What makes consumers pick one cosmetic product over another? Variables such as a trusted brand and an appealing price obviously play big roles, but packaging, too, is crucial — especially for new brands trying to break into a saturated beauty market.
Analysts predict the global cosmetics market will jump 13 percent annually until at least 2021, meaning companies hoping to compete alongside Revlon and L’Oréal for pieces of the billion-dollar pie should take heed.
Tear off the recognizable names and remove the quirky, attention-grabbing monikers, and what do you have? A carton, a bottle, or a tube that can speak volumes about brand identity. Just make sure its look is saying what you want it to.
Pack Smart From the Start
Whether your cosmetics packaging just isn’t clicking or you’re starting a new design, ask yourself these three questions to ensure your packaging and product align:
- What kind of brand do you want to be?
Before you draw up any visual packaging prototypes, you must establish a concrete brand profile. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your brand’s purpose so you can attract those you want to target.
This profile will define your brand’s message, voice, and personality; it can convey an overall look and feel (e.g., quirky or sophisticated), or outline the specific qualities of your target consumer, such as age, income, or lifestyle. The more in-depth the profile, the closer the product’s visual presentation will align with the company’s preferred branding wishes and requirements.
- Does the packaging pose any customer experience red flags?
As for usability, the consumer’s experience rules. Will the packaging be easy to use, or will it be difficult to squeeze or hold onto?
This comes down to testing, testing, and more testing. Find anyone who fits your customer profile, send him or her home with a packaging prototype to use, and encourage honest, relevant feedback. It’s the only way you’ll find out if your pump dispenses lotion everywhere except the hand or presents some other problem.
- Does the formula like the package?
Some formulas and packages don’t play nicely, so always keep package compatibility in mind. Is it a gel that needs to be pumped to ensure convenient access to the product, or does it need to be diffused by a mister or spray nozzle? Does the formula have to be kept in a glass bottle to prevent degradation? Can it be exposed to sunlight in a clear package?
Doing stability and package compatibility testing before mass-producing your products will avoid issues.
Make sure your bottles and jars don’t lose their aesthetic appeal. For example, see how a clear package looks when it’s partially empty. Package and product should complement — not detract from — each other.
Ultimately, your goal should be to create cosmetics packaging that grabs your consumers’ attention and tells them at a glance everything they need to know about your brand. Do that, and you’ll have a better shot at wooing customers.