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Exploring opportunities in the haircare and fragrance sectors
Haircare and fragrance are busy categories, but with a huge and varied selection of products on the retail shelf, it can be difficult for brands to offer something unique to consumers. Packaging can be that differentiator. Using research from GlobalData, Callum Tyndall takes a look at the influential trends in the sector and the packaging opportunities available.
According to GlobalData’s 2018 Q4 global consumer survey,
41% of consumers cited looks and appearance as important and 37% judged them very important.
Due to the growing visibility provided by social media, it is perhaps not surprising that beauty and grooming products are in high demand (in the aforementioned survey, 42% of consumers said the greatest benefit of such products was in improving self-confidence). With the value of the categories in both financial terms ($211.1bn by 2025 for haircare alone, according to Grand View Research) and consumer appreciation, the potential for success is significant.
However, that same market size can make it hard for products to stand out. Innovative and sophisticated packaging solutions are one answer to this challenge.
In the March report from GlobalData, Category Packaging Opportunities: Haircare and Fragrances, lead packaging analyst Gemma Hill explores the key trends impacting the haircare and fragrance categories and the role packaging can play. Drawing from research detailed in the report, we take a look at the key opportunities for packaging manufacturers to explore in these categories.
Category Packaging Opportunities:
Haircare and Fragrances - Identifying pack formats and features that make a brand worth paying more for
Premium pleasure: bringing sensory indulgence to personal care
The report highlights two principle paths to enhance haircare and fragrance products through packaging: sophisticated, premium formats that offer a distinct aesthetic, and novel, innovative formats that emphasise new or memorable ways of engaging with the product.
Premiumisation is a key trend for consumer products, with consumers driving demand for indulgent products that offer enhanced sensory appeal. The trend emphasises products that suggest higher quality and a perception of sophistication; manufacturers should consider rich colours, decorative details such as metallising or embossing, and unusual visual effects. The aim should be to create a product that in some way suggests an elevated status through its purchase.
The report highlights L'Oréal Elnett Satin crème de mousse, which uses gold colouring to both convey higher quality and tie into the Elnett hairspray heritage, and Lux Luminique shampoo, which makes use of both an embossed decorative design and a multi-faceted bottle shape to increase the sensory appeal of the product. In both cases, manufacturers are attempting to elevate the product through high-quality aesthetic differentiation rather than through any particular practical mechanism.
The trend towards premiumisation, in this sector as others, relies more on the perception of status that a product can lend to a consumer than any notable change in use.
The GlobalData 2018 Q3 global consumer survey found that 60% of consumers globally said that how enjoyable or unique a product is always (28%) or often (32%) influences their choice of beauty and grooming products.
Using sophisticated packaging, which deliberately appeals to consumers with the suggestion that a brand or product is something ‘more’, can help manufacturers to position in that unique space to draw the eyes of consumers. By creating packaging that is more indulgent, and offers a stronger sensory appeal, products can bring new pleasure to personal care routines.
Function over form: creating new usage rituals and portable variations
Taking a different approach, companies can also look distinctly towards practical experience and mechanical form. Rather than looking to increase consumer engagement through more expensive materials or fancy packaging visuals, brands may consider looking to merge novelty with functionality to provide new solutions within the sector.
The report identifies modern consumers as being “continually exposed to new ideas and concepts”. With ever increasing connectivity and information proliferation, it is easier than ever for consumers looking for varied experiences to discover new products. In order to survive, brands must be able to offer products that stand out and can create new usage rituals.
The report spotlights Schwarzkopf Got2b Gluecksstraehne hair colour chalk. Contained in a compact-style case, the user simply clamps the pack around the hair they wish to colour and draws it down the strand to transfer the chalk. Not only is the product practical, being clean, dry, and ideal for on-the-go use, it offers an unusual format to differentiate its appeal.
This specific product is noted for its likely appeal to younger consumers, but the broader message is applicable across consumer groups: provide a product that offers a new and exciting way to go about something otherwise routine, without compromising functionality, and consumers will be drawn in.
When pushing for functionality, manufacturers should pay particular attention to on-the-go usability. In the same way that the food and drink industries are seeing consumers increasingly turn to products emphasising portability, haircare and fragrance brands should consider usability for non-traditional occasions.
Rather than targeting incorporation into an extensive beauty regime, brands should look at positioning their products to be efficiently and easily used when on-the-go. Manufacturers must always be careful to walk the tightrope between novelty and functionality but, if successful, opportunities abound for products to transform consumers’ personal care routines.