f AkzoNobel – Mini paint roller | FLEX/design
bg
lijn
lijn
menu close
lijn

Help people make more informed color choices

Help people make more informed color choices
Golden Nut NL Packaging Award

Mini paint rollers for AkzoNobel

For AkzoNobel, we developed an innovative paint tester that allows consumers to try out different paint colors on their walls and help them find a color scheme and style that best suits their taste and interior.

Choice anxiety

Design brief

Research shows that 4 out of 10 consumers are overwhelmed by the number of available colors in DIY retail channels. They’re afraid of making the wrong choice. As a result, 16 percent of these people refrain from buying at all! Many others paint their interior walls in neutral shades. They ignore their personal preferences and go for safer ‘whites.’

To help people overcome their anxiety, AkzoNobel asked us to develop a tester. This new product should enable people to try out different colors at home. The brief challenged us to design one solution that meets the requirements of various countries and retail channels: The shared solution and supply chain were crucial in order maximizing economies of scale.

Choice anxiety

Research shows that 4 out of 10 consumers are overwhelmed by the number of available colors in DIY retail channels. They’re afraid of making the wrong choice. As a result, 16 percent of these people refrain from buying at all! Many others paint their interior walls in neutral shades. They ignore their personal preferences and go for safer ‘whites.’

Design brief

To help people overcome their anxiety, AkzoNobel asked us to develop a tester. This new product should enable people to try out different colors at home. The brief challenged us to design one solution that meets the requirements of various countries and retail channels: The shared solution and supply chain were crucial in order maximizing economies of scale.

Multidisciplinary approach

One solution for all channels

We kicked off the project with a workshop, where we brought together people from different countries and disciplines. Marketers, technologists, paint specialists and filling line experts worked with our designers and engineers. The creative sessions resulted in many ideas for paint applicators, structural packaging, and point-of-sale material. Our designers brought the concepts to life in colorful sketches. In consumer research, these were used to discuss the ideas with future users.

Despite considerable differences in markets, retail environments, and logistic requirements, we met AkzoNobel’s primary objective. We found one solution that suits all the retail channels, in the different countries, both online and offline. And all the time, we designed with the end user in mind. We made sure the tester is convenient and intuitive to use. But even more important, the applicator delivers a more representative result than existing testers on the market.

Multidisciplinary approach

We kicked off the project with a workshop, where we brought together people from different countries and disciplines. Marketers, technologists, paint specialists and filling line experts worked with our designers and engineers. The creative sessions resulted in many ideas for paint applicators, structural packaging, and point-of-sale material. Our designers brought the concepts to life in colorful sketches. In consumer research, these were used to discuss the ideas with future users.

One solution for all channels

Despite considerable differences in markets, retail environments, and logistic requirements, we met AkzoNobel’s primary objective. We found one solution that suits all the retail channels, in the different countries, both online and offline. And all the time, we designed with the end user in mind. We made sure the tester is convenient and intuitive to use. But even more important, the applicator delivers a more representative result than existing testers on the market.

Technical innovation

In the engineerings phase we used our experience developing structural packaging solutions to manage and reduce risks successfully. Wherever possible, we used proven technology. For instance: we approached the applicator as a standard – bottle and cap – packaging solution.

The winning concept is an innovative miniature paint roller: a polyethylene bottle with a dedicated applicator on top. An aluminum seal and a transparent plastic cap protect the paint from drying. Although this might sound like a straightforward concept, the realization required all of our technical expertise.

We worked from prototype to prototype to guarantee the tester delivers perfect paint results. After we had developed the working principle, our engineers ensured a smooth transition from design to production.

In this process, our engineers paid particular attention to the bottle’s squeezability, the quality of the roller and its right distance from the bottle’s opening, the size of the label area for branding and mandatory legal communication, international mail slot proof dimensions and production costs.

Finally, filling these small containers proved a challenge. We needed high precision liquid filling equipment that can handle small volumes and a wide range of different colors. We also played a significant role in this final stage of the development. We integrated the input of all parties involved: AkzoNobel, suppliers of filling line machines and manufacturers of the structural packaging. And we made sure that all the nitty gritty technical details worked exactly the way they are supposed to.

Technical innovation

In the engineerings phase we used our experience developing structural packaging solutions to manage and reduce risks successfully. Wherever possible, we used proven technology. For instance: we approached the applicator as a standard – bottle and cap – packaging solution.

The winning concept is an innovative miniature paint roller: a polyethylene bottle with a dedicated applicator on top. An aluminum seal and a transparent plastic cap protect the paint from drying. Although this might sound like a straightforward concept, the realization required all of our technical expertise.

We worked from prototype to prototype to guarantee the tester delivers perfect paint results. After we had developed the working principle, our engineers ensured a smooth transition from design to production.

In this process, our engineers paid particular attention to the bottle’s squeezability, the quality of the roller and its right distance from the bottle’s opening, the size of the label area for branding and mandatory legal communication, international mail slot proof dimensions and production costs.

Finally, filling these small containers proved a challenge. We needed high precision liquid filling equipment that can handle small volumes and a wide range of different colors. We also played a significant role in this final stage of the development. We integrated the input of all parties involved: AkzoNobel, suppliers of filling line machines and manufacturers of the structural packaging. And we made sure that all the nitty gritty technical details worked exactly the way they are supposed to.

Impact on sales

Confident consumers

The feedback from the different countries is very positive. The colorful testers stand out in various retail environments and sales are beyond expectations. The testers are future proof and fit the multi-channel strategy of AkzoNobel. The concept is regarded by many as a breakthrough in the land of color swatches and a roll out worldwide is expected soon.

But more important; results show that the testers help people to be more confident in their color choice. AkzoNobel sees a significant decrease in the dropout percentage (consumers who refrain from buying paint at all because of color choice anxiety). Also, the conversion rates are great. Once you feel comfortable with a particular color, you’ll order exactly that shade and not a competitor’s look-alike.

Impact on sales

The feedback from the different countries is very positive. The colorful testers stand out in various retail environments and sales are beyond expectations. The testers are future proof and fit the multi-channel strategy of AkzoNobel. The concept is regarded by many as a breakthrough in the land of color swatches and a roll out worldwide is expected soon.

Confident consumers

But more important; results show that the testers help people to be more confident in their color choice. AkzoNobel sees a significant decrease in the dropout percentage (consumers who refrain from buying paint at all because of color choice anxiety). Also, the conversion rates are great. Once you feel comfortable with a particular color, you’ll order exactly that shade and not a competitor’s look-alike.

Already launched with great success in France and the Netherlands, the new-look testers will soon be introduced in the UK and Ireland, with other regions to follow