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With so many salon haircare products available today, it can be difficult for one brand to stand out, especially when competing with big names like Paul Mitchell and Aveda.

Salon haircare manufacturer L'anza Research Intl. found its edge with a new custom-molded bottle the company jointly developed with W. Braun (Chicago IL). The bottle's front panel features a molded cavity in which a free sample of a related product sits. The Azusa CA-based company hopes this added incentive will counteract the advantage competitors gain from big-budget advertising. "We'd like to put our money and effort into actually giving the consumer a free product" says Pasquale Russo vice president of operations at L'anza. "The benefit to the customers is that they get to try something new. The benefit to L'anza is that once they've tried it they'll buy the larger size." L'anza is using the bottle for its best-selling shampoos and conditioners. Free samples include new items and styling products but the company already sees the potential for cross-merchandising with other products both in and out of the cosmetics industry. The sample is held in place with pressure-sensitive tape. Pilferage is said not to be an issue given the close quarters of most salons. W. Braun produced the mold for the 10-oz high-density polyethylene bottles which are slightly larger but consistent in shape with original bottles for the company's two product lines or "systems." The bottles are extrusion/blow-molded by Simi (Anaheim CA). Seaquist Closures (Mukwonago WI) supplies the polypropylene disc-top cap. Graphics are screen-printed in two and three colors. Low-density PE tubes containing free sample items are supplied by American National Can (Chicago IL). They're offset-printed in two colors.

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