The company said the announcement, made today on World Sight Day, honours consumers with low to no vision. Globally, an estimated 253 million people have impaired vision; 36 million of which are blind, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
‘Making life that little bit easier’
Last year, Herbal Essences introduced tactile markings on select bottles in North America – providing raised stripes for shampoo and circles for conditioner on its bio:renew range. These markings, it said, would now be rolled out across all shampoo and conditioner ranges, including Hello Hydration and Smooth Collection. These tactile differentiations, the company said, would “alleviate in-shower confusion and help consumers, especially those with low vision, confidently perform daily tasks”.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, a spokesperson from P&G’s European office said: “The inclusion of the tactile markings on all Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner bottles will be phased across markets, starting with the roll-out in 2020 across the US, followed by other regions across the next 24 months, to coincide with other packaging innovations.”
“We’ve been really encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from the people who have benefitted from the introduction of tactile markings on our Herbal Essences bottles. We are committed to making life that little bit easier for the 253 million people around the world with impaired vision,” they said.
The packaging development had been spearheaded by P&G’s accessibility leader Sumaira Latif, employed with the company for more than 18 years and herself blind.
“A universal tactile marking seems like such a small thing, and yet as a blind woman it’s the little things that make such a big difference in my life. I’m excited to broaden the positive impact this has had for the vision impaired community and deliver on our mission to help everyone experience the positive power of nature every day,” Latif said.
Digital assistance beyond the packaging
P&G also said Herbal Essences had invested in technology to help consumers beyond the packaging, introducing a Google Alexa skill.
“Knowing the importance of audio assistance, the new Amazon skill allows consumers to ask questions about Herbal Essences’ products, ingredients and personal recommendations,” it said.
Herbal Essences had also teamed up with the free service app Be My Eyes, created to connect blind and low vision people through a live video call, offering a specialised feature to connect blind users with in-house experts to get assistance as they shopped in-store, got ready or had hair care questions.
“In addition, the Herbal Essences website will be accessible for assistive technology users, such as screen readers, in January 2020,” it said. The brand’s Instagram was already available through an alternative text feature enabling users to listen to in-feed image descriptions.