Creating production injection moulds in a facility without a tool shop is a huge challenge. Managing a company department that must simultaneously secure ongoing production and create new moulds may generate delays and many other unforeseeable events. Ultimately, however, the development of our company in this direction is proving to be very beneficial, as it gives us unlimited control over the whole process – from the idea to the finished product. So how do we use this competitive advantage at Politech?
The process of manufacturing final goods and designing cosmetic packaging is very interesting, some methods are really challenging. Learning from the experience of other companies can be a valuable lesson that will enable us to avoid unnecessary mistakes. For this reason, we decided to talk to Mikołaj Buczyński – a Project Manager for AromaPartners who manages projects for perfumes under an own brand. We asked him about the cooperation between the customer and the manufacturer, the role of marketing in cosmetic packaging design, we discussed the manufacturing and designing processes step by step, and we mentioned the financial aspects related to product design. At the end of the interview, we discussed trends and their importance in designers’ work.
Do companies strive to provide end-to-end customer service in accordance with “from an idea to a product” concept?
Absolutely. To my knowledge, this is applicable to other industries as well (as far as private label projects are concerned), not only to the perfume industry. Obviously, the customer can use only a part of services offered by the manufacturing company, such as packaging or laminating. Generally, private label services are agreed on individually so customers can settle satisfying terms. We usually support our customers at every stage – our range of services includes advisory services, design, selecting components (and even graphic design), negotiations with suppliers, manufacturing, delivery, and so on.
Can you describe the process of determining the details of a project? Who presents ideas and who provides arguments?
We believe in cooperation. We usually pay the customer a visit or invite them to our plant. At the meeting, we browse supplier catalogues, templates, and component samples together. Our customers start by describing their vision. We recommend the best component, suggest ways to make it individual and decorate it, then we discuss financial matters and minimum logistic requirements. Sometimes, we present our own concepts and ideas, but the final decision is made by the customer.
Do companies conduct marketing research before designing packaging? Or do they simply use their own sense of market and trends?
Before marketing a new product, every company conducts research, analyses sales, makes demand prognosis, browses information available online, and reads magazines in order to learn more about current trends. In relation to our customers, I cannot specify the level of formality of the process and tell whether specialist parties are involved. However, the shape and nature of the product undoubtedly results from deliberate decisions and marketing concepts.
Does packaging have an exclusively marketing role nowadays?
Packaging has always been used for certain basic reasons, such as providing protection. Moreover, it contains information required by law, including manufacturer data. We can also see multiple functional uses of packaging. For example, some mineral water bottles are designed to be easy to grab and hold. Apart from these basic functions, packaging is a vital marketing component as well.
What are the technical reasons for choosing the shape, style, and material?
I have noticed that the marketing aspect is crucial here. Customers often search for metal caps since they are associated with high quality. Their weight is also important – the heavier they are, the more luxurious they seem to be. For this reason, we use additional weights with some caps. As far as bottles are concerned, the quality of glass is assessed, for example its clarity. What is more, bottles with a thicker bottom are perceived as being of better quality. For cardboard boxes, the paper weight and texture are taken into consideration. We apply various refining methods so that the box is shiny or soft to the touch. Decorative papers with certain finishes can be used as well in order to bring out the luxurious nature of the product.
Can you describe the designing process step by step?
First, the customer browses the suppliers’ websites and catalogues in order to be familiar with the components. Then we present samples at a meeting so that the customer can see what the components really look like – it very often differs from what they saw in photographs. We show them decorative motifs, for example on bottles. Two identical bottles, one clear and one with a decorative motif, can look very different. Then, the dimensions and shape of the box have to be specified. After that, we provide the customer with a technical drawing of the bottles and boxes with indicated field for text. The customers can apply graphics on their own or hire one of the graphic designers that cooperate with our company. Regardless of who is responsible for the graphic design, we check all information on the packaging thoroughly.
Which stage of designing is the most difficult?
The project coordinator does not have any trouble with designing. The same does not apply to the graphic designer, though. Sometimes, the project does not match current capabilities; two options are possible in such a situation. The first one requires selecting very expensive components that leads to exceeding the budget. The other one involves minimum logistic requirements. If the customer wants to manufacture a thousand units of a product and we cannot order fewer than five thousand units, it becomes complicated. Of course, we try to negotiate with suppliers, but sometimes we are forced to seek other solutions – coherent with the customer’s vision and without causing complications.
Is manufacturing custom products or limited amounts of packaging more expensive, time-consuming, and problematic?
It depends on the extent to which the order is non-standard. For example, if we want to order standard caps, the supplier will be able to provide us with a lower amount than the manufacturing minimum. If they are manufactured especially for us, we will have to buy the whole batch. This is not a problem when the customer needs such an amount, otherwise, we need to pay for the production surplus. It can be used for subsequent projects, but the initial total cost increases. Decorations on boxes and decorative paper generate additional costs as well. If the packaging and customising process is complex, manufacturing requires more time, thus affecting the cost. I believe we should always look at a project as a whole. Unique applications can boost sales dramatically.
Do customers and designers take current trends into consideration while creating packaging?
Absolutely. Designers follow trends naturally, they read specialist periodicals and industry websites. Customers are familiar with trends as well, even if they do not deal with them every day. We should keep in mind that we are surrounded by various types of packaging. We come across them in stores or in commercials, so avoiding trends is virtually impossible.
What types of packaging are currently popular?
Nowadays, it is important for packaging to be eco-friendly. You can notice this where natural or recycled materials are used. Classic design is also very significant. However, minimalism is still the biggest trend – keeping in mind that “less means more”.
Thank you for your interesting and detailed answers.
About our guest:
Mikołaj Buczyński – Project Manager with AromaPartners (service brand of City Cosmetics sp. z o. o.). Private label specialist. At work, he coordinates projects for own brands of perfume products. A graduate of the University of Warsaw where he received his master’s degree for a thesis on the place of own brands in the competitive market. He regularly publishes articles on the AromaPartners blog, describing important aspects of perfumes and the private label industry.
Stress, putting our professional life before private matters, constant haste in all daily activities, eating on-the-go, a lack of sleep, no time for our family… These things are typical of contemporary times. And it is precisely them that the increasingly popular Slow Life lifestyle is supposed to counteract. Its characteristics are becoming noticeable in many areas of life as well as in various industries. Similar trends can be observed in the cosmetics market, where both the producers and the consumers are heading towards Slow Life.
The belief that in the past people did not dream about having luxury goods and products made by “known brands” is certainly mistaken. The wealthy often boasted about having fabrics imported from India, perfumes from France, or suits sewn by the best tailors. All kinds of such luxuries were, however, reserved only for the richest social groups.
Bespoke production is beneficial for the customer
Politech offers standardised products such as caps for perfume bottles, rings and jars for cosmetics. Every item and even individual parts of the items may be ornamented using the following methods: vacuum metal coating, UV varnishing, hot-stamping or full body colouring. Other options available: matt finish, glitter or pearl effect. That way, the range of possibilities is really huge and if we sold stock products, it would hamper the imagination of our customers and limit our development.
Shopping for the right perfume
Perfumes perfectly complement our personality and look, make us more courageous and catch the attention of those around us. They give us that special something that makes us stand out, that sets us apart. Good perfume is pricey, and if we want to spend a specific amount on it we should make a choice that we will not regret and that will have a positive effect on how we are perceived by others.
Trends in different sectors of trade and life in the 21st century are changing ever more rapidly, leaving consumers trying to keep up. Of course, those companies that move with the times and quickly adjust their products to trendy colours, patterns, textures, scents, and most importantly, consumer behaviours, expectations and experiences, benefit from doing so.
The appearance of any packaging plays a key role in the shopping process for the customer. What is more, consumer decisions are made in several dozen seconds, with only a few being spent on looking at a single product. The process of ensuring that our goods are the ones that attract the eye of the customer for longer begin with the development of the packaging.
According to one of the most important rules of marketing, a seller should not offer their clients a product, or rather a feeling, experience or dream which the product can accomplish. This rule is well known to perfume manufacturers who certainly do not offer water that smells like orange and ginger but “an oriental and tropical sensation that every strong man who wants to keep it natural needs.”
It might seem that product packaging always corresponds to the value of the commodity. In reality, however, form often alludes to the taste, smell or composition of the product or to abstract values rather than to the actual quality of the content. How to properly select the packaging for a product so as not to let down the expectations of consumers?
Although Slow Life continues to be one of the most influential trends in the consumer market, there is also a large group of people who have a different approach to life. This group of consumers chooses cosmetics with great care, assessing their composition. They also have certain requirements related to life in a constant hurry. Instant Beauty expects quick results, 3-in-1 cosmetics, and products combining care cosmetics with colour cosmetics.
Sophistication, sensuality, luxury, beautiful scents and chic. Why is it that France is associated with these values? Why is it that French perfume is also associated with these qualities? Is it because of the unique plants and climate, which influences the locally-grown perfume ingredients? Perhaps it is so because the French have the best “noses” in the world? Perhaps there used to be real reasons for this, but the advantage of French perfume today only extends to marketing?
The future of online cosmetic sales
The cosmetic market is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The pace of growth is set by Asia, generating up to 35% sales in this market segment. Global cosmetic sales have been increasing by 6–7% annually thanks to the rising level of hygiene standards and growing consumer awareness, accompanied by increased distribution.
The history of perfume involves more than stories about ancient incense and associated rituals, or the most well-known fashion brands and French manufacturers from Grasse, where tons of flower petals and herbs were transformed into perfume. Unfortunately, it is also a story of filth, stench and very strong aromatic oils, the purpose of the latter being to mask the other, less pleasant smells.
How to reach your target group - Cosmetics for teenagers
Targeting, choosing the target group, and looking for a product niche refers to one particular issue. In order to really understand those terms, it is worth describing them using a specific example, such as cosmetics for teenagers. While creating a new cosmetic line, a company should accurately identify the recipients of their products and select the proper means of communicating with this group.
About creating glass packaging and our cooperation with Heinz-Glas Działdowo
After years of collaboration, relations between business partners begin to look routine. However, Politech is curious about the world and eagerly discusses issues related to cooperating companies. This is why we decided to conduct a short interview with Monika Kosmala-Sójka, Sales and Marketing Manager in HEINZ-GLAS Działdowo.
Perfumes are designed to captivate with their scent; however, we have known for a while now that we often judge them by their packaging, even before smelling them. Perfume brands have been trying to reach their clients by changing the visual forms of their perfumes, using different methods. Newspaper ads, billboards and TV commercials are just a part of it. Sometimes we may see perfumes in films. Is their presence on the silver screen accidental?
When creating a series for babies, cosmetics producers seem to have reached fertile ground. Parents willingly use protective products for their children in order to ensure proper development without any skin problems. Caretakers are, however, a more and more aware target group and their requirements of products are still growing. The question is, is it worth entering the market of cosmetics for babies?
The preferences of consumers change as quickly as anything in the world around us. Consumer trends can no longer be divided into decades but rather single years, and, in certain industries, even by season. So it is no wonder that companies that are trying to keep up choose rebranding, or at least the gradual revival of their packaging design.
Some substances require a little more attention than others. The reasons are varied. Sometimes a specific temperature must be maintained, on other occasions greater container strength is needed. At other times, the shape must be specially adapted to the form of the material carried inside, while sometimes not only is product safety of concern, but also that of people in its vicinity – as is the case with hazardous agents.
- Elias Bittan
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- Created 20 Dec 2017
- Modified 10 Jan 2018
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