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MWV Tracks How Package Impacts Skin Care Rituals

Posted: May 20, 2014

MeadWestvaco (MWV) released findings from its new Skincare Research & Insights Study, which explores the five-step ritual that grounds consumer facial skin care routines and shows that product packaging enhances the sensorial experience of each step.

MWV initiated the qualitative study to deepen its understanding of the role of packaging in the skin care category across international markets. Company researchers conducted 23 in-depth ethnographies and 16 two-hour focus groups with a total of 120 participants across Brazil, China, France, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. The study revealed skin care consumers do not identify themselves or products by price point (mass, masstige, prestige) but by the sensorial experience of the five-step ritual: cleanse, moisturize/hydrate, renew/brighten, protect and beauty base. Each step evokes a specific experience, and those brand perceptions and feelings can be influenced by the packaging.

  1. Cleanse: This phase is characterized by feeling refreshed and cared for. A positive experience is fostered through packaging that can be operated with one hand, dispense the proper amount of product and prevent spills.
  2. Moisturize/Hydrate: This step is characterized by a feeling of pampering and indulgence. Women expect their products to be hygienic and backed with scientific assurance. Consumers are also looking for controlled dispensing and ease of storage.
  3. Renew/Brighten: This step is most commonly associated with anti-aging measures or whitening products. The experience is perceived to be luxurious and effective. Products for this step are expected to limit waste by allowing the consumer to use the last drop, control dispensing and have scientific efficacy.
  4. Protect: This is most common with women who live in areas of high sun exposure such as Brazil, and is often repeated throughout the day. This step is an important measure in hydrating and preventing sun damage. Products that serve this step should have a one handed operation, easy and controlled dispensing, and be portable for easy reapplication.
  5. Beauty Base: Women use foundations or BB/CC creams that provide an easy, protective and clean experience. Packaging should be clean and hygienic—especially in preventing residue buildup—and preferably portable and secure.

“At MWV, we study the way consumers interact with packaging the way our customers study their preferences for what’s inside,” said Kristy Hooper, global marketing manager, skin care and Cosmetics, MWV. “Through our skin care insights study, we discovered how deeply ingrained the skin care ritual is across the globe. Understanding the role of packaging in that sensorial and emotional experience is fundamental to how we innovate.”