A bit of DIY repair work today brought to my attention a nice bit of packaging innovation by Loctite Superglue. It's called the Perfect Pen, and in the words of the brand's website, this baby "provides the most precise and clean repair". I can vouch from personal experience that it does indeed "allow a drop to drop application with no mess."
Below are a few key learnings about advantages of using this approach to grow your brand and business.
The Perfect Pen is a great example of using pack format innovation to grow your core business. Rather than trying to grow by stretching into new categories, such as everyday glue, Loctite has "stuck" (sorry, couldn't resist that one) to its core business of strong glue. The benefit of this approach is that it reinforces what made the brand famous in the first place, simply finding a way to better deliver the core benefit.
Advantage 2: Reinforce memory structure
Pack format innovation is an opportunity to leverage and reinforce the distinctive memory structure of a brand, built through consistent use of brand properties. In the case of Loctite Superglue this is the "upside down" man you can see on the pack for the Perfect Pen.
This man is featured in the brand's communication, below, which demonstrates the power of Superglue by showing how it can stick him upside down in different places, including a plan wing and a diving board!
Advantage 3: solve a consumer problem
The great thing about pack format innovation is that it can really solve consumer problems. Not "emotionally connect to consumers at a higher order level to help create a sense of purpose in their life that blah blah blah". No. Just sort stuff out and make life a bit easier. A great way to highlight opportunities for pack format innovation is to use "immersive insight", a fancy name for simply watching consumers using your product in real time. Ask people about your product when they are sitting in a focus group and they may struggle to recall their frustrations. But spend time with them using the product in real time and you are likely to get richer feedback. And in the case of Loctite Superglue, I can tell you from personal experience that the normal size little tubes were pretty damn fiddly to use, a problem addressed with the Perfect Pen.
Advantage 4: premiumise your brand
Pack format innovation has the chance to deliver a double whammy for your brand, provided it solves a problem and delivers your core benefit better than before. First, it should have the potential to drive penetration by attracting new users to the brand. Second, it should be able to support a price premium, by delivering the benefit in a superior way. The trick is to ensure that you are able to price up enough so that you not only recoup the on-cost of the new pack format, you also make the new version more profitable. In the case of Loctite Superglue the Perfect Pen retails at £4.99, a 33% price premium per g versus a normal pack of the product, which is hopefully enough to make it more profitable. This means that even if the Perfect Pen "cannibalises" sales of the original product, the overall brand profitability goes UP.
In conclusion, Loctite Super Glue's Perfect Pen is a perfect example of how to use pack format innovation to grow your core brand and business. For more on the power of pack innovation to grow the core, see this post on WD 40's Smart Straw.