Do you believe you are choosing cosmetic products on your own?
Behind every make-up and fragrance you buy, you are unknowingly responding to the lures created by experts who have targeted you by your personality.
“One major reason cosmetic sales keep climbing, no matter what happens in the world, is that the cosmetics, toiletries , and fragrance industry is better at tapping into sociological and economic trends than almost any other group, including politicians,” as I pointed out in the Seventh Edition of my Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Below are examples:
Marketing Director of an Italian packaging supplier, Lumson, Stefano Focola, gave a presentation at a recent cosmetic trade show in Paris. He spoke about packaging and themes that grab certain segments of cosmetic buyers. He divided packaging trends into four categories:
Everlasting Rigorous—Classic and traditional style using colors black and white, pearl blue and gold vintage.
Politically Correct—Dating back to the 70s, it is evolving from a rebel theme which appeals to the more socially responsible. The products appear eco green with smaller carbon foot prints and are usually natural and organic in this category.
Sensual Roots. Focusing on the origins of a culture, targeting the past and adding a sensual aspect to make it modern. This, Focola says involves using wild brown, gold, silver old metalics and may have a religious symbol to present a sensual effect.
Fun and That’s It. This trend captures the free spirited, “I don’t care” attitude by using vibrant blues, acid pink, purple and silver. The strong colors signify eccentricity and fun.
Analyst Daniel Bone, who approached the subject of trends at an In-Cosmetics Asia event in Bangkok in 2012, said Datamonitor’s Consumer Insight research showed that half of respondents questioned consider health and beauty products to be over-packaged.He said across beauty categories, just one in 10 consumers globally “actively monitor new products,” suggesting a mostly passive approach to beauty shopping: “This is because more than half of beauty consumers prefer to stick with brands that they know will work for them.”
Bone suggests that a breakout design can drive non-users to take a second look, shift their perceptions, and perhaps lead them to consider it as an acceptable alternative
Katia Petri, head of marketing, at Eckart cosmetics in the trade publication, Cosmetic Design, demonstrates how a creative cosmetic marketer can appeal to a passive consumer by enhancing the description of a common product.
“As the cold and dark days of winter slip away, spring begins to show
itself with brighter days and brighter colors all around. Spring and
Summer in America bring to mind rejuvenation, plans for picnics by the lake and coastal vacations. As the days grow warmer, you want to add a little sparkle to help catch the sun’s warming rays. The lip glosses show the perfect harmony that can be achieved by combining different pigment groups with each other. After the long winter, show your lips some Justice – they will thank you for it! Show your spirit with Independent Coral that looks outstanding thanks to the combination of the elegant SYNCRYSTAL Ivory with MIRAGE Sparkling Fire-Red. The picnic by the lake will take second place when you make your lips shine with Rockets”
So when you reach for that cosmetic product you may be unknowingly responding to the very carefully designed psychological input of the packaging and the hype. These categories usually contribute more to your product’s price than the ingredients in the container.