Cosmetics packaging success requires staying attuned to what’s happening right now. And whereas once upon a time, ‘right now’ might have meant “in the next six months to a year,” that time frame has shortened considerably — along with the attention span of today’s consumers.
We sat with Kevin Jean, Lead Creative Innovation at WWP and asked him what he feels is driving the evolution and trends in the cosmetic packaging industry right now. “Social media is having a huge and positive impact on the Cosmetic industry. From startups to heritage brands. Companies are becoming more proactive in offering a truly unique product that tells their brand story from first glace of the packaging to the formulations.”
In addition, social media has also made speed-to-market a high priority. Gone are the days of having to wait until your product hit the retail shelves to let the world see it. In today’s speedy digital age, companies are also looking for suppliers who can make this happen effectively, efficiently, and with trend setting design. Today it’s all about combining speed and innovation.
Some trends recently noted in Beauty Packaging Magazine include suppliers touting newly launched full-service offerings, as well as customers expanding their portfolios with wide-ranging stock-color cosmetics packaging components. These reflect efforts to keep up with demands in the rapid-fire makeup category, and to produce comprehensive, multi-faceted product “families” quickly and efficiently to promote one-stop-shopping.
Making an immediate impact on consumers – under two seconds seems to be the magic number – is critical. In a scenario where shelved packages literally have two Mississippis to make their point-of-purchase impressions, effectively combining form and function is an absolute must. Creativity in color, smell, package shape and contour combine to convey the excitement and “magic” today’s consumers crave from their favorite brands.
Another noticeable trend is an uptick the “on the go” small packaging sizes. These facilitate convenience in terms of portability for consumers, and allow a wider range of consumers to access premium brands in reduced sizes at comparably reasonable price points.
Additionally, companies are placing increased importance on ‘green positioning’ — recycling, re-use, and a lower carbon footprint are selling points as consumers become more sustainability-conscious.
Finally, technology and digitization are also having significant impact. For example, one fun trend is the customization of packaging through digital platforms – an innovation that gives consumers the ability to personalize their packages and final products.
The bottom line for us? “At WWP we stress the importance of user experience.” notes Chris Wightman, Sr. Director Design & Innovation. More and more consumers are looking for a luxe package that looks great, performs well and can stand up to the daily rigors of a handbag.”
This is often a first-impression-or-else game: what matters most is what a customer feels upon first seeing and holding the packaged product. It’s the overall quality of that single moment in time that can make or breaks point-of-purchase sales.
From there, of course, it’s up to the product itself to impress. While it’s the packaging that gets people to purchase the product initially, it’s the formula that ultimately determines customer satisfaction and repeated brand loyalty. Which brings us back to where we began – the eternal quest to find that perfect blend of speed, innovation, and visual magic.