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Within the Lines

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: October 3, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 7

Recent trends that PolyOne has seen in encouraging the trade up includes the use of higher priced raw materials. “I have heard from OEMs that, in order to be different and be the first product to be noticed, they will use special effects like rainbow pearls and holographic materials,” said Prusak. “They will also use interference pearls that are four times the cost of white pearls. The unique pigments and pearls are grabbing consumers’ attention.”

“A high-end product package is the optimal ‘sales outfit’ of its product at the point-of-sale,” said Pfaff. “A good packaging solution always is able to highlight the star inside—based on the element’s quality, creativity and functionality. Finally, an eye-catcher is the whole thing—a wonderful product in wonderful packaging that eventually encourages consumers to buy.”

Function and Fashion

Function and fashion have been cited as requirements for color cosmetics, but how does this translate for color cosmetic packaging? In some cases, manufacturers and marketers look to achieve the impossible, and that high fashion or impossible-to-achieve packaging, in all likelihood, may not be critical to the success of a product. Going back to the premise presented earlier in this discussion—innovation is not about packaging, it’s about giving brands the competitive edge. Consider what competitive edge may be gained by a design that follows fashion trends.

“Function and fashion is a double-edge sword,” said Pearlman. “(They) provide an opportunity to excel versus competition, but can also be a negative if a competitor says it can do the impossible. We are not convinced that ‘fashion’ is an absolutely critical aspect of promoting color cosmetics. There are so many success stories where the packaging is relatively stark and simple as with M-A-C and Kiehl’s.”

“The issues we encounter most are trying to color a package with certain effects that are not achievable,” said Prusak. “Requirements such as mirrored effects or duplicating the look of steel in plastics is not achievable—yet. PolyOne is the best colorant company, but we cannot change physics—yet.”