Pretty on the Inside

Coyote Days

Recently I've spent a lot of time thinking about packaging. Around the office, at the stores, in the mall… small store, large store. How are items packaged, what does it do for the product, how does it make me feel.

Before this job I never really thought about it… and now it's all I think about. I find myself taking photos at the grocery store, when I buy makeup and when I find myself attracted to something I would never even consider buying. What attracted me? What did the packaging say to me?

Then a friend and sales rep IM'd me with her own questions about packaging - what worked best for us, which did we prefer etc… I thought about it. What does work best? What do we prefer?

The truth is packaging has always been a huge focus for my company. We used to remove everything from its original package so that our customers could interact with the product and not be swayed (positively or negatively) by how the item was packaged. Because in the end, they are buying the product for the function and not for the package. The package will most likely end up in the trash (recycled if we are lucky!) and we hope the consumer will remember which brand it was and where they bought it.

Aside from the product quality itself, packaging is one of the most important things to consider when looking at a product or a line to add. When a buyer receives samples they, in effect, are having the same experience the consumer will when they look at the product. I'd recommend asking yourself: What does the packaging tell me about the product? Is it true? How does the packaging make me feel? How does it make me feel about the product? What is the focal point on the packaging? Is it the product? If not, why not? Would I buy this? If not, why not?

Then unwrap the product and ask yourself the same questions.

What about the packaging attracts you? What about the product attracts you? What doesn't.

Packaging has evolved leaps and bounds over the past few years and I often ask myself which changes are keepers and where we still need to grow. The consumer is looking for a particular experience so how do we meet the needs of our customers without alienating others. How do we make one segment of society feel "seen" while not excluding others. They are all potential customers, potential revenue.

When I look in a box of samples I am looking at more than just the product itself (look, feel, functionality, quality), I am also looking at how that brand represents itself. How it sells the product. Because these days beauty is way more than skin deep.