Monday, April 19, 2010

A (small) Study of Packaging

I'm interested in packaging.

I occasionally drop in on the Dieline to check out new designs.

Packaging tells the story of a product.  It plays a roll in the consumer's initial decision to purchase a product and is a big part of the initial experience with the product.  I am reminded of how I felt when I received and opened my iPhone last year.  The packaging was clean and simple.  It felt like it was on purpose.  I had a similar experience with MarieBelle Chocolates.

So what about after the purchase?  Does the packaging continue the story or does it change it?  Does it allow efficient and complete use of the product?  I decided to take a survey of some of the bottles that reside in my bathroom.

Giovanni Leave-In Hair Conditioner
The package is clean and simple.  I really like this product, but getting the last little bit out is impossible.  I don't know why the bottle stood upside down for this shot, because it won't stay that way in my bathroom.  This drives me crazy when I'm at the end.  You can see some product is left inside.  The top will not come off and the flat surface does not guide the product to the opening.

Aveeno Skin Lotion
This bottle has a sloping top that fits nicely into a funnel.  I use a funnel with a smaller travel bottle to capture the remaining product when I can no longer pump it out.  The problem with this design is that the pump stem does not reach the bottom.  I would say there is a good inch to inch-and-a-half left when the pump is no longer useful.  Which means I have several days to more than a week of a Jenga-like structure when I'm finishing off one of these bottles.

Dermalogica Moisturizer
I love love love Dermalogica products.  They moisurize, clean and condition without causing acne or irritation.  The moisurizer bottles look like a good design with the product flowing out of the bottom.  Initial use of the product is smooth and easy, but getting the remnants out is down-right frustrating.  Everytime I think the bottle is close to empty, I do a toothpaste squeeze and a whole lot of product comes out.  If they would put the moisturizers in the same type of bottle as their cleansers, I would be very happy.

Aveda Styling Lotion
I love Aveda products as well.  They are mild and work beautifully without any irritating fragrances.  This bottle has a nice slope at the top and a flip-top lid that stands easily on it's head.  I never have an issue getting the final product out of bottles like these.

The result of my small survey
I like all of these products, which means the packaging changes the story for me.  The bottles cause me to search out the competition.

I have found another leave-in conditioner that I like just as much as Giovanni.  The new conditioner has a bottle design similar to the Aveda product. So I am not likely to buy the Giovanni products anymore.  Of course, time will tell.  I found the Giovanni leave-in conditioner when Aveda discontinued theirs.

I am looking for face moisturizers that are unscented, non-irritating and have a more useful package design.  Dermalogica is a hard product to beat, but everytime I get to the bottom of those moisturizer bottles, I am compelled to try something else.  The fact that Dermalogica is not in-expensive means I am even more motivated to find a replacement product.


Camille said...

What an interesting and fun article! I, too, am a big fan of Dermalogica products (I actually use them in treatments on my clients). The packaging is simply gorgeous, but I agree that it can be frustrating when you get to the end. I forgive them because the stuff inside the bottle is so powerful! :-) Thanks for the great read!

Kathryn Ray said...

I'm glad you liked it.