Speaking to PCD Congress, the packaging event at which he will be chairing a session next year, Pierre Ducastin, Directeur Innovation Packaging Groupe L'Oréal, explains the potential of the packaging market, commenting on how in the mass market especially, differentiation is key.
“Packaging is a Brand's first contact with the consumer. It needs to be immediately recognizable and to portray the brand's DNA, in addition to being easy to use for the consumer,” he says.
“The aim is to magnify the image of products, to provide innovations perceptible to the consumer to optimize the action of the formula, application or restitution, to offer new services while complying with statutory requirements, the launch calendar and of course the budget.”
Often the first impression of a product and its value are based on the quality of the design and manufacturing of pack components, so the pack can help contribute to the purchasing decision and Ducastin believes that it can also play a role in encouraging consumers to buy the product again in future.
Different types, different challenges
When it comes to the different types of products on the market, he also adds that the innovations, challenges, and required specifications of the packs will differ.
For personal care products such as shampoo or deodorants, the packs in question are often bottles, tubes or aerosols, which can be opaque or transparent, plastic or metal, flexible or rigid.
For these items Ducastin says product conservation, the dispensing system and/or applicator, and restitution, are key factors.
Looking at the packaging for perfumes, there are different elements to look at as there may be more components such as a bottle, pump and dip tube, a collar, plunger, stopper or cap; and these all must fit the elegant or luxury feel that is associated with the category.
“TTS and bottle finishing techniques are constantly evolving. The design and development of the spray can be a marvel of intelligence and technologies,” says Ducastin.
“The 'labels', accessories and samples may be highly sophisticated,” he continues. “They also have to withstand the perfume, protect the primary packaging from scratches and provide the regulatory information and instructions for use. The sophistication of the sleeve, folding box, cellophane and label is the result of lengthy research in order to be in line with the positioning of the Brand.”
In the make-up category there is probably the largest variety of products which means creativity is what will give brands the edge, with regards to applicators, packaging decoration, and sensoriality, adds the L’Oréal man.
Ducastin will be chairing the session ‘Amplifying and magnifying the seduction potential of consumer packaging: what technological advances?’ next year on 4 February at ADF and PCD 2016.