A packaging design change-up for GE Lighting’s automotive headlights promises a double benefit, making it simpler for consumers to find replacement bulbs and freeing up space for retailers.
The redesign, which is currently being fine-tuned, is expected to roll out commercially in North America in mid-2016. GE Lighting is working with Cleveland-based agency Brokaw to create the new packaging.
“There were three key points we were trying to keep in mind” for the redesign, says Donnie Kruger, North American product manager for automotive and aircraft at GE Lighting. “One was to simplify the shopping experience for the consumer coming in at the point of purchase. Another was to maximize the selling space for the retailer and its environment, and the third was to reduce the [warehouse] storage space and shipment requirements.”
To accomplish these goals, the company is redesigning both retail and commercial packaging for its full range of automotive lights. The portfolio currently comprises 400 to 500 stock-keeping units, but that number will shrink during a product rationalization being conducted alongside the redesign.
Package size reduction has been a key goal for the new packaging. The peggable carded blisters used to pack GE Standard bulbs and premium-quality GE Nighthawk and Nighthawk Platinum bulbs have been reduced 10% to 30%.
The smaller packages help retailers maximize merchandising efficiency and reduce the amount of product stored in a back room or behind a counter. “For those accounts that really don’t have a lot of space, they can free about a third of their planogram,” Kruger says.
At the same time, the new package graphics create an easy-to-understand hierarchy for good, better and best products, using icons and text to convey how bright the lights are and how far and wide they shine.
Augmenting that information, the back of each GE Nighthawk and Nighthawk Platinum blister card is printed with an image of a deer standing by the side of the road—as it would be seen by a driver whose vehicle was equipped with that particular headlight. Beside the image is the same deer as it would appear if illuminated by a GE Standard auto bulb.
For top-of-the-line GE Nighthawk Xenon bulbs, the package structure is unchanged; it is a round plastic case. But the package graphics for the Xenon products have been changed to harmonize with the icons, colors and imagery on the blister packs.
GE Lighting also is redesigning its commercial multipacks. In place of its old, origami-like paper automotive-bulb packaging (which dates to the mid-1900s), the company will use boxes containing a sealed bag for bulbs sold to commercial accounts.
In addition to providing better protection for the bulbs, the new commercial packs are 10% to 15% smaller than the old packaging, offering storage and shipping efficiencies to distributors and other channel members. According to Kruger, the commercial packaging “is much better than the old, and we’re also using a lot less paper now.”
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