Recently we were brainstorming a couple of ideas for a new product and we took something which most people would agree does not need improving:
Glue Gun Wax
The Glue Gun Wax stick is something that is so simple that it requires the most basic form in order for it to function. It is literally a glue stick made of wax. There are no additional requirements, it just has to fit inside a predetermined hole within a glue gun and do its job of being melted into a pool of wax. There isn't really much you could do to improve its functionality. It functions exactly the way it was intended to with little or no drama.
For most people this should not be a problem, just accept it as the norm and move on.
Not for us.
See, as designers we don't get passionate about things that just DO their job. For us it needs to be memorable, it has to possess something which makes us notice it. If you look at a stick of glue gun wax, they all look the same. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, there's just nothing about it that excites us. They're round and they often come in different colours and sizes, but they never really make an impression.
A good example of this would be a door knob. Everyone can agree that the door handle has one simple function and that is to provide the user with something with which to open the door. Most of the time you would never even notice it was there, but sometimes you get the odd one that makes you stop and think.
Then comes an outrageous suggestion
So, we're at the drawing board and the conversation goes a little something like this: "Why don't we make a Glue Gun stick that is NOT round?"
I know what you're thinking, "who would suggest something so outrageous?" and I'll admit we did think it was a tad 'out there' even by our own standards. That was until we began to weigh the pros and cons. What if we could actually make it work? It would be risky for sure, as it is something that has never been done before. But.. (and this is an important realisation) if we did make it work it could be something really quite spectacular! After all, we are not afraid of being the first to do something (see ALUMA).
And so we set about designing it
With all further ideas and suggestions set to one side, we began the long and laborious process of prototyping and testing. Of course, it is one thing to create something that looks interesting but it is of no use if the product does not function as intended. Our first priority was to make sure that whatever shape we tested would actually work and be a practical solution.
Here are a couple of examples of products that may not function as intended 😂
The most trickiest part was that the stick itself must conform to a standard Glue Gun, and anyone who has ever used a glue gun will know that the hole is round. With such tough parameters to work with, it was not an easy task. Since it had never been done before, there was nothing pre-existing that could be referenced. It required us to create entirely new moldings and templates (which cost a fortune to make), and worse yet is that we had no clue as to whether or not each iteration would work.
First we went with a rounded square, which was a catastrophic failure. Then we added a couple more sides until it began to resemble that of a polygon shape. After multiple iterations ranging from hexagons to octagons we eventually settled on a 10-sided polygon, which if both equilateral and equiangular is commonly referred to as a 'Decagon'.
The beauty of the Decagon is that it has just enough sides that it fits well within a circle, without having the bland appearance of a single rounded edge. Instead what you get is a well-balanced array of stripes which look fantastic. Another advantage of having straight edges is that it provides us with a platform for adding our all-important branding.
Here's the 3D render that we ended up with:
And here's how it looks once formed into wax:
We hope you'll agree that it looks a lot more interesting than its predecessor, despite the fact that both will eventually end up as melted pools of wax. I guess the cynics amongst you could argue that we will all end up in a hole in the ground, but to that I say we should at least have some fun before we do :D
For now we are rolling these out in our 4 bestselling colours: Bronze, Blush, Ivory and Terracotta. Please note that the wax we are using is the same as our beloved Premium Sealing Wax sticks, however there may be some difference in colour between batches.
We also have some lovely new retail packaging coming soon..
Thanks for reading and for supporting our brand :)