Itasca, Ill. — It's not necessarily the case that the suit makes the man, but a cap can certainly make the bottle.
Just ask Mike Enayah. The director of industrial design with Amcor Rigid Plastics North America knows what the right cap or closure can do for a container.
As an industrial designer with time spent in the furniture, architecture and automotive fields, Enayah brings a broad perspective to his position at packaging maker Amcor.
“If a bottle is [the] car, then the closures are the wheels of the car,” he said at the recent Plastic Caps & Closures 2015 conference in Itasca.
And that means a fancy cap — just like tricked out rims on a car — can impact the entire persona of a container.
Just like the familiar sputter of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or the pop of a champagne bottle, the sight, feel or sound of a closure can signal to the brain that something good is happening. “The brain has dopamine and it ties all of the senses to the product,” he said.
Bottled water comes in many different sizes and price points, costing less than 10 cents per bottle to several dollars, depending on the brand and where it is purchased.
Light weighting both the cap and bottle helps water companies still make a profit on the very low end of the market. But adding weight to the bottle and paying attention to the closure can add extra value to the product in the consumer minds.
“You can go the other direction and charge a whole lot of money because this experience will enhance the effect,” he said.
Kids drinks with cartoon character closures. Orange juice bottles and closures that are shaped like carafes. Caps that mimic and integrate bottle design.
These are all examples of how form can marry function to add value, create interest and drive sales, Eyanah said at the conference organized by Plastics News.
“That is extremely important because you need a partner, you need somebody in the closure business who is not selling a commodity, who is able to understand what your product is and help you develop a closure for it and help you develop a whole experience,” he said.
“I encourage a closer relationship between the brand owners and the cap and closure manufacturers. And I encourage the cap and closure manufacturers to have more people who are on the design side and the marketing side to be able to understand what the customer is looking for,” Enayah said.
Attention to detail when it comes to caps can result in significant value to even stock bottles, the designer said. “You take a basic bottle and you lavish on the closure, you lavish on the label and you have something that looks twice as premium as the basic,” he said.