“In personal care the trend towards personalisation is driven by a number of things. Firstly brands are trying to differentiate by offering 'value add' solutions either through devices or functional packs that consumers can engage with,” said Oliver Stokes, principal of design and innovation at PDD.
PDD is a London-based global product and service design innovation consultancy and is specialised in providing services for a range of FMCG companies, particularly those in the cosmetics and personal care arena.
Customisation lends packaging the premium touch
“Personalisation is one route to achieving this value add. Also having something that is customised is often associated to premium / indulgent, so this can be neatly applied in Personal Care to offer more premium ness to a brand's equity.”
“The personalisation trend has been sweeping not only the cosmetics and personal care sector, but is making a big impact on the FMCG sector as a whole, something that is underlined in a vast range of products that seek to differentiate with increasingly distinctive packaging design aimed at tapping into individuality and increased choice.”
All of this means that brands are going to have design packaging that incorporates this trend, which Stokes believes will leave a lot of companies having to re-think their current position and stretch the boundaries a little.
Brand owners need to take a flexible approach
“Brands are and will need to be more flexible and think out of the box in terms of their manufacturing to offer bespoke solutions or extend what they believe a product in their range looks like,” he said.
The right way to approach this needs perseverance, dedication and a clear vision of what the brand is about and where it is going, which Stokes warns needs dedication and staying power.
“You need both a strong idea of where you are as a brand and what personalisation would mean for you. It’s not right for everyone!” Stokes added.
Never forget the consumer is king
But as part of this equation, Stokes also reminds brand owners that maintaining a close connection with the consumer is absolutely essential if the packaging design is going to give them exactly what they are looking for.
The other area to consider is that you must know your consumer and what he or she is looking for – wheres the value for them in it? If you can unlock that question then you stand a better chance of cultivating adoption in your products / brands.
“This is probably the area that brands struggle with most and end up consuming what better for them and thinking that consumers will want the same or can have a shared benefit,” he concludes.