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New Packaging Polishes First Place Finish Car Care System's Brand Image

September 4, 2014
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The story: For 28 years, MetroTech Automotive has been selling its high quality First Place Finish car care system, which is designed to protect both the interior and exterior of vehicles, to auto dealerships across the United States. The dealers in turn resell the system, primarily to purchasers of premier cars by manufacturers like Lexus, Mercedes and BMW. 

The challenge: Last year MetroTech launched a redesign of its brand, from logo to website, to project a more distinctive and upscale brand image. It began the redesign with the First Place Finish car care kit.

There are five products in the car care system kit: Exterior Renewer, Sudsless Fabric Cleaner, Vinyl & Leather Conditioner, Car Wash Concentrate and Water Base Tire Dressing. The bottles are packaged in an attractive simulated leather case designed and sourced for MetroTech by signage, packaging and display systems provider Consortium 360.

MetroTech’s goal was to continue to project a “hard” image invoking the steel and chrome that would touch car lovers while refining the industrial appearance of its earlier kits into a more technical look. 

“We have had the same brand graphics and packaging for more than 15 years,” says Steve Kessel, MetroTech’s chief financial officer, “and the car care kit packaging had an industrial look. That look was intentional, since we were dealing with cars –– products made with steel and chrome. But this year we decided it was time to target our line more closely to the buyers of the upscale cars we are targeting.”

The solution: MetroTech worked closely with TricorBraun, one of North America’s leading providers of bottles, jars and other rigid packaging components, to design the new custom bottles of the five-part car care system, and with marketing consultant Red Moon Marketing to redesign the First Place Finish logo and package graphics. 

The new 12oz. bottles designed by TricorBraun replace the previous kit’s simple round bottle with an octagonal bottle that is molded with raised ribs on each side for a more secure grip while also adding visually to the overall technical design theme.

That theme is further reinforced with silver and black shrink sleeve labels that prominently display the new First Place Finish logo and identify each product descriptor. TricorBraun and sleeve manufacturer Atlantic Packaging collaborated to achieve the desired final label look on the complex bottle shape.

MetroTech and TricorBraun partnered to investigate various packaging materials, given the need for compatibility with product formulas, focus on resin prices and the need for a competitively priced bottle. Ultimately, MetroTech decided on PET for the bottles.

 The new First Place Finish kit was introduced to dealers in June 2014 and immediately received positive dealer feedback. According to Kessel, they were especially impressed with the more upscale brand image of the new kit.

 1. The automotive care company needed its system to possess a sophisticated look for its sophisticated clientele: A sleek leather-look zippered case designed and sourced by Consortium 360 keeps the five products together and protected.

2. The First Place Finish kit’s products were previously housed in simple round bottles. Now, the products are placed in TricorBraun’s custom octagonal PET bottles with molded ribs on the sides that provide better handling for the user.
 
3. Shrink sleeve labels with graphics by Red Moon Marketing finish the structures and turn the formerly industrial look into a more technical, polished design. Product descriptors and the new First Place Finish logo are prominently displayed.

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