The power of packaging innovation

Packaging is one of the most powerful forms of innovation, especially in terms of helping you grow your core business. As I've posted on before, growing the core has many advantages over trying to grow by stretching into new markets. You make what is strong even stronger,

One of my favourite examples of this is on WD40, the multi-purpose lubricant which stops squeaks, unlocks stuck bolts amongst its many uses . I've been lucky to work on this brilliant brand, which has delivered sustained and profitable growth over many years by growing the core: one single product.

WD40 used to come with a little straw taped on the side, used to help direct the spray. The problem was that people would often loose the straw. This led to the creation of "Smart Straw", a new WD40 pack with an integrated straw which flips up to use, and back down to store.

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This is definitely smart on several fronts:

1. Solves a real problem

This is not about making the pack look nicer or a gimmicky new feature. Smart straw solves a real problem, and makes the product easier to use.

2. Creating mental availability

By making WD40 easier to use, Smart Straw creates a nice bit of news on the brand to help make the brand distinctive, and so create "mental availability". This in turn can help drive penetration.

3. Increases profitability

Smart Straw offers consumers real added value, and so its worth paying a bit more for. This means that Smart Straw is more profitable. So, even if people buy it instead of a normal pack, WD40 still makes more money.

In conclusion, WD40 Smart Straw is an excellent examples of packaging innovation to grow the core. It solves a real problem, makes the brand distinctive and drives profitable growth.

I'd love to hear any other examples of innovative packaging to grow the core – if you have one to share, please add a comment.