Living On The Edge

Stuart Pritchard July 14, 2017




Greg Morton, Group Account Director at Once Upon A Time, talks signposting at the shelf-edge: 5 ways beauty brands get it right…

Today’s retail environment is a battlefield for beauty brands. Already in fierce competition with each other in a saturated market, they must now also contend with reduced branding opportunities at point of sale.

Effective shopper marketing is based on the principle of ‘glance and get it’. For beauty brands, this means communicating value at shelf through repeating and reinforcing visual signposts, and packaging plays a pivotal role in this.

So how do you signpost value through packaging? Here are five ways beauty brands get it absolutely right

  1. Know your customer

Of course, it goes without saying that most brands know who they’re selling to. However, on a micro level, the packaging, design and

With countess creams available, how does yours grab the eye?

colours must clearly convey who the product is intended for. Age, status, social class, etc. all affect prospective shoppers, and if there is a disconnect between the product packaging and its target audience, then the product won’t catch their eye.

The most successful beauty brands achieve standout on a shelf because the marketer has tailored the packaging to the shopper. For example, Dove’s customers tend to be 55+ so the brand ensures its packaging appeals with recognisable designs and a credible brand logo.

2. Find the signal in the noise

Brands need to achieve cut-through in a crowded market. But how do you stand out when the marketplace is full of brands selling the same thing? It’s simple: appeal to people’s characters.

Packaging shape and colour palette are vital elements, but there are other factors to consider, for instance, conventional or modern? Bright or pastel? Do we want them to think it’s pretty? Do we want them to think it looks like a luxury item? Is it aspirational? These are the questions that beauty marketers and packaging designers are constantly asking, because when people can relate to your product, they’re more likely to buy it.

3. Transform the ordinary into the exciting

From a product perspective, it’s almost impossible for a beauty brand to be truly ‘unique’. While some consumers may have a basic

Simple but utterly effective design

understanding of what goes into a product, most of them make a purchase choice based on how the product looks – which is fitting if you consider the context.

For beauty products, packaging is the ‘dress’ that goes on the product. When done right, it can make something ordinary seem new and exciting. Creating strong cues is an effective way of reaching the target audience if the product on its own is not enough to capture their attention.

4. Packaging, not brand, will attract shoppers

Having a strong brand in the beauty market certainly helps attract shoppers – Dove and TRESemmé are testament to that. However, strong packaging can help shoppers overlook existing brand perceptions and inspire them to try something new and innovative.

Shoppers are constantly on the lookout for new and improved products. Refreshing packaging can be effective way of communicating ‘new news’ about a product’s functionality and application options, while maintaining the brand’s more recognisable visual cues.

5. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty packaging is all about the visual. But visually strong packaging is about more just looking good; it’s about signposting the value and essence of your product to the right shoppers. There are many methods beauty brands employ to make sure their packaging grabs shoppers’ attention. Vibrant and strong colours like gold communicate elegance and high class. Interesting shapes and stylish patterns create a fresh, fun and young personality.

For beauty brands, signposting is the weapon of choice in the shelf-edge battle for shoppers’ attention. And with a booming market that’s showing no signs of slowing down, it certainly seems to be an effective one.