Designing a successful skincare brand
Who amongst you uses skincare products? Most of us do. Female or male, young or old.
There are those who open their bathroom cabinets to find an array of all the creams and serums you could dream of, and those with a more refined approach to skincare.
Whether it’s your everyday moisturiser or face-wash, anti-wrinkle cream or exfoliator. Some of us buy your basic, no-frills, low-cost options, others opt for high-end luxury. Some will have just a couple of go to products, others will have cabinets full to the brim.
A staple of most bathrooms, there’s some serious business up for grabs for skincare brands. The question is how you persuade a consumer to pick your product over another? There’s a lot of clutter out there. Your product’s got to do something pretty special to jump off the shelf and straight into someone’s bag. If not? Your product will accumulate dust on the shop shelf.
There’s tons to think about when designing for a skincare brand. Every detail counts. The product’s name, packaging, colour scheme, logo. There’s the rather important matter of who your product is targeted at. Male, female, youth, elderly, all of the above? Is the product cosmetic or medicinal? Is it geared towards those with big budgets or tight purse strings? Skincare design pivots around these crucial questions. Get the finished product right and you’re on to winner. Miss the mark and your product will be a wash-out.
The skincare market is lucrative but it’s also competitive. Your brand’s got to be extraordinary and offer something unique. Your packaging has to be a knock-out. Only then will you have a product that will fly off the shelf (and on to someone’s face!)
Defining a Brand
Start with the basics. Who are you and what are you all about? What do you want to do, where do you come from and where do you want to be? In other words what will set your skincare product apart from the mass of moisturises or sea of serums on the shelf?
Competition’s tight. Whether you scrub, splash, wash or spray, think about what makes you different. In the colossal world of skincare you’ve got to present consumers with something that will catch their eye and give them a reason to buy.
Considering your Customer
This is a bit of an obvious one. But, it’s important. Are you targeting an older market looking for anti-ageing products? Or a younger demographic such as teenagers seeking cheaper, more fun looking products.
Is your brand high-end, or budget? Tapping into the luxury skincare market will require your brand to exude prestige. A product that seduces. Your brand will need to have the power to allure this segment of the market. On the contrary, a budget skincare product may want to focus more on utility and functionality. No-frills, but gets the job done.
Think of classic, traditional brands trusted by millions, like Olay, versus newer brands that lean towards a minimalist, trendy look, like The Ordinary. Chances are if you’re looking to appeal to a younger audience the minimalist look is a good way to go. Older markets may prefer a classic look, however.
Asking questions about your target demographic and their budgets is crucial. This will affect all areas of your brand identity. At the end of the day it’s a sure bet that a 16-year-old male probably wants something very different to a 60-year-old female.
It’s all in the Name
What’s does a name mean? Everything! A brand’s name sets the tone for everything else. This will determine the relationship the customer will have with the product. Think relevant, rememberable and remarkable.
Let’s give an example. We were approached to create the entire brand identity, naming and packaging design for an exciting new range of hair, body and skin products that utilise salt from the Dead Sea. We knew we needed a name that made the products’ unique formulation and origins really sing.
‘Avisha‘ let the product’s Hebrew heritage really shine through. Translating into ‘Gift from God’, this felt like an extremely fitting way to describe the brand’s refined products. Plus, it’s the perfect description of the dead sea.
The point is, your name is an intrinsic element of your brand narrative. It tells the world what you’re all about. A name carries a lot of weight. It reflects the product’s qualities, personality and brand values. It speaks volumes about a product, so if you want to be heard your name’s got to stand out from the dizzying array of others out there.
Call us shallow but we’re going to put it out there. Looks matter. If the visual aspects of your product are unappealing then it won’t sell. Simple as that. Even if you have the best product in the world. People like pretty things, that’s human nature. A brand needs to look the part. From your colour scheme, font, logo to packaging.
The visual identity of your brand is integral. At the end of the day, how a brand looks is a direct visual reflection of a business.
Back to our work with Avisha for a moment. Considering every element of what the product was about, we crafted a striking, unique visual identity that reflected Avisha’s origins, ethos, quality and story.
Understanding the product’s strong connections to the Deep Sea, we chose a colour palette of deep blues with subtle gradients. Colours that immediately evoke imagery of the ocean. This prompts consumers to instantly connect with this defining element of the product.
Our packaging designers wanted printed materials to have movement and reflection, so opted to print on silver metpol board. This gives the skincare packaging depth, similar to the sensation of staring into the sea. This is key to the product’s narrative. Attractive, luxurious, natural.
A visual identity must be recognisable, reflect your personality. From dedicated beauty stores to your local supermarket. Skincare products are everywhere. Each one battling to win consumer’s attention. Crafting a distinctive, appealing and relevant visual identity is a sure-fire way to put a product head and shoulders above the rest.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Your product has got to look the part. As we’ve just touched on, one of the most important aspects for any product is the packaging. Packaging is the physical manifestation of everything your brand stands for.
When ambling the aisles, searching the shelves for skincare products we make snap judgements and decisions based on the packaging. In fact, research has shown that retail packaging is as important as the product itself.
Packaging is your space to communicate vital information about your brand. Who you are, what you’re about, what you can offer. Branding and packaging work in harmony to tell your story. The two combined have the potential to elicit a powerful response. Where your brand asks consumers to forge a connection with your product, the packaging makes it possible.
Your product needs to pack a punch. It needs to look great and be distinctive, otherwise what entices anyone to pick it up? Then, it’s got to actually function and be easily understood. It should be immediately clear to the customer what the product is. Nobody will hang around trying to decipher what a product is or what it does, can you blame them?
It’s all in the Detail
Consumers are a soft touch for packaging that’s attractive and feels good. The magic’s in the detail.
The power of touch is influential. Your packaging materials must not only have structural integrity, but also be pleasing to the touch. Something extra special. Think acid dipped bottles or soft-touch cartons, embossing, speciality papers, trims. All the details that will set you apart, make your package remarkable. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. From textured papers & embossing to printing on the pump of your bottle for that extra special, unique touch.
Designing a luxury brand takes careful consideration. Every aspect of the product’s identity has got to exude high end performance. It’s not just about the cream or serum itself. It’s about the whole experience. Going that extra mile to craft a brand that’s that extra bit special.
Think exclusivity. A name with affluent connotations. Refined fonts, quality materials and opulent packaging. Those investing a lot of money in a skincare product are buying into every aspect of your product. It’s not just about what’s on the inside, it’s about the overall image.
Packaging epitomises this. Think of the extra touches. Boxes, gift paper, ribbons. This is often like unwrapping a present. Packaging that connects with consumers who are looking to indulge in a really good product.
Both primary and secondary packaging are often utilised within the skincare sector. The primary being the bottle, tube or tub itself, the secondary being a carton or bag. Utilising secondary packaging emanates a sense of prestige. It not only protects the product, it differentiates it from the rest of the competition. It further reinforces brand image and also gives you a larger graphic landing area. Allowing you to tell your story, layout your higherachy of information and communicate your USP’s. It makes an impression.
If you’ve got the budget, unique structural packaging can greatly enhance brand differentiation. Consumers buying luxury products expect an overall experience, including sensory through touch and texture. You don’t have to go the whole caboodle, tooling bottles and caps. Sourcing a stock bottle and tooling a bespoke cap or pump is the way to go. Or visa versa.
Ready to Take Your Skincare Brand to the Next Level?
We’ve helped health and beauty brands at all stages of development. Your brand might still be an idea waiting to happen, or a notebook full to the brim of scribbles and doodles. We’ve worked with small companies on just a product or two and with larger business who have a variety of different requirements. If you’re new to the business there’s no need to be shy. We love working with start-ups, holding their hand and helping to get their product to market.
Or, perhaps you’re an established business in need of a rebrand. The skincare industry’s constantly adapting and evolving. Fashions come and go. Trends change with time. What’s hot today isn’t hot tomorrow. Your brand has got to keep up with an ever-changing market.
Our branding and packaging designers have extensive experience in the health & beauty sector. We dig deep to truly understand who your brand is, what you do, where you started and where you want to be. We live and breathe your brand. It’s at the core of everything we do. The result? We’ll make your product a raging success.
We can help.
We work closely with you every step of the way. From the basics like naming, to the nitty gritty of packaging design.
We know what it takes to lift a brand, not just aesthetically but commercially too. Whether you’re big, small, or somewhere in between. Give us a call to discuss your needs.
We’re a down-to-earth and friendly team. Who love developing close working relationships with our longstanding clients. We craft custom packaging for small business and our agency ranks in the top 30 small business agencies. The following services will help you on your way from the seed of an idea to the shelf: