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A Rush and a Push

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: April 3, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In “Influence From the Outside,” Robert F. Brands writes packaging design inspiration can be drawn from nearly anything, but it’s still all about the brand building. Being on the cutting edge of packaging design requires an eye to consumer macrotrends, as well as the ability to understand how these macrotrends are applicable to your brand and products. And as a critical brand touch point, the strategic design and development of a product’s packaging elements is essential to brand growth.

“The Process of Product Development” by Darrin C. Duber-Smith and Gregory Black is an exploration of product development as key in gaining an edge in the hypercompetitive beauty landscape. Product development, they write, frames strategy in terms of two variables—product and market—and success relies on matching the right products to the right market.

With sustainability, social responsibility and environmental integrity as key components of the long-term operational landscape in beauty, new choices in ecologically friendly packaging could be a catalyst to a shake-up of the current mix, writes Euromonitor International’s Rob Walker in “Sustainability Drives Game Changing Innovation in Beauty.” He notes that recent innovations have brought sustainable packaging into the competitive mainstream of beauty, with the potential to strengthen a brand’s environmental position.


Makeup is a powerful transformational tool, Faber-Castell noted when it introduced new products at Cosmoprof Bologna, and Rob Walker, contributing his second analysis this month, writes that color cosmetics also have potential to magnify concepts of fun and sociability at a time of weak discretionary spending. In “The Future Bright for Color Cosmetics Despite Economic Gloom,” Walker writes that, although some discretionary spending remained weak, there were signs of a more devil-may-care attitude to consumption. And though 2012 is a year of numerous strategic challenges for color cosmetics, creative and innovative product development, together with savvy and bold investment in emerging markets, will yield opportunities.

“A very large trend in our industry and many others is to go green. Part of this is also a trend to simplify a formulation and focus on one main concept. If you throw everything but the kitchen sink into a product, it loses its credibility,” Caren Dres-Hajeski, marketing director, Lipo Chemicals, tells Abby Penning in “Science With the Glamour: Ingredients’ Brand Impact.” And while the functional value of ingredients is a must for beauty products, those ingredient functions can also be a great way to relate a product’s story to consumers.