In the highly competitive cosmetics industry, brands cannot be complacent and take brand loyalty for granted. Consumers are willing to experiment, with the most active shoppers purchasing up to eight different brands on average.
Packaging, in general, should function to protect, promote, inform, and sell, but there’s a greater onus on cosmetic companies to attract customers. You need to stand out on crowded department store shelves and convey beauty in digital spaces.
How do you accomplish that when, as the cliche goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
The structure should be sleek and limit negative space. Decorative effects should elevate your brand and catch viewers’ eyes. Simply put, pay attention to every detail of your packaging. Your message should also come through, whether it’s to promote elegance, speak to sustainable efforts, or appeal to a particular demographic.
It starts with having clear goals from the beginning, and working with an experienced packaging partner who can deliver a solution that’s right for you.
We tend to think of the graphic design elements of packaging as the attractive portion, but there’s something to be said for structure. While a prominent logo, fancy script, or chic coating can go a long way in selling your brand, the right physical design complements the decorative effects with sleekness and precision.
After all, your customers put care into choosing their products (and using them). You should place similar care in the details of packaging them.
A folding carton, for example, should leave plenty of room for intricate designs but also reduce negative space. Everything should fit neatly, which suggests a level of attention to the product as a whole.
There’s a balance cosmetic companies must find when it comes to decorative effects for their packaging. They need to elevate their brand and advertise their products, while leaving some room for inspiration to the consumer.
That’s one of the reasons more and more companies are moving to simpler designs. A strong design element can leave a stronger impression than several, especially when combined with the right background and/or coating.
Companies with larger budgets looking to project luxury and high-end beauty might consider foil stamping with embossing or debossing.
Those looking for cost-effective solutions could experiment with a range of metallic inks to add luster, matte coating for a soft-touch finish, gloss UV to give the packaging a shine, inline cold-foil, or high sheen effects that create liquid imagery.
A combination of design elements that speaks to your brand will help differentiate your products on the crowded shelves.
Cultivating an Attractive Brand
There’s another factor in featuring attractive packaging: promoting a brand that’s already attractive. More than in other industries, cosmetic companies can tie in their marketing efforts to everything they do to establish a clear brand identity.
Check out the work from Pulp Riot, which creates hair-dying solutions. From the company’s website to its social media presence to its packaging, there’s a consistency in style—black and white, cut with splashes of color—and alternative imagery. Customers know what Pulp Riot products are about, no matter where consumers find them.
Bliss skincare similarly delivers packaging that elevates its brand. Look at how each product complements the others, especially against the orange background.
It’s bright and playful without featuring intricate designs. There’s something left to the consumer’s imagination.
Finally, companies can create attractive brands by committing to causes they and their customers believe in. Consider Garnier. In an industry that’s long struggled with its large environmental impact, Garnier launched ‘Green Beauty,” a series of initiatives the company implemented to improve its sustainability measures.
Green Beauty dominates Garnier’s website and is reflected in the natural images that appear on its packaging and presentations.
Tree-free alternatives have also emerged to give packaging an elevated feel without sacrificing quality.
It all goes back to your goals. When you nail down what you hope to accomplish—in appearance and in messaging—you can deliver packaging that speaks to your current customers and attracts new ones. If they like the results, they’ll be keen to share them as well.