Cosmetic Packaging is Anything but Superficial


cosmetic packagingCosmetic packaging is not only a shipping necessity; it is a vital aspect of marketing. Good cosmetic packaging causes excitement and anticipation in the consumer. With great cosmetic packaging, not only does your end-user identify with your product, your product moves efficiently throughout the distribution system. Here are my top 4 reasons why you shouldn’t just put your product in a brown box:

1. Cosmetic packaging adds value to your product.

The term “cosmetic packaging” means some veneer or application is applied to something else. Steve Jobs gets the cosmetic packaging award because an Apple product’s package is very subtle but beautiful. Even if your product is sold on the Internet, cosmetic packaging matters. Consumers care about how your package looks when it arrives. Jobs wanted to echo his products’ streamlined elegance; hence, he streamlined the package.

2. Cosmetic packaging communicates your message all the way through the distribution system.

With Barefoot Wine, we made each case a different color for each of our 12 varietals. So all the way through the distribution network, everyone – truck drivers, warehousemen, forklift operators, retailers, and store clerks — knew which cases contained Barefoot Wine from 20 feet away. Furthermore, they knew at a glance if the box contained Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc. Added bonus: Because of our cosmetic packaging, retailers and clerks wanted to display our boxes in stacks — of 50, 100, 200 or more. Barefoot’s cosmetic packaging provided retail entertainment because it was colorful and fun. Your product may never get opened until the consumer gets it home. But its cosmetic packaging can draw attention to what you’re selling all the way through the distribution system. And it can make the difference between whether your products get a floor display or get lost on the shelf.

3. Certain information is necessary on your package.

Most distribution systems require you to have certain information on your package. Depending on the industry, that might include a UPC code, routing or recycling information, government warnings, distribution and retailer requirements, and so on. Add to that, many regulators specify how large that information has to be. Ideally, you design your cosmetic packaging to include all of the necessary information without getting in the way of what you want to convey about your product. When you group this data on one side of the box, whoever scans your box can find all the information they require in one place.

4. The size of your logo and font should be appropriate.

Where and how your package will be handled will affect the size of your logo, your brand name, and the contents description. The logo on the label on a bottle, for instance, is a different size from the one that appears on the box –or on a billboard. Size matters.

Cosmetic packaging is a critical aspect of overall marketing. In addition to the required data, you’re delivering an emotional experience along with the product. I believe the cosmetic packaging should portray excitement, fun, durability, adventure, – or whatever message you want to convey about your product. And it should be designed to proclaim that message throughout the distribution network.

Of course, there’s much more that could be said on this subject. What’s been your experience? Michael Houlihan, co-founder of Barefoot Wine, the largest selling wine brand in the nation, invites you to join the discussion on Cosmetic Packaging by offering your comments, thoughts, and opinions below.