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When is an Amaray case not an Amaray case?

Amaray has long been considered the market leader in media packaging – particularly for DVD cases. And, for a long time, the company had been a victim of its own success with the term “Amaray case” becoming synonymous with “DVD case” regardless of what brand. Polyline, however, is starting to see a reversal of this trend. Fewer people are using the terms interchangeably; most customers prefer to use the term “DVD cases” when placing an order.

Out of the hundred or so calls an inside sales person will field in a given day, only one or two of those callers will ask for an Amaray case. But, out of those callers who are asking for Amaray by name, most of those are still using the term generically. Some of our competitors are doing this as well, which has led to some confusion when our customers are trying to compare prices.

“When a customer asks for an Amaray case, the first thing we want to know is how much the customer is looking to spend,” Mary Crevoiserat, inside sales manager for Polyline, said. “That will tell us whether they are looking for a real Amaray brand DVD case, because people who are seeking an Amaray brand case usually know the value of the case.”

“Our only problem right now is the Internet,” she continued. There are sites advertising Amaray cases for 10 or 15-cents per piece, which just isn’t possible when you’re talking about Amaray as a brand.

True Amaray brand DVD cases are made with 100% virgin material. This creates a case that is heavier and stronger than cases which contain recycled materials. It also creates a case that is more expensive to produce.

“Amaray has long been known for the quality and durability of its products,” said Crevoiserat. “They are known for making excellent products that last and are usually a little more expensive.”

You’d think that once a brand name becomes synonymous with a category of items that its use would only become more pervasive, but Amaray has been a long-time player in the media packaging industry and the use of its name has changed over the years. Polyline has been carrying a variety of Amaray media packaging since the 1970s, said Chief Operating Officer Mike Schlobohm. For a long time, when someone asked for an Amaray case, they were talking about the Amaray audio cassette box, he said.

As one of the first manufacturers of DVD cases, Amaray worked hand-in-hand with DVD producers to create packaging that made sense for this burgeoning industry. In this case, it meant creating a packaging solution that was similar in size to VHS packaging. Why? Because that meant that video stores could use the same point of sale displays to feature DVDs or VHS tapes. And, for the home consumer, it meant that DVDs could be stored on the same shelves as their VHS tapes.

So, when the DVD industry was new, Amaray took the lead and created a case that became a standard in the media packaging industry. As a result, the phrase Amaray case became interchangeable with DVD case. It was Amaray’s reputation for quality, however, that made the name last as long as it had.

“I’d have to say there will always be some people who will use the name Amaray generically for a DVD case,” said Schlobohm, “but I think the trend is fading.”

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