New small packs for the automotive sector have been introduced globally by FUCHS to maximise customer benefits by means of new labels, ergonomic design and added sustainability thanks to the use of recycled materials. “The small pack retail sector is a very important growth area for us in Africa at the moment,” comments FUCHS LUBRICANTS SOUTH AFRICA Sales Director Andrew Cowling.
“We are focusing on the retail market in order to create better brand awareness among our customers,” adds National Commercial Sales Manager Neville Montague. The new look and feel is being extended across the following brands: TITAN, the premium automotive brand; AGRIFARM, for the agricultural industry; MAINTAIN, an ancillary range of coolants, cleaners and brake fluids; PLANTO, a biodegradable range; and, lastly, SILKOLENE for motorbikes and off-road applications.
“The range of lubricant products in the automotive sector is enormous, making it harder for customers to find exactly what they need. The new small packs for all automotive FUCHS product brands rise to this challenge,” highlights Cowling. The small packs have been optimised globally in terms of a unique new design that makes it easier for customers to choose the right product for the right application.
The evolution is readily apparent when comparing a traditional TITAN GT1 Flex bottle with the new one. The first noticeable feature is that the logo is now prominent at the top, together with the slogan ‘German technology.’ “We discovered that this was quite important when we spoke to our customers, as the phrase talks to the German reliability and technology that underpins every product,” stresses Cowling.
The unique TITAN typeface has received a facelift to really stand out, with the viscosity grade also highly visible. Directly below is a photorealistic pictogram, as opposed to an animated one, which is important in terms of literacy. “The background allows for the label to blend into the background and almost appear as if it has been printed onto the packaging itself,” notes Cowling. “The most important information the customer needs to know about the lubricant is provided in a concise and comprehensible manner.”
The quality level of the product is colour-coded near the bottom of the bottle with gold for best quality, bronze for good and silver for better. This colour-coding is carried to the back of the bottle, which prominently displays the different industry-standard approvals, in addition to FUCHS’ own approval and recommendations. Lastly, a QR code can be scanned to allow customers to select complete lubrication plans for their vehicles from the FUCHS Oil Chooser, whether a passenger, light- or heavy-duty vehicle or even an agricultural machine.
“The new bottles allow for a great brand identity across our full range of pack sizes, from 200 ml to 500 ml, 1-litre and 5-litres. Customers will now immediately be aware of the FUCHS shelf when they walk into a store,” says Montague. From a functionality perspective, the rib at the base of the neck has been strengthened for added support during transportation. Importantly, the larger opening makes it easier to pour without any glugging, in addition to a lower handle to aid with stability while pouring, as well as making the bottle easier to carry by retaining the top handle. A new tamper-resistant cap ensures that the bottle has not been opened before.
The pack sizes themselves have been changed for convenience, with the 5-litre bottle now available in a 4 by 5-litre pack size, while the 1-litre is now available in a handy 12 by 1-litre pack size. “Surveys indicated that this is what the market is leaning towards,” points out Montague. “Not only is it more affordable to customers and more geared to the quantities they actually use, but these packs are also easier to handle in terms of stock.”
A change particular to the South African market is that William Penn will be rebranded under the TITAN umbrella, while retaining the same premium formulation. “Especially in terms of our growth in Africa, it is important for us to standardise on our naming and brand conventions so we have a uniform approach in terms of marketing and brand awareness across the region,” adds Cowling.
Another key factor is sustainability, with the new bottle not only made from recycled material, but being 100% recyclable itself. FUCHS globally has invested significantly in transforming into a carbon-neutral organisation, with all of its affiliates following suit as well. “It is important to note that whenever you buy one of our products, you are making a tangible contribution to this environmental stewardship,” continues Cowling.
The new packaging started to filter through by end November 2021, with the initial focus on the TITAN range, followed by William Penn in early 2022. “We anticipate a gradual phasing out of the old and phasing in of the new, with the expectation that by March or April no more old packaging will go through our plant. I am looking forward to see the all-new packaging on our customers’ shelves,” concludes Cowling.