We’re always taught not to judge a book by its cover, but that principle is simply not applicable to beauty products. Everything regarding the design of a beauty product tells a story. Every aspect of the exterior of the product provides additional pieces of information, whether clear-cut or subconscious one. Therefore, when making our purchasing decisions we have no other option but to use the packaging as a guiding star.
But what exactly is it that we’re looking for? What are the elements that speak to us and products that simply call our name? The complete packaging is far greater than the sum of its parts, but we will be dissecting these parts one by one in order to answer these questions once and for all.
All About That Brand
The name that appears on the packaging plays a major role in how we perceive the product. It has to be something loaded with meaning – something that will be etched in our brains, something that has an emotional appeal and most of all, something that’s original and to a certain extent provides a clue as to what this brand offers, but in a nutshell. According to BPX magazine, there is no foolproof method for choosing a brand name, and the name itself won’t survive in the market if the product doesn’t live up to the expectation.
However, when purchasing a product for the first time, the name definitely plays a big part. Whimsical product names also have a massive appeal. Take for instance The Balm, a brand that plays off the retro nostalgia and ensures every product features the ‘60s-inspired character and the names on the products are always, with no exceptions, witty and informational puns.
The Aesthetic Appeal
The Digital Age has brought numerous changes in the world of consumerism – we are now more inclined to conduct research, listen to beauty bloggers, and read reviews on the effectiveness and the quality of the product. One thing you might have missed, however, is that even influencers take the time to comment on the packaging. There are times they’ll say that the packaging looks luxurious, that the design of a bottle or a box is sleek and sophisticated, that it’s heavy (again implying luxuriousness) and so forth.
The level of luxury is often determined by the color of the package, as well as the font used. Every color is loaded with meaning. For instance, red is usually used on anti-aging skincare lines and has become a staple color for them. Organic and natural products often feature a clean white or silver design and just the right shade of green that speaks volumes about the product in question. A clean and minimal design seems to appeal to large audiences, while an abundance of color and ‘tackiness’ gives out an impression of cheapness. As black represents power, clay or charcoal-based blackhead removal products are most likely to be found in a minimalist black packaging. The psychology of color is not something that is taken lightly by the beauty industry, at least not by the marketing wizards who are in the know.
The Instagram Factor
Once known as the ‘X’ factor, in the era where social media platforms are more important than ever, the packaging doesn’t only need to be beautiful when seen by a naked eye – it also needs to look amazing when seen through a camera lens. For many members of the Y and even a great deal of the X generation, the purchase of a product didn’t happen if there was no Instagram post to catch it.
Flat lays represent one of the most popular ways to showcase your possessions on Instagram, and the shape of the package, the font, the color, it all has to fit nice and easy on an Instagram photo. In this day and age, being photogenic or not can make or break a product’s success.
Nice and Easy
Aside from the appearance of the packaging, most consumers, particularly female ones, base their decisions on functionality. We don’t want a bottle that will make us work hard – pumps that are hard to operate, products that are difficult to ‘squeeze out’ lose major points.
Right beside them are products that aren’t presented in the type of package that can easily be broken – flimsy caps that run the risk of opening and causing a disaster in your makeup case rank highly on the undesirability list. Durability and practicality trump everything else.
Tell a Story
What consumers truly appreciate, and what can sway their decision is the amount of information present on the primary or secondary packaging. This is highly important for a consumer mulling over the idea of introducing a new product into their life. What the product promises to do, who it’s meant for and how it is to be used. Reportedly, 43% of women say having the instruction on the box matters a great deal to them.
Marketing gurus certainly have their hands full, as today’s consumer will not settle for anything short of perfection, and with so many similar products on the market, some of them will need to step up their game of face failure.
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