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Opportunity for Creating a More Meaningful Experience

By: Jamie Moore
Posted: March 2, 2012, from the March 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“Our inspiration for innovating and developing packaging is consumer-driven”, says Alex Kwapis, creative director, Fusion Packaging. Because getting consumer attention is the name of the game. There are more products on the market than ever before, and packaging is a huge factor in what consumers chose.

This has led some beauty brands to lean toward a clinical design. These typically have a clean, sleek, modern look that makes use of white, silver, gray or even black color schemes. And packaging that provides a “clinical with a twist” look and feel can help a brand achieve a desired appearance while also differentiating itself from the competition.

In skin care, there is a split between packaging that has branded itself with a fresh, clean, unfussy look versus more of a high-end, luxury appearance. Materials such as polypropylene lend themselves well to the simplified look, while materials like clear polyethylene (PETG and PCTG) continue to exemplify luxury. There also has been a huge trend of masstige brands attempting to dress up their packaging with hot stamping rather than actual metal components. This way, they have the look of prestige but a cost that is more aligned to mass brands. And when it comes to the prestige brands, beauty companies want the packaging to convey a message of confidence to the consumer, something that says the products not only produce results but also provide aesthetically pleasing packaging that can proudly be displayed on a bathroom counter.

Small-sized packaging also seem to be on the rise. There have been more and more requests from brands to design and produce mini-style or travel-sized bottles. These designs are a way to give consumers the same experience they get with the full-size packages, allowing them to try the product before investing in an entire regimen while still getting a distinct version of the whole brand experience. Additionally this trend lends itself to and solidifies the emerging popularity of sets and kits, which many brands are developing and implementing.

Packaging items that are truly functional in scope—such as direct applicators, tubes with lip gloss brushes, locking actuators, view strips so you can see how much product is left and even more technology that informs the consumer when to change out the product—are increasingly popular as well. Many brands are providing multitasking products such as foundation with anti-aging elements or SPF ingredients, and this often requires the packaging to be as functional as the formulation.