I have a confession to make… I am passionate about cosmetic packaging! You might even call me a packaging tragic.

Steve Welsh here. I’m that guy you see in supermarkets and high end department stores picking up bottles and jars and examining them. When traveling overseas for business and family holidays – I tend to be looking at packaging (in all different shapes and sizes) to pick up on emerging trends and how it could apply to the skin care industry.

Growth Market. Huge Opportunity.

When it comes to packaging – just like investing in a great formulation by a professional chemist or having a well funded strong marketing plan – your brand on the shelves, the way your packaging stands out – makes up a serious component of a successful cosmetic brand.

In a global market that is tipped to reach $265 billion dollars by 2017, if you fall short in the packaging area you are not going to take full advantage of your potential sales and ultimately, your brand will suffer.

Successful cosmetic packaging

Packaging is sometimes referred to as the “extra salesman”, in that it gets people to buy and try your product. While your packaging must follow the current trends to attract more beauty product customers – it also needs to keep your product safe. With this said, you should always take a holistic approach to selecting packaging.

Here’s the thing, cosmetic packaging has to focus on helping you build a unique brand identity. In an ever growing, competitive marketplace of many products claiming similar results – packaging that creates the desire of the consumer to try a product is paramount to success.

In order for you to have any success in packaging a cosmetic product, you need to ensure your packaging is maintaining the stability of your creams and gels. Furthermore, it’s imperative that your delivery system to dispense your product (the optimum dose), functions how you intended to encourage repeat sales.

Does your Packaging Stack Up?

Specific demographics or segments of the cosmetic market have different expectations from their packaging.

For example: as our population is ageing, there is an ever increasing demand of anti-ageing cosmetic products. So when considering anti-ageing products, that is targeted to an older demographic there is normally a desire to make it heavier and feel more premium, so that the consumer feels proud to display it on their vanity or dressing table. You must ensure your cosmetic packaging is user friendly and not confusing.

What about the male market?

I think we can all agree that the male grooming market has grown significantly in the last few years. Men are more conscious about their looks, along with their increasingly busy lifestyles, requiring more convenient packaging for cosmetics – making packaging an increasing value add to products in this field.

Now what about the ladies?

Young women aged between 18 and 30 tend to have a different set of expectations when it comes to the packaging of their skin care.

They tend to be attracted to brands that are mindful of the social aspect.  Things like recyclable, sustainable and environmentally friendly are really important for this market.  So the question is… Are your products being packaged to attract these customers?

In a recent survey we did, we found that this demographic did not want their cosmetics to be “over packaged”. They were not necessarily looking for cheaper packaging, just more socially responsible packaging.

Also, it was noted that if these goals were met with their packaging, they were more likely to stick with those brands into their later years.

Mums with Newborns

New mums are also an interesting sub demographic. While also interested in socially responsible packaging – they appreciate the gift aspect that can be included in the packaging process.

However… above all else and understandably so, the key emphasis for them has to be safety and ease of function in caring for their new family additions.

Define your demographic

Once your demographic is defined, then your focus comes down to looking at the packaging material, colour, etc.

In terms of materials, plastics is still expected to see the strongest growth in cosmetics packaging over the next decade due to cost-effectiveness, performance, reliability, colour versatility, transportation and storage. Glass and other materials will still hold a place for certain specific applications.

Navigating the maze

At the end of the day deciding on and getting the right Packaging is a challenge for many brands. Thankfully there are businesses – like ours, who work with your brand and marketing teams and help guide you through the process of designing and sourcing quality packaging.  When you invest in quality packaging, you’ll begin to stand out on the shelves and ultimately move more product.

Over the coming months (through regular packaging articles),  my aim is to help educate you, the reader, on the specifics of cosmetics packaging so you can move forward confidently in your product decisions. As always, I welcome your feedback and specific requests for any packaging evaluations that our team may be able to help you with.

Source: August 2016 – The Science of Beauty Magazine