private label, and also designing and manufacturing outdoor landscaping and patio lights.

Our job was first to fully comprehend the overall brand framework, and next, to develop a relevant and realistic brand strategy that would make sense for both entities and demonstrate to Sterno Products the full, latent potential of the acquisition.


As with all brand strategy programs, we went for the truth. Why did the brand exist, and what business were they in? The brand naturally wanted to have a sense of comfort. However, it also needed to communicate innovation, design thinking, value, service, and above all, reflect the passion inherent in the culture of the business. It wanted to feel like a home lifestyle. Home. That was it. Sterno Home.

Adopting “Sterno Home” as the division name to replace “Northern International, Inc.” combines the very best elements of a simplified architecture under the Sterno Products corporate umbrella. One upfront benefit is that ongoing business relationships in wholesale or other retail channels would not be disrupted. Even though the Sterno name was squarely positioned in an institution / commercial business, it is a neutral name that can migrate easily. The Sterno visual identity has been updated several times in recent years, so there is likely little measurable equity in the mark. This allowed for new exploration into a retail / lifestyle position for Sterno Home.

Sterno Home Brand Architecture


Sterno Home was the perfect, ultra-simple solution to a complex brand strategy issue. Looking forward, this approach would lay the foundation for a brand strategy and architecture model ideal for targeting future home category acquisitions.

Using our new lifestyle-centric wordmark as the corporate ID, we quickly commenced a full rollout. The ongoing concern did not miss a beat in the marketplace. Our next job would be to bring the retail brands under the Sterno Home moniker into line. Stay tuned.


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