The story: Driven Racing Oil manufactures high-technology lubricants to optimize the engine performance of racing vehicles, from hot rods to NASCAR and Indy cars, whether driven by professionals or weekend amateur racers. Its products are also used to protect the valuable vintage engines of collectors’ classic cars. “These are custom oils formulated to meet the high demands of specific engines,” says owner Lake Speed Jr., “from hot-running high speed racing engines to the engines in one-of-a-kind 70-year-old classic cars.”
The challenge: “Our specialty oils are completely different from the standard motor oils consumers use in their cars,” says Speed, “but they are often sitting on the same shelf in an automotive or specialty ‘speed’ shop. We needed distinctive packaging to make them immediately identifiable as Driven products and to leverage our strong reputation.”
After custom-formulating its oils, Driven Racing rigorously tests them in the type of engines they are designed for, to ensure they will perform as intended. This emphasis on quality has built Driven Racing Oils a strong reputation with professional race teams, amateur racing enthusiasts and car collectors around the world.
For its first ten years, Driven had packaged its specialty oils in stock motor oil bottles, relying on labeling to differentiate it from competitors and to identify its various products, each of which is used by a specific engine type. But as sales grew, both domestically and overseas, the company’s marketing department concluded that Driven needed a distinctive package, and especially one with a recognizable non-verbal element that would let customers anywhere in the world immediately identify its products.
“We needed something like the Nike ‘swoosh,’” says Speed.
The solution: Driven turned to its current bottle provider, TricorBraun, one of North America’s leading providers of bottles, jars and other rigid packaging components, for design assistance. TricorBraun Design & Innovation Group is a business unit of the packaging provider, and the group’s primary mission is to design, engineer and manage the development, production and delivery of customized rigid packaging solutions for a wide range of CPG categories.
The resulting collaboration between Driven marketers and TricorBraun designers focused on meeting that specific market need: a unique and instantly recognizable package.
TricorBraun met Driven Racing Oil’s need for a non-verbal distinctive identifier with an innovative bottle design in the shape of the letter D, echoing the Driven name. This lets it stand out from both commodity oil bottles and competitors’ custom bottles. The label, with its bright orange logo, follows the D shape, and the bottle’s eye-catching orange custom closure helps it stand out even more on the shelf.
The physical design of the bottle also meets two more of Driven’s packaging objectives. It is sized to be filled as a quart for the U.S. market or as a liter for overseas markets, and it features a 38mm neck orifice, as opposed to the 28mm orifice of traditional oil bottles. The customers Driven tested the larger orifice with had been delighted by its quicker, smoother pour, which powered the choice.
“The result is, we now have a unique bottle design that projects our quality image and a single bottle that we can use for all of our products in all of our markets,” says Speed.
With TricorBraun’s input, Driven’s vision for the bottle design evolved from concepts through 3D renderings to FDM models, enabling Driven to arrive at the final solution. The resulting custom bottle is manufactured by CKS Packaging from TricorBraun molds, and the custom closure is made by Reliable Packaging. Driven designs its own labels, which are printed by Resource Label Group.
> PACKAGE DESIGN
1. A custom closure in vibrant orange draws attention to the specialty oils at shelf.
2. The bottle, in the shape of a D, serves as a differentiator, allowing quick brand recognition for customers. The new structure is used across the entire product line.
3. The products are formulated for certain engines. Labels designed by Driven and printed by Resource Label Group spell out the features and benefits to car owners.