5 Reasons why Choosing the right Cosmetic Packaging is as Important as the Product Itself

by Alex Cosper on September 16, 2016

Reasons why Choosing the right Cosmetic Packaging is as Important as the Product Itself

Cosmetics create images of beauty, which is why packaging must be consistent with attractive presentation. Here are further details why your cosmetic packaging is a important as the product itself and should not be treated as an afterthought.  

Packaging is a major factor in a customer's purchasing decision when it comes to beauty products. Nice packaging also adds to value by protecting the product, as well as offering a quality marketing presentation. 

Product Protection

Whenever any product is shipped, there's a risk that it can get damaged for various reasons. The personnel may be careless, the ride might be bumpy or the vehicle might get into an accident. Consequently, packaging must take these factors into account to reduce potential hazards as much as possible. In other words, packaging should not be treated as an afterthought or irrelevant. Besides, customers generally expect packaging to be decent.

Even when a customer buys a product directly from a store, they may accidentally damage the product themselves without realizing it by the way they toss it into their trunk or stack other items on top of it, unless the packaging is sturdy and secure. The company that ensures safe and appropriate packaging protects its products will likely outperform competitors that disregard its importance.

Speed up Decision Making

Not all products are hits just because they are heavily promoted through expensive media. In fact, 95 percent of all new products fail for one reason or another, according to Forbes. Sometimes it's because the product is ahead of its time, while other times it simply misses the mark on consumer expectations.

Many times product failure comes down to flawed packaging, due to the fact that a good percentage of people judge products on appearance. That doesn't mean that customers are stupid. It means that many people don't have the time to weigh the pros and cons of a product, so they speed up decision making based on the impression they get from packaging.

Silent Salesman

Shoppers can be influenced by what a package looks like in context with other packages at a store. Shelf impact is the visual effect that a product has in relation to similar products in the same category. While everyone has their favorite colors, it's also true that each color has a certain psychological effect, with red being most associated with aggression and blue registering a more calm effect. Part of the reason for these effects is people learn at an early age to associate certain colors with certain things in nature.

Cosmetic industry leaders have learned through research and experience that designs have conditioned consumers to perceive beauty solutions as more significant than pricing. In other words, if the product resolves beauty issues, consumers will generally be less concerned about prices. In that sense, packaging can be a "silent salesman" that helps create perceptions about a product's value.

Seal the Deal

Download Ebook 2Packaging can have a dramatic impact on triggering cosmetic sales since it influences both new and existing customers. One of the keys to the success of the cosmetic industry has been that its utility is perceived on an emotional level, rather than a need for survival. Usually first impressions of cosmetic products are based on the packaging, which is what new customers see first, rather than the actual product.

The customer's association with a cosmetic product is often a personal one since it is often used initially in a private place such as a bedroom or bathroom. Research shows that younger people in the 20 to 27 age group particularly are attracted to cosmetics with premium prices, due to the packaging. When a new package is tested with printed comps for a small group before its launch, marketers will get a clear idea what needs to be adjusted. The three main elements that influence global sales besides market exposure are:

  1. product price
  2. quality
  3. package design

Memorable identity

A huge part of building brand awareness relates to the packaging of a product. It's what not only displays the logo and positioning statement, it paints a memorable identity for the product. The package also provides information that creates perceptions and brand associations. Overall, it's the package design that will stay in people's minds while they consider the product up to the point they make the purchase and then the actual product begins to shape brand recognition.

In many ways product packaging is just as important to building brand awareness as a commercial. Often packaging and TV commercials or print ads present the same image. Repetition of exposure then becomes pivotal in whether or not the product has top of mind awareness in a market. Exposure through various media channels is often a strong strategy for stimulating sales.

Even with these factors in place, it is extremely essential that the brand name is eye-catching and easy to read on the package. The perfect shaped box decorated with an artistic design and flashy colors, for example, may be irrelevant if people can't read the name of the brand or product. One of the worst packaging errors is design overkill, such as dark colored font over multiple colors or white font over a light and busy background.


The most powerful aspect of cosmetic packaging is that it communicates to consumers why your brand and product are unique. It should instantly tell your target market what your brand is about and what it means to them. Cosmetics manufacturers need to understand how packaging is vital in retaining loyal customers as well as inspiring new ones. Ultimately, changes in packaging can expand a customer base by capturing new market segments and can influence shopping behavior.


 Disclaimer: The postings in this blog section do not necessarily represent Desjardin's positions, strategies or opinions.

References and Further Reading

Photo: "Laboratory of Noses", Courtesy of M. Hagemann, Flickr, (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Topics: Cosmetic Packaging

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