“The line between human and technological device is blurring as smart technology puts people in greater control of their individual health and beauty needs.” Described as “Augmented Human,” this was one of four key global beauty trends revealed by Mintel in its December 2015 report.
A number of beauty brands are answering this need by updating their packaging to be smarter than before. This could be why 49% of woman polled by The Benchmarking Group say they plan to replace old makeup and 36% say they will spend more on quality makeup in 2016.
Packaging Digest approached veteran designer Scott Jost, who leads Berlin Packaging's Studio One Eleven division, to get his insights into this high-growth market. For more than 25 years, Jost has worked on industrial design and brand strategy for blue-chip and emerging consumer packaged goods companies. A specialist in package design, innovation and engineering, he holds numerous patents and is a member of the Industrial Design Society of America.
Here, Jost identifies consumer trends and their impact on packaging design for personal care products and cosmetics.
Beauty care consumers seem to be embracing “smart” packaging, such as the ageLOC system from NuSkin. Why is this category so ripe for techno packaging?
Jost: The smartest packaging we’ve yet seen is that of the NuSkin ageLOC Me system—great example. Besides being a technological marvel, ageLOC Me’s packaging allows users to tailor final product formulation on the fly, based upon individual needs. While there are systems in the market that let you “dial” in a ratio between two constituent components, the ageLOC system custom blends five constituents in more than 2,000 combinations.
What consumer needs are driving this trend?
Jost: We see the desire for individualization and/or customization in consumer products in general to be making its way into beauty products. From sneaker brands that let you upload your own art and customize every detail of your court shoes to the billion-dollar market for cell phone cases, there’s a growing expectation that we want to be treated and viewed as individuals.
Why is this such a selling point for new products and will that continue to be the case moving forward?
Jost: Individualization is a genie that won’t go back in the bottle. There’s a reason that all of the cable and satellite service providers almost simultaneously adopted on-demand content streaming: Once viewers experienced the ability to customize their content, they couldn’t imagine going back to a world without choice.
How have new container styles, such as double-dosage dispensing bottles, changed the on-shelf impact and in-use functionality of personal care products?
Jost: Dual-component products certainly stand out on shelf, and by virtue of the way they are presented bring an implication of efficaciousness. When combined with the ability to customize the ratio of the two components, such as the shade of a sunless tanning lotion, there’s also a customization benefit.
How is 3D printing helping beauty packaging development?
Jost: 3D printing has given us in the new package development arena the ability to almost instantly prove out form and coarse functionality. For our part we have three to four printing technologies in use on a daily basis, not just for the simulation of production parts but even for use in creating low-volume test molds. This sort of flexibility has shaved weeks and months off of development timelines and helped us advance the client decision-making process via more and better information earlier in the development cycle.