Listening to someone tell me they don’t like my product packaging is a bit like what I imagine it is to listen to someone tell you your baby is ugly. After all, my products are a bit like my babies, and I like to think they are perfect. Not surprisingly, I am biased and sometimes look at Alchimie-related things in an overly emotional way…
I have heard over the years both great and less than great things about our boxes. While I prefer to believe the great things (our boxes are artsy, colorful, unique, medical yet trendy), the less than great things stay with me longer (too artsy, overly colorful, too young, too busy, not high-end looking enough). After hearing this one too many times in January of this year, I decided to quit being emotional and let my analytical side take over.
One January morning I cancelled my calls and meetings and decided to spend the day in beauty stores, looking at packaging from leading beauty brands. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to leave Georgetown to conduct my research: Sephora, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, Bluemercury, TJ Maxx (surprising what one finds there), and CVS are all close by. Here is what this day taught me.
- Most high-end beauty brands feature boxes that are one or two colors. Multi-colored boxes are rare.
- If featuring two colors, one color is typically white, the other is an accent color, usually visible in the logo or a colored stripe. The three brands below are perfect examples.
- Varying shades of green seem to dominate the single color box theme. To the three brands illustrated below, you can add Skinceuticals, LaMer, Darphin, and many more.
- The all-white look is super elegant. Think Natura Bisse, Eve Lom, Rodin.
- Less is more – in terms of decorative elements, number of colors, and flourishes.
- Men’s brands (not surprisingly) feature mostly blues, greys, blacks. Think Clarins Men, Zirh, The Art of Shaving, Jack Black, Nickel, Nivea Men, Grooming Lounge. Anthony Logistics is a rare exception.
I have loved every iteration of our packaging (doesn’t a parent love every stage of a child’s development?). Yet next week, we unveil what I think is our best packaging yet. Yes, we just made our beauty products more beautiful…
– We removed the green and orange colors so only two remain – white, and purple (Alchimie Forever color par excellence, my favorite color, the color of magic and of royalty, and as it so happens, a shade of Pantone’s color of the year).
– We embraced the less is more philosophy and removed the tree motif from the front of the box.
– We put my dad’s name front and center – after all, everyone should know just by looking at our boxes that he is the creator of our products.
– We put the benefits on the front of the box (yes, this is Marketing 101, yes I have an MBA… and yes it took me this long to do this).
Here is what this transformation looks like. Cleaner, more elegant, more serious (some might say more clinical), more mature, more high-end. Less colorful, less trendy, perhaps less different…