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Leading Luxury

By: Abby Penning
Posted: August 27, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Kwapis notes of airless’ functionality, “Most consumers want to be able to visibly see the product, especially how much is left. This is crucial as people are trying to follow regimens. Knowing when they are going to run out helps the user plan accordingly, both their time and budget.”

Kwapis also comments, “A lot of prestige brands have medical-based ingredients, so we are seeing an updated clinical/medicinal look that’s not sterile but is clean and streamlined. This accounts for why we’re seeing a lot of white and metallic finishes. Additionally, there have been a lot of requests for different dispensing options for dosage amounts or dispensers, to further customize products.”

As consumers are always looking for something new, brands should always be aware of what new packaging innovations are out there, as well. In working on trendy packaging, Telwar says of Anisa International, “We should be the ones bringing the content, the trends, the hot materials... to make it easier for the customer.”

Developing an Effective Pack

Another trend in luxury packaging is beauty brands and packaging suppliers working together earlier and earlier in development to optimize the product and its process.

Warford explains, “Luxury brands continue to challenge traditional methods of manufacturing in order to yield the innovative packaging for their products. In many cases, this rides on the cutting edge of technology and requires extensive samplings and modeling before the production process can be pushed forward. I have seen a number of projects that are multi-year development programs.”

Hou also notes, “I think it benefits a brand to work with a packaging supplier early in the product development process, even if the direction on packaging selection has not been clearly set. By starting early in thinking about potential packaging options, a brand has time to refine or modify packaging to something that is ideal for their needs—as opposed to leaving packaging selection until the last minute where time constraints could end up compromising their final packaging.”

Cahalen also adds that Fusion Packaging likes to be involved in the process as early as the product formulation stage. “It’s helpful if packaging can be discussed during formulation,” she says. “The thing about cosmetics is the product that consumers get is a blend of formulation and packaging. You have to have both parts working synergistically. The sooner you can start talking to the formulators and the package engineers to develop something that works symbiotically, the more unique your product is going to be.”

“Its really exciting [to get into the product development process early], especially when the customers have ideas to use,” comments Telwar. “Anisa International creates original items that follow and set fun, great trends, but no matter if an item is custom or not, we always develop products that will give the end user that rewarding feeling when they use them.”

A Luxurious Experience

When developing a beauty product’s packaging, its always best to always keep the end user experience in mind.

“We think you will see activity with packaging assisting more in the education, replenishment or advertising of products,” says Kwapis. “Packaging will become a strategic communication tool for brands to convey varying messages. Luxury packaging is all about an experience, so it will continue to provide this experience in a variety of ways. It might be as simple as new decoration techniques, delivery, protection or quality. Luxury is always going to evolve, and we see that being the case with packaging as well. The customer trusts the brand to perform for them—whether in how the product pumps, how well the product ships, or how the decoration holds up over the life of the product.”

Looking ahead, Telwar says she expects beauty to gain an even higher level of prestige. “I think it’s going to get more luxe. Our beauty consumers want really pretty things, and I think the successful brands are going to be the those who can give them that—without it costing an arm and a leg, of course. Affordable, functional and beautiful—those are the winners.”

Slowey sums up, saying, “The trend toward more elegant, more beautiful shows no sign of stopping or even slowing down. The luxury sector of beauty, fragrance and skin care will continue to lead the packaging world with new ideas and product applications. The need for something new has been around for a long time, and the luxury brands are in the best position to demand that designers and engineers continue to create new items and ideas to satisfy their needs.”