Skin Care: Poised for Growth
As the U.S. continues to emerge from the recent economic downturn, the beauty industry is carefully monitoring purchasing trends from American consumers—including the brightest spot in the industry: skin care. In a study released in June 2010, consulting firm Kline & Company found that sales of skin care products have grown, even when the U.S. personal care market is growing at a rate below the GDP. Skin care was the only beauty care segment that grew during the recession, averaging 4%.
Masstige Brands Seizing Opportunities to Reach New Customers
The economy significantly impacted American consumers’ approach to shopping. Mintel research (2010) shows that 33% of consumers prioritized necessities above all other purchases. Consumer frugality has become the new normal [features by Miriam Quart: Reviving Personal Care Brands and Aspirational Consumers Turn Nostalgic, as well as other features, notably by Euromonitor International also explore this topic]. Brands need to find new ways to attract and retain their consumers by offering higher-quality, lower-priced options at the point of sale.
With the industry-wide move toward more elaborate packaging and suppliers offering more decoration options on more types of packaging, masstige products are better able to attract former prestige consumers.
Brand Extensions Increasing; Packaging Helps Define “New” Brands
Consumers Talk in Detail About Beauty Brands and the Packaging Online
With the rise in online consumer-generated content, Americans have taken to the Internet to talk about the brands they love. More and more Americans are using the Internet to research products. Consumers are neither shy about asking their online communities about a brand or refrain from offering advice when asked. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are just a few of the places consumers can go to talk about a product before they decide where to spend their money. Packaging is not exempt from these conversations, and those involved with packaging creation and decisions have a real opportunity to educate consumers about the benefits of, for example, airless packaging.
While not all online chatter is positive, negative conversations can serve as an effective tool to help address issues raised in the online space, thereby leading to the creation of products that better address consumer needs and frustrations.
In fact, MWV’s research showed that most American consumers do not recognize an airless dispensing system and do not understand the role of an airless package in ensuring product integrity. With a more robust education, consumers can better discern an airless product from other types of pumps and the benefits of buying airless, including the freshness factor and the exactness of dispensing.
Consumers Want to Get Their Money’s Worth; Every Last Drop Counts
Consumers, as noted, are more carefully scrutinizing how they spend their money, and they want to get the most when purchasing their favorite skin care solutions. Using airless packaging again as an example, this option provides greater package integrity, minimizing the possibility that the consumer opens the package and contaminates the product. By avoiding exposure to air, airless packaging helps to ensure that the product remains fresh and sanitary—making every last drop count for money-conscience consumers.
It is important to remember, however, even though any given type of packaging offers benefits, not every option in packaging is the answer for every product. Packaging manufacturers and brand owners need to continue to choose packaging with a critical eye and select what best fits their products. It is crucial for brand owners to have a packaging partner who understands the intricacies of packaging and can advise on the benefits of specific packaging designs for each brand product.
As brand owners look to the future of their products, it is critical to consider a greater emphasis on educating consumers about the benefits of any given packaging option, including dispensing systems.
The global landscape for the beauty industry is constantly evolving, and packaging will remain an important aspect of a brand’s image and impact on the retail performance. Brand owners will continue to benefit from listening to consumer feedback and following industry trends in order to better serve their consumers in the future.
In Learning from France’s Savvy Consumer, Eva Martin Fernandez, MWV’s marketing manager in Europe for personal care products, discusses how consumer insights are affecting beauty and personal care packaging in France.
Earl Trout is director of marketing for MWV’s Beauty & Personal Care. MWV is a supplier of fragrance, personal care and cosmetic dispensing solutions with sprayers and pumps. MWV combines its own unique approach of product design through consumer insights and client partnership to deliver customized solutions to well-known brands around the world. www.mwv.com