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Taking success on the sleeve

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Can premium price be the result of the right packaging? Packaging Magazine journalist Laine Lister finds out how one company successfully revitalised their brand image.

Anyone who has stepped foot in a supermarket would appreciate the importance of brand impact for a product’s survival in a competitive marketplace.

So how do you ensure that a product’s design raises customer perception and expectation of its performance?

According to Sydney-based Selleys , an attractive packaging is a good place to start.

Selleys decided to revitalize their range of Polyglaze car products to update the black bottles that featured simple adhesive labels, with something to stop in-store traffic.

If clothes make the man, perhaps packaging has a similar effect on the product.

Selleys brand-revamp tested this theory with results that set sales soaring.

The project was tackled with creative help from the team at Zlata Creative Design and specialised technological skill from manufacturers Le Mac Australia Group .

The aim of the makeover was to create brand impact, and according to Polyglaze brand manager Madeleine Anderson, the decision paid off.

“We hoped to strengthen branding, get consistency in our products and get a smarter feeling,” she said.

In order to make an impact, the company needed the product to be unique-looking and stand out on the shelf.

How do you take a product that sells sufficiently, to one that sells at a premium?

Shrink to the occasion

Shrink sleeve technology is a complex process when combined with high-resolution graphics and shapely bottles.

Le Mac, who concentrated closely to detail, altered the machine used for the shrink-wrapping specifically for the project.

The project, which set a new benchmark in technological innovation, had all involved on their toes, and resulted in an advance in the product category.

The 360 degree, top-to-toe sleeve posed several challenges to the package manufacturer, who worked closely with the graphic designer to produce a multi-award winning design.

Le Mac general manager Mike Cowan said distortion was the biggest challenge faced in the manufacturing process.

“We needed to control the shrinkage to minimize distortion and get a snug fit around the contours of the bottles,” he said.

This was the first time such an extreme application on this shape bottle was used in Australia, which translated to a trial-and-error process to maintain metallic appearance in the high-shrink areas.

The innovation and technological skill achieved in the revamp landed Le Mac a number of awards in the Packaging Council of Australia 2005 Australian Packaging Awards, and set industry tongues wagging.

Cowan, who designs and distributes the machines used for such skilled applications such as this, said, “Pre-distortion was technically demanding because we needed to be sure the post-shrink proportions would position the photo of the car on the pistol grip.”


The project brief for the graphic designer was complex and required consumer trust to be inspired by the package.

Zlata Creative Design creative director Zlata, who being a creative worker goes by only one name, explained Selley’s request for a design that was consumer-engaging.

“It was all about feeling good about your car, for the car owner who is smart and doesn’t want to spend hours washing their car,” she said.

Shrink sleeve, a material the designer was familiar with, when combined with the complex bottle shapes, challenged Zlata, as the distortion factor in the shrink process was unknown.

Zlata was actively involved in the creation and contributed several suggestions that added to the success of the packaging.

She recommended raising the sleeve to the cap, making the package attractive and functional; and tamper proofing was later built into the sleeve with two separate perforations for visible tamper evidence.

Revitalising the brand meant contemporising the package and creating a uniform team of the product in the Polyglaze range.

It was important that the products were individually recognisable as being part of the range, but Selleys was keen to make product selection simple, to ensure customers choose the right product easily.

This design was left in Zlata’s hand.

Zlata created the silver banner on the products in the range to provide the quick solution to this request.

“It highlights the product’s purpose and communicates it clearly to the customer,” said Zlata.

The design is functional and despite lots of copy on the label, is clear and adds value to the product.

The graphics and aesthetics are head-and-shoulders above the previous industrial-looking design, and this has translated to boosted sales.

Anderson said Selleys was very happy with the revitalization, which has certainly improved the brand.

Prices remained unchanged for almost a year after the revamp to maintain customer support and since increasing to a premium price, product sales are better than ever.

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