GCI Magazine

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Does Your Package Have a Personality?

By: Jennifer Karsh
Posted: November 1, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Brand owners are continually looking to expand their knowledge of how their product can break through on-shelf. With shrinking retail real estate and decreasing advertising budgets, it’s difficult to figure out just how to get your package to “speak” to your consumer. “I admit, I have like 20-seconds to actually look at anything here” said Bettina, a Sephora shopper who Axen Research interviewed in Chicago.

Savvy companies such as Benefit Cosmetics have figured out the best way for a package to standout in the crowd is for that package to have a winsome personality all on its own. Benefit’s famously sassy packaging has a way of adding fun and levity to the business of beauty—an area that is otherwise riddled with doubts and insecurities. By offering up a “we’re-all-in-this-together-sister” sort of vibe, Benefit adds a whole new level of moxie to the world of cosmetics. “I just love the whole tone of Benefit. I feel like it just gets it” said, shopper Jessica, 28.

Take, for example, the brand’s new mascara, which is aptly called “Yes, They’re Real.” The film noir packaging matched with the clever quip of the product name is nothing short of genius. Why? Because it gives the whole product story—there’s a voice and a strong sense of personality. This kind of product naming and packaging design speaks to the kind of design-centered, experience-driven, product development that wins with consumers.

As Kris, a San Francisco native, puts it “I’ve been buying Benefit since I was in high school. Its cute-sexy packaging gets me every time.”