“Fine feathers make fine birds”, or fashion and trends in packaging design.
Tough competition and high dynamics are typical for the cosmetics industry, which means manufacturers cannot stop developing and searching for out-of-the-box solutions that will guarantee catching the consumers' attention. The first impression, a phenomenon that hardly lasts more than ten seconds, is the primary factor that decides if the buyer reaches out to grab the product from the shelf or not. So, how should a packaging look like to attract the customer enough in such a short time to make them place the product in their basket?
The recent years have seen minimalistic design a dominant trend and it still seems to be in. You can particularly notice that in the colours of packaging, often dominated by shades of white, grayscale or neutral pastel hues. More vivid colours, if used at all, are typically limited to a single one, which communicates a specific message and is usually the colour that defines the target group, cosmetic type or brand. In most cases, the graphics used on cosmetics packaging is minimalistic, clean and inconspicuous – which is supposed to make it look stylish and elegant.
Another trend gaining popularity those days is the care for the environment and the resulting efforts to make sure the packaging is as environmentally friendly as possible. The growing consumers' awareness, their concern about their health and life quality and about the future of our planet make them more and more often choose "green" products. The two materials that dominate the cosmetics industry nowadays are glass and plastics. The level of their interaction with the contents is the lowest of all popular materials, which makes them a natural pick by most manufacturers. Needless to say, out of those two glass is much safer to the environment, but it has its cons, such as the relatively greater weight and fragility. Glass packaging makes product handling more challenging and is not as safe in use as the plastic one (e.g. shower cosmetics in glass bottles could easily be broken, and no one wants glass shards in their wet and slippery bathtub). The undeniable advantage of polypropylene (PP) packaging products is that they are recyclable and easy to reuse. Being "green" is definitely one of the rapidly evolving lifestyle trends. It must be remembered that eco-friendliness is not limited to the ingredients of cosmetics but applies to their packaging too, as the packaging is essential to making the manufacturer's nature-friendly vision complete.
Another trend that can be noticed in the packaging industry is how the packaging refers to the virtual or real world or the globally known events, e.g. by the special shape of the container. A packaging with such a visual reference manifests the affinity of the product with a specific target group that follows the specific fashion of the moment. In addition, that type of products often avail of certain technologies, such as QR codes, to immerse the consumer even deeper into the marketing campaign around the product, which boosts its popularity even stronger. The social media is often at play too, spreading the popularity of the product even further and drawing to it the attention of an even larger number of consumers worldwide. Recent forecasts predict that new technologies and the online world are going to play an increasingly significant role in the growth and evolution of the packaging industry too.
Certainly, there is no single proven packaging design strategy that would guarantee commercial success. One thing should be remembered though – you cannot walk past the current trends or the preferences consumers show here and now indifferently, even if they are to change very soon. On the other hand, whatever you do, it should be remembered that all actions should be based on the consistently emphasised and highlighted values of your brand, particularly those that have driven its evolution to its present shape and have earned consumers' trust. They should be preserved and communicated widely. As Coco Chanel said, "fashion fades, only style remains the same."
PS. You will find some stylish and inspiring packaging products at www.packaging.polpak.pl
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