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Remedent's new package turns heads

Manufacturer of an unconventional toothbrush addresses consumer requests and increases sales with a switch from blister packaging to a clear PETG tube.
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FILED IN:  Package design  > Structural
     

To Kenneth Hegemann director of research at Remedent™ USA Inc. the point was obvious: If two heads are better than one what could be better than three? The challenge for Escondido CA-based Remedent manufacturer of three-headed tooth-and-gumbrushes became how to communicate its product’s differences and benefits to potential consumers.

Certainly the Remedent brushes—which feature a large toothbrush and tongue scraper on one end and a two-headed gumbrush on the other—attract attention when set next to a standard toothbrush. Without complementary packaging however the brushes stood a good chance of being passed over by consumers scanning store shelves quickly. According to Hegemann that’s what happened with the company’s previous packaging a clear polyvinyl chloride blister attached to a four-color-printed backing card that Remedent has used to market its toothbrushes for three years.

The new and more successful package which first appeared on store shelves in March ’00 meets all of Remedent’s criteria for a redesign. A clear polystyrene base with platform keeps both ends of the brush visible on shelves while the clear glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate cylinder showcases the entire product and friction-fits over the PS base. Tulox Plastics (Marion IN) supplies the package components.

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High standards

Remedent’s research indicated that about 65% of toothbrush shoppers approach the toothbrush display area without knowing which product they will purchase. “Impulse is therefore an important factor” Hegemann says “so we needed a package that would jump off the shelf at the consumer.” That included brilliant pleasing colors to attract consumers. The new package incorporates four bright yellow and purple labels to help catch the eye of the consumer.

In addition to knockout shelf presence Hegemann says Remedent had the following criteria in mind when designing the new package:

• Immediate visibility of product. “Our toothbrush is unique in that it has brushes on both ends of the handle” Hegemann says. “We needed to be certain that the consumer would realize at first glance that there are brushes at both ends.” This presented a challenge because gravity-feed merchandising racks in most stores have about 1” of blind space at the bottom. The Remedent brush needed to be elevated within its package so that the second brush would be visible above that blind spot he explains.

As a solution the package’s PS base elevates the tooth-and-gumbrush above the 1” blind spot on store shelves. A brightly colored label calls attention to each end of the brush highlighting each head’s individual purpose.

• Remedent wanted the package to double as a travel tube. “In the past we have received many requests for a travel tube because our toothbrush will not fit into the travel tubes that are available in stores” Hegemann says. “We felt a strong need to fulfill the requests.”

Consequently Hegemann designed the package so that its PS base and top along with the PETG tube would be sturdy enough to withstand repeated handling and travel. A round hole in the base provides ventilation and drainage when the package is used as a travel case.

• The package needed to be narrow enough to fit into the standard-width gravity feed display trays. At the same time Remedent wanted the package to be a bit taller than its competition yet short enough to fit into all display space restrictions.

• The company wanted a package that would present an image of premium quality. According to Hegemann that included “a different feel from other similar packages—an elegant feel for perceived value.” The new package’s PETG tube provides clear visibility of product as well as a smooth feel that is appealing to the consumer.

• Consistent correct orientation in display trays so the front of the package always faced forward. The square package base orients easily on shelves. It is also injection-molded to include a C-shaped protrusion which ensures that the brush faces forward in the tube at all times.

A tall order in terms of packaging no doubt but one that Hegemann addressed point-by-point when he designed the tooth-and-gumbrush’s new high-visibility look.

Winning solution

Hegemann says the cost to redesign the package was minimal. “We purchased molds for the base and top. We also purchased a cutting die for the display hang tab” he explains. “There were no tooling charges for the tube. We offer both adult and junior brushes and all package parts are interchangeable for the two brush sizes except labels. The tube is simply cut shorter for the junior brush because it’s a simple extrusion.”

The tooth-and-gumbrush retails for about $4.99 and is currently in test markets in the Northwest U.S. as well as overseas. Although he says the new package costs 40% more to produce than the old blister package Hegemann believes that the package revision is helping to get the product noticed on store shelves. “The response from consumers has been exceptional” he says. “Repeat orders are brisk. Users love the product and become loyal customers.”

See sidebar to this article: The packaging process

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