April 30, 2015

5 Ways Packaging Adds Value to Your Beautiful Product

5 Ways Packaging Adds Value to Your Beautiful Product

In an effort to pretend that they don’t all use pretty much the exact same ingredients, beauty product designers land customers with these five sweet packaging elements instead.

Walking down the beauty product aisle of any drugstore is a lesson in visual diversity, so discovering that most of those items have practically identical ingredient lists may come as something of a shock. The package design teams who come up with such gorgeous tubes and vials and boxes need to get creative about helping their product stand out from the masses. (The next priority is to create packages that are so dazzling that no one checks the ingredients. But we digress.) More than simply catching the almighty consumer eye, there are several ways that packaging can actually add value to beauty products as well, from multi-purpose packaging design to pure aesthetics.

1. User-Friendliness

Really, what’s not fun about making a new purchase only to be foiled by external packaging that’s so exasperating as to completely prevent you from indulging in said purchase? That’s why designers who plan their cosmetic packages to be more user-friendly definitely gain an edge.

Don’t forget to think about product usability outside the box, either. Something as simple as adding a conveniently located indent on an otherwise slippery bottle of shampoo or shower gel means a much more positive consumer experience—and that’s the core component of building a long-lasting brand relationship with that consumer.

2. Aesthetics

Packaging with value of some sort is one thing, but these are products in the beauty aisle, folks. Let’s not forget who the target demographic is here: aesthetically-inclined people with actual taste. It’s not rocket science to put together that these consumers are probably gonna be drawn to prettier packaging.

3. Brand Message

You can’t please all people all the time, and businesses that try to do so end up floundering more often than not. Instead, the most successful cosmetics packaging examples are those that clearly reflect their company’s brand message. Even if taking a firm stance could mean alienating some, the others—that is, the ones who matter and who are more likely to buy your stuff—will respect you all the more for your commitment.

Take time to define what makes your cosmetic line different, and then make sure that difference is reflected in the packaging. To define your brand message, ask yourself how your product benefits your customers, and have your package designers come up with a visual representation of those benefits for your beauty product.

4. Product Message

One of the buying habits that sets Millennials apart from previous generations of consumers is the fact that they want to buy from companies that support causes. Not only do Millennials want to make purchases from businesses that echo their own core values, but they also prefer to use brands that are reflective of their individual style and beliefs.

Look at Burt’s Bees, a cosmetics company that’s built up its popularity over the years on a foundation of creating sustainable, natural, earth-friendly products. Although the company has likely expanded well beyond Burt’s wildest dreams at this point, it’s stayed in touch with its roots. “Nature is still CEO,” boasts its website. This commitment to the cause is something that resonates with like-minded Millennials, which in turn, creates brand loyalists for life.

5. User Experience

Here’s another not-rocket-science tip: Consumers like products that deliver a positive user experience. Lotions that feel greasy, mascara that immediately transforms the wearer into a raccoon-eyed apparition, or lipsticks that wear off within nanoseconds all have trouble finding repeat purchasers.

In response to this shocking data, beauty product packaging design should consider the user experience from start to finish. For example, as consumer awareness of improved skin health through limited sun exposure grows, so does interest in sunscreen. Spray-on sunscreen delivers an added convenience factor that consistently attracts consumers. Therefore … wait, this gets complicated … add 2 + 2 and carry the 1 … . Yep, you guessed it: People tend to buy spray-on sunscreen more often, even if it’s a little pricier per ounce.

So now you know. Well, you probably knew earlier that packaging adds value, but maybe you weren’t sure how exactly. Bottom line is, a packages design is sometimes the only thing that makes the difference between a product’s success and failure. Advertising, ingredients, and good will can take a product a long way, but to take a page from a middle-schooler’s excuse book, “everybody’s doing it.” To truly stand out from this crowd, product packaging design is the way to go.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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