Design That Sticks

Case Study: Packaging Research

Loctite was acquired by the German Fortune 500 company Henkel in 1997 and is today one of the corporation’s largest global brands. It is the only consumer brand also serving professional markets that offers a full range of high performance adhesive and sealing solutions.

In 2010, Henkel added a Loctite endorsement to its PL construction adhesives. While this presented a significant opportunity, Henkel faced the challenge of bringing two strong brands together. Naturally questions arose around the communication of the new “Loctite PL”, such as how to position the two brands in juxtaposition, and which design features should be incorporated into the new packaging.

Optimizing packaging design is vital, especially for products that serve both consumer and professional markets. Those who believe that packaging isn’t important if the product itself is good, are in denial of the fact that most people choose or indeed neglect a book based on its cover.

Henkel commissioned research partner, B2B International, to assess a suite of packaging design concepts for the new Loctite PL packaging. A number of focus groups were held with trades professionals and consumer DIYers, and the designs were modified during the course of the groups, based on participant feedback.

The preferred design concept was considered uniform across the portfolio, and importantly a part of the Loctite family. The colors were acknowledged to be useful as identifiers of the product (for example, the landscape product in green).

Loctite PL is now a leading construction adhesive and is found in most hardware and big box stores.

Six Reasons Why Packaging Design Is Important:

  • To capture attention, which is particularly important in a crowded retail environment where buyers have a choice
  • To support the brand image and identity, in that certain design features will help communicate key word associations with the brand (such as professionalism, flexibility, innovation, eco-friendly, etc.)
  • To differentiate an offer from other brands and products on the market; packaging should help make a brand and product distinct and different from the competition
  • To position an offering at a certain value, such as through the use of certain colors and images to represent a premium product, or the innovative design and solidity of the packaging itself reflecting higher value contents
  • To engage users, in that packaging provides an ideal opportunity for communicating a brand’s story, in addition to calls-to-action such as a website address, coupon cut-out, etc.
  • To educate the market, from providing instructions on appropriate or optimal usage, to required information such as technical specifications.
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