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Resonating in a New Reality

By: Kevin Marshall
Posted: August 31, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Consumers want to know that their brands are keeping pace with what matters to them most—or are at least thinking about it. Packaging simply has to work harder; we’re talking about multidimensional messaging, value-added benefits, heightened visual impact and interactivity, all designed to authentically bolster a brand’s proposition and forge consumer relationships.

But despite these new and often diverse expectations, one thing hasn’t changed: Packaging is still the single most effective front-line tool a brand has to create an immediate, emotional and potentially lasting connection with a customer. First impressions are crucial, and that’s what packaging delivers. But, today, it better have a relevant point of view, or your brand risks being immediately marginalized.

In 2010, according to Pira International, beauty was just shy of capturing 21% of the $12 billion global luxury packaging market. Despite the recent economic turmoil, there’s never been a greater opportunity and more exciting time to be involved in the beauty industry. New and highly advanced materials, collaborative efforts among brand owners and stakeholders, new pipelines of information about the consumer, the cross-pollination of lifestyle influences, and innovative technologies all contribute toward better packaging solutions. And better solutions lead to more meaningful relationships with consumers. And that’s what it’s all about.

Kevin Marshall is the vice president and creative director of Marc Rosen Associates.