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Herbal Essences releases innovative bottle design for people with low or no vision

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Herbal Essences releases innovative bottle design for people with low or no vision
The Procter & Gamble household brand becomes the very first mass hair care brand in the US to produce and market an inclusive bottle creation for people with low or no vision.

We spoke to Lynn Hicks, Herbal Essences North America Brand Manager at P&G about the inspiration behind the new Herbal Essence bottle design: “We believe everyone should be able to experience the positive power of nature every day and that even seemingly small changes can have a big impact.”

Working together

“Our biggest inspiration to create this new more inclusive packaging was Sumaira "Sam" Latif, P&G’s Special Consultant for Inclusive Design. Sam has been with the company for over 18 years and is herself blind,”​ added Hicks.

As Herbal Essences is “always looking for ways to make our products more accessible to consumers”, ​Sam Latif has made the company think differently about how those with low to no vision have to approach daily tasks – like taking a shower – and the confusion and frustration that comes from not having a sure way to distinguish shampoo from conditioner.

Commenting on how the brand worked with Sam to develop the design, Hicks went on to say: “We intentionally chose tactile features that could be universally recognizable as only a small percentage of the population knows Braille”​.

New design features 

Representing the first-ever mass hair care bottle design in North America that will make it easier for vision impaired consumers to distinguish its shampoo and conditioner products through the sense of touch, Hicks explains:“While we designed this new tactile feature specifically for the visually impaired, others, like seniors or kids, can also benefit from this new packaging.”

With the help of Sam Latif, P&G's Special Consult for Inclusive Design, Herbal Essences has conceptualized and launched new bottle designs that feature indentations. The new shampoo bottle product packaging has been designed with four tactile vertical lines on the bottom of the back label. The conditioner has two rows of dots on the bottom of the back label. 

Changing the way brands package

Only 4% of businesses actively create products for people with disabilities. Herbal Essences explained that they knew “this was the right thing to do" ​and have "received great support both internally and externally”.

The company has stated that its retailer partners have responded very positively to this more inclusive packaging and the brand’s commitment to making its products more accessible to more people.

Building momentum

With 253 million people worldwide and 23 million people in the US facing the challenges associated with vision impairment, Herbal Essences hopes this will encourage more brands to follow their lead.

World Sight Day was on the 11th October and Herbal Essences has released a video​ describing how the new Herbal Essences packaging can positively impact their shower experiences.

In the video, Sam goes on to explain that in the same way as text messaging was created by deaf people and has since been universally adopted, the brand's new packaging does not only appeal to people with low or no vision but also to those who do not have English as their first language.

The packaging will feature on Herbal Essences bio:renew shampoo and conditioner bottles from January 2019 in every store that the brand’s hair care products are currently available.

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