Eye Of The Beholder

Stuart Pritchard July 17, 2017




Providing perfect packaging for beauty products takes careful consideration. Alan Davies, Global Design Studio Manager at Essentra, explains…

Essentra’s stunning Lotus pack

In such a dynamic competitive market, one of the most vital attributes for a beauty brand to be successful is a strong identity, one its target audience can relate to and identify with. Consumers are more demanding than ever and their changing purchasing behaviours reflect this. Shifting to brands that directly align with their personal values and specific needs, the brand image which is presented to consumers has never been more important.

One of the most interesting and growing trends that consumers are caring about is sustainability. As awareness of environmental issues – such as increasing levels of waste due to our population’s ‘throwaway’ culture – grow, customers are becoming more conscious about the sustainability of products and a brand’s stance on the issue, often opting for ones that are more responsible in this respect. From a packaging perspective, there are various actions a company could take to cater for this market need.

Evidently the most noticeable way to do so is by using less material, recycled material or recyclable material, clearly showing consumers that the packaging is manufactured in a more sustainable way. This is very production-dependent however and may not be a viable option for all manufacturers, particularly if there are various components to the packaging that need to be produced and put in place. Alternatively, instead of creating packaging that is more sustainable in its early manufacturing stages, companies can produce packaging that invites consumers to be more sustainable themselves, encouraging them to reuse it and not throw it away.


It is important to consider every role packaging takes in a consumer’s journey, carefully analysing every touchpoint and interaction. Though on a basic level packaging’s role is to deliver a product to an end-user, its lifetime does not need to end once its contents has been consumed. Deliberately thinking about longevity in the early conception stages of design can result in speciality packaging features, such as cartons with easy closures or resealable labels. This will allow consumers to be able to reuse packaging for products if they are not finished in one go, or even use the same packaging in the future for other products. For example, if a high-end designer perfume were delivered in a beautiful strong carton box, the consumer could use that box to store other products, ranging from trinkets to small pieces of jewellery.

In addition to products being physically durable and long-lasting, products must also be emotionally durable too. Emotional durability is the concept that consumers have such a deep connection to their products that they do not want to dispose of them. This is not limited to the product itself; this concept can be expanded to the entire offering – including the packaging the product was originally encased in.


As a leading global supplier of beauty and consumer packaging, Essentra believes that, as packaging is often the first physical interaction a consumer has with a product, the first impression it gives matters immensely and is key to building a lasting emotional connection. That

Selling premium perfume is easier with Essentra

initial interaction sets the stage for a relationship that will extend beyond that original moment of discovery. Therefore, packaging must be thoughtfully designed to appeal on a personal level, engaging the consumer’s senses. This is particularly important for beauty or perfume products, as consumers often choose the most aesthetically pleasing.

Manufacturers can implement various different features – ranging from colour, structure, embossing, debossing, varnishes, foiling and micro-perforations – to enhance a carton and make it more appealing, helping to build that consumer connection. Cartons can also be made with unique materials, such as metallised, holographic and special effects boards, as well as plastic substrates to both attract attention and encourage consumers not to throw the packaging away.

As a supplier that only manufactures bespoke packaging on an individual customer basis, Essentra designed a sample beauty solution to illustrate the idea of longevity and emotional durability. The ‘Lotus Pack’ is a blooming, lotus-shaped carton encased in a clear acetate pyramid, designed to hold a small perfume bottle. Utilising the factor of structure, the packaging opens from the top to create a flowering shape, forming an original and beautiful solution that consumers may not want to throw away.


Ultimately the goal of packaging is to add value to a product offering, so every element must be carefully considered. As consumers become more considerate in their purchasing behaviours, it is more important than ever for brands to distinguish themselves with unique packaging that is designed not only to convey brand identity but also to serve multiple purposes – such as encouraging reuse and repurpose.