What we did
- Structural Packaging
- Manufacturing Liaison
- Consumer Research
Our involvement with the NA Laundry division of Unilever (and later with Sun Products) started very tentatively with a few pencil sketches for a single bottle and grew into a huge multi-year engagement as we helped them with the transition to concentrated detergent formulas across most of their structural packaging (a change we highly supported).
Clean and (Not So) Simple
One of our most challenging design projects for Unilever was to design a highly efficient structural design for a 96 oz laundry bottle to allow 3x concentrated laundry detergents to be sold in a club store environment (a first for Unilever). We were asked to incorporate a tapped dispenser, consider shrink-wrapped graphics, and work with existing production equipment to create efficient pallet pack-outs. To further complicate matters Unilever wanted to capture the Design DNA of their cute Small & Mighty bottle in this new structural design.
Working with Teams
Our first job was to identify and understand the differences between shopping in a club-store environment and a regular big-box retail store. We then took a deep dive with the manufacturing plants and molding vendors to understand any process restrictions. Laundry detergent is a super-high volume manufacturing process and efficiency of the structural packaging is key.
Once we understood best practices we started developing our designs. Early models and 3D renders were used in consumer focus groups for feedback, and throughout the development process there were multiple checks with Unilever’s in-house engineers and external vendors.
We were also considering secondary packaging (laundry detergents are almost always displayed in a palletized format in club stores) so secondary packaging became very important.
“Collaborative, resourceful and world-class design thinkers and partners who bring to life smart, innovative, consumer-driven and manufacturable solutions.”Vincent Masotta Director, Visual Branding
It Cleaned Up
The bottle’s inviting new form appealed to consumers, and the oversize shrink-wrap allowed for impactful branding… the key for success in a club store. As a nice bonus the packaging was awarded a 2009 Bronze Pentaward.
Ultimately though, the success of the design is proven by the fact that it is now used across multiple brands, in retail stores and club stores and has been adapted to multiple sizes.
We’re proud to have contributed to the transition to concentrated formulations - it makes sense for the consumer and for the environment.