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Stock Options

Sheherazade Chamlou
  • Customizing stock packaging options can be a great way to give a beauty product a unique look without breaking the bank.
  • Work with packaging suppliers to learn about the different techniques they can offer for customizing stock options, including different sizes and shapes, as well as decoration and color capabilities.

Advances in technology and social networking are exposing consumers to new things at a rapid pace, and, as a result, people now expect some level of change almost constantly. Therefore, beauty brands are refreshing their packaging more frequently than ever before, balancing the need to maintain familiarity with the need to stay relevant by driving change. Packaging plays a key role in defining a brand and driving relevance in this fast-paced market. Revitalizing packaging is an opportunity for both new and established brands to break out of the clutter and to let their identity shine.

Stock Savers

In an industry that puts an emphasis on aesthetics, picking the perfect package to complement a fragrance, color or personal care product is a critical step. And every packaging decision begins with the same question—custom or stock?

Several years ago, it was inconceivable for prestige brands to use stock packaging. However, given the short product-to-market lead time in the beauty market, tightening budgets and the shorter life cycle of specific products, more and more prestige brands are choosing stock packaging that can be heavily customized to create a look that is uniquely theirs. And in today’s market, with many beauty brands and personal care product manufacturers coping with just-in-time production, using stock bottles can be a big time-saver while also reducing up-front capital expenditure.

Making Tweaks

So, how can stock packaging be customized to offer a variety of visual and textural bells and whistles without taking a bite out of the bottom line while still creating a new look?

A recent example is the Love 2 Love fragrance collection launch from Coty that SGD had the opportunity to work on. SGD’s collaboration with the brand started with a request to use one of its stock bottles. However, in order to make it functional for production, some modifications needed to be made to the neck finish. So SGD developed drawings and models for brand approval. Once these were approved, the modifications were made to the mold, and glass samples were sent for approval. And this kind of development can help push the industry forward because the entire process was much shorter than custom tooling.

Stock to Custom

As the traditional distribution of the market in prestige, middle and mass is becoming increasingly more level, more brands also are more interested in unique packaging. Beauty brands are looking for packaging that wins recognition and is successful in the market.

When using a stock package, the design should not only transform but transcend the bottle. Customizing a stock package can begin in the mold. This is another way to design a very custom package using a nondescript stock packaging.

For example, SGD started with a cylinder stock bottle. The company then worked to customize the bottle by changing the finishing mold with a diamond pattern. Subsequent sprays and other finishing techniques also can be used to add depth, texture and supplementary color. In this example, SGD further customized the bottle by spraying a metallic spray.

Top it off with a well-chosen cap or dispenser, and the result is a package that can look as good as a custom creation at a significantly lower cost.

Sense, Size and Shape

There are a variety of packaging options that can be converted to more customized offerings, and packaging suppliers are interested in keeping up on industry trends in order to provide beauty and fragrance brands the tools they need to help satisfy trend-hungry consumers.

Multi-sensory packaging has been a key area of focus and innovation in beauty packaging lately, and packaging suppliers such as SGD aim at meeting their customers’ expectations by pushing decoration limits further and further. Because so much of customizing stock packaging involves attention to decoration detail, packaging suppliers have amassed a range of decorative concepts to help brands personalize their products. Among the options, size and shape can also be changed for effect.

SGD’s marketing team in France works to translate some of the industry’s latest trends into new decorative concepts annually, collaborating with SGD’s R&D teams and third-party trend experts. The decorated samples that are born out of the concepts can then be shown to customers around the globe for ideation and inspiration.

Creating Custom

Stock packaging, in its many forms, can provide brand differentiation while controlling costs and accelerating time to market. The possibilities with stock packaging are nearly endless, and innovative decoration techniques can bridge the divide between stock and custom, increasing the multi-sensory touch points between the consumer and the package.

For the past 20 years, Sheherazade Chamlou has been part of the international sales team at SGD, a world leader in specialty glass packaging. She is currently vice president of sales and marketing at SGD North America in New York. In her current position, in addition to marketing, she has sales responsibility for all accounts in North America.

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