Value-Added Packaging

March 9, 2011

Facing weaker wallets and stronger competition, many brands are luring consumers with decorative and practical packaging extras, from shiny plaques and jangling charms to clever tools—and even, good old-fashioned money.

Value-Added Packaging

Facing weaker wallets and stronger competition, many brands are luring consumers with decorative and practical packaging extras, from shiny plaques and jangling charms to clever tools—and even, good old-fashioned money.

Facing weaker wallets and stronger competition, many brands are luring consumers with decorative and practical packaging extras, from shiny plaques and jangling charms to clever tools—and even, good old-fashioned money.

In a print ad for Louis Vuitton, Ali Hewson stands amidst a parched African landscape, wearing the luxury brand’s new shoulder bag—a collaboration with sustainable brand EDUN—adorned with a whimsical collection of dangling metallic charms. In fashion magazines, a classic quilted Chanel purse draws attention with delightful plastic charms anchored onto the metal chain of the iconic shoulder strap, while a large, golden, double letter B complements four large tassels to mark Lancel’s new Brigitte Bardot bag. On a designer’s runway in Paris, models’ lips attract attention with small crystals applied for extra shine.

Fashion often sets the stage for beauty collections and this year is no exception. Embellishments such as charms, chains and jewels provide the finishing touches everywhere this season, not only accentuatingpurses to lips, but also fragrance bottles to hair products.

Crystal accents also light up fragrance flacons, such as on the new launch from Swarovski, points out Sheherazade Chamlou, vice president of sales and marketing, SGD North America. The juice is packaged in a glass tube with an asymmetric crystal highlighting its metallic cap. “Other popular trends,” says Chamlou, “are glass bottles sheathed in weathered wood, and wooden caps for an offbeat chic look.”

The bottle for Love, Chloé is tinged a pale pink, Chloé’s signature color, and the delicate gold chain that connects the cap serves as an ode to Chloé’s elegant leather goods.

Why are embellishments like these growing in popularity in the beauty industry, particularly in women’s fragrance packaging?

Chamlou says, “Bottle accessories represent a nostalgic return of the collectors business and allow for a more customized look, which make bottles more collectible—hence allowing for a brand’s growth.”

She adds, “Depending on the type of embellishment, fragrance bottles can look more feminine, romantic, glamorous or whimsical. The overall image of the packaging must resonate with the consumer to make the bottle memorable. The aesthetics of the bottle and packaging can help create an enticing marketing concept. The key is to have all the components of the package engineered to fit well and to ensure that there is synergy in the overall design.”

Olga Bursac, vice president of sales for glass manufacturer Bormioli Luigi, also notes the decorative trend in fragrance, saying, “The additional embellishment trend of fragrance glass bottles has really taken hold in the last several years and unique charms hanging around the necks of perfume bottles can be found on many products, ranging from mass market to high-end items.”

These decorative touches, says Bursac, add an extra feature of making a package look special, different, playful and feminine, as they are, for the most part, found on women’s fragrances.

Like Chamlou, Bursac cites collectability as a motivation. “The perceived value and beauty that unique bows and charms add to a package is unmistakable,” she says, “and it is perhaps difficult to discard a bottle once the fragrance is used up because of these extra added pieces.”

Plaque Control

Metallic plaques have been a growing decorative trend for years, but while the shiny touches add a note of simple luxury, the precision required for application can be quite complicated. It’s a specialized capability that SGD and Bormioli Luigi both hold.

Bormioli’s Bursac says, “While the application of these extra design elements is usually done on the filling line, we do get involved in most gluing of metal emblems, plaques and similar pieces, and we have had, in some instances, to create special gluing machines in order to be able to apply such embellishments in an automatic fashion, to keep daily rates high and costs low.”

SGD has worked on several projects in which they were asked to glue or fit different types of plates or shoulder collars to packages, such as Prada Infusion d’Iris, Eau de Rochas, Super Model for Victoria’s Secret and Usher for Elizabeth Arden.

“The main challenge,” says Chamlou, “is to have the bottle and the accessory fit perfectly. For gluing of metal plates you need to have very flat panels on the bottle so that the accessory does not rock.”

Tying One On

Victoria’s Secret’s pink striped shopping bag design is reproduced on Bombshell’s bottle.
Bursac points out that while metal plaques seem to be a growing trend in fragrances destined for both sexes, elaborate and colorful bows, such as those found on Juicy’s Viva la Juicy, or Lolita Lempicka’s Si Lolita add a feminine flirty, yet slightly bohemian touch to their already unique glass and cap designs.

Bormioli produced the bottle for Victoria’s Secret’s new Bombshell signature fragrance, which Bursac says, “reproduces perfectly the company’s pink striped shopping bag design on the fragrance glass and adds an additional long, thin pink ribbon around the glass neck, to completely capture their signature pink color and make the consumer immediately identify with the company’s color and brand image.”

Ricci Ricci is launching a limited edition Dancing Ribbon fragrance, which features a flame red ribbon that decorates both the bottle and its box. It arrives on European counters this month.

Mary Kay’s recent fragrance launch, Thinking of You, combines ribbons on the carton and a charm on the cap for a fashionably coordinated look. The bottle was produced in SGD’s Georgia facilities.

Wearable Takeaways

While the metallic charm for Thinking of You remains permanently on the cap, some brands favor embellishments that can be removed from the bottle, and worn fashionably as bracelets, rings or pendants.

One such package is the one Bormioli produced for Juicy Couture’s Peace, Love and Juicy Couture, on which a beaded bracelet wraps around the neck of the bottle, and can be removed and worn as a colorful accessory. Plaques, charms, tassels and beads add to the over-the-top decorative appeal.

The curvaceous, heavy glass bottle for Vivienne Westwood’s Naughty Alice perfume tantalizes consumers with a beautiful take-away adornment wrapped around its neck—a bracelet with a blue and gold enamel charm, which flaunts the designer’s crown logo. Whether or not the designer’s clothing is in line with your budget, you can afford the scent attached to it—and the accompanying, signature bracelet will make you feel rich.

Juicy Couture’s Peace, Love and Juicy Couture features a trendy, takeaway bracelet.
Spritzing on the Ritz

Speaking of rich, a new attention-getting packaging accessory has entered the fragrance landscape: money. Yes, the real thing—not spendable, unfortunately, but as shredded U.S. currency that serves to cushion and protect the bottles in their cartons.

It all started when Patrick McCarthy, a vice president of sales at Microsoft, noticed how much he enjoyed the scent of fresh, crisp bills at the ATM. He reportedly also had heard of a Japanese study that showed that worker productivity increased when the smell of money was filtered through vents into factories. He trademarked the word money in relation to fragrances, and partnered with a “nose” to create a pair of scents. The result: his and hers money-scented perfumes and colognes that aim to make wearers feel more confident. The guidance: “Apply to your skin to create your own personal scent of success.”

Open the carton of Her Money or His Money ($35 each), and even before you press the actuator of the bottle, the scent arises from the shredded bills.

Chris Deschaine, a partner in the project, explains that the unique packaging accessory comes directly from the U.S. Treasury. “We have about 500 pounds of it,” he says. It’s sort of like a bunch of hay bales, except they’re green.”

But don’t expect to piece together a fortune from the contents of the box. Deschaine says, “Each carton has a different amount of shredded money depending on the bottling company. We’re guessing it’s approximately two to three shredded bills’ [any dollar amount] worth.”

Can the smell of money really lead to success? It could be worth a few spritzes to find out.

Cat lover Katy Perry translated her love of felines to fragrance.
The Cat’s Meow

Cats are cute, slinky, playful and cuddly. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, there are approximately 93.6 million owned cats in the U.S., with a third of U.S. households including at least one of the furry animals. No wonder felines have entered into packaging, recently taking a path into fragrance and cosmetics, not just as accessories, but as the actual shape of the product.

Having appeared on stage dressed as Catwoman along with an oversize blow-up cat, singer Katie Perry is clearly in tune with her furry friends. She used them as inspiration when designing the bottle for Purr by Katy Perry, her first fragrance, which launched last fall, exclusively at Nordstrom. The cat-shaped bottle is cunningly cute, complete with jeweled eyes, metallic accents and opulent lavender coloring.

In January, the simulated head of an undomesticated cat appeared on a mascara tube from beauty brand, Ultraflesh. Manufactured by HCT CA, the glossy black packaging features a sleek panther’s head at its base, molded out of clear acrylic that is tinted black to achieve a look that mimics that of black glass.

Armando Villarreal, senior design engineer, HCT CA, says, “This piece is one of the most intricate plastic molded parts HCT has created, and it was a challenge to design something that the client was satisfied with that could also be successfully injection molded. The collar was molded as a separate piece with a matte finish to achieve a good transition between the bottle and panther head. We added embossed logos around the collar and on top of the cap to make the brand an integral part of the packaging design. In the end, we were able to create a sleek and unique component that looks like nothing else on the market while engineering a solid package that performs well.”

Sephora’s new Hello Kitty beauty collection, including several fragrance and cosmetic items, has taken feline-based accessories to a new level. The packaging not only flaunts fun and fabulous bling, but the components themselves instantly accessorize your purse or vanity.

The eau de parfum spray comes in an adorable Hello Kitty glass bottle with a crystalline bow and a pink atomizer that can be removed for travel. A portable and playful rollerball bottle travels well and features a charming silver Hello Kitty head top. The solid perfume necklace makes an instant statement and always looks chic.

The Say Hello Palette also takes the iconic Hello Kitty shape, and combines four lip and four eye shades with a mirror. Even the nail color gets in on the fun: Liquid Nail Art, is a collection of high-quality nail lacquers in Hello Kitty-shaped bottles topped with a bow.
Spring Awakens

While some gravitate to the scent of money, others favor a more floral aroma—and a package that blooms with accoutrements.

Several notable packages of late feature floral decorations, and also reflect the latest trend toward pink and orange shades. (Pantone declared Honeysuckle as the color of the year for 2011, defining the dynamic reddish pink as “encouraging and uplifting.”)

Beyonce Heat Rush enters stores in a pretty tangerine-and-gold bottle, conjuring tropical and sunny thoughts.

Marc Jacobs Daisy, a perennial favorite, unfurls its petals on Eau So Fresh. The light pink juice complements the gold-colored top of the weighted glass bottle, which is blanketed in six soft-touch daisies with petals in white, pink, and yellow.

The floral, fruity chypre scent presented in Wildbloom, a new eau de parfum from Banana Republic, is emphasized with a three-dimensional, oversized leather flower unfurled on the front of the bottle. Not only does the flower accessorize the bottle, it’s meant to convey the soft, feminine texture of the fragrance and underscore how the wearer accessorizes with the scent. The juice itself is a light peachy-pink, also similar to the Pantone color of the year, and the orange-hued cardboard base anchors the clear acrylic “carton.”

Cosmetics Get Charmed

While decorative accessories were once the darlings of fragrance, other sectors have picked up on their success in making a statement and attracting consumers.

Naturals cosmetics brand Tarte Cosmetics has introduced a number of accessories in its packaging, from three-dimensional appliquéd flowers on cases that are reusable as clutches, to glam, takeaway jewelry items
For example, the brand’s holiday 2010 Jewelry Box Palette, which was exclusively available at Sephora/Sephora.com, was adorned with a removable and wearable necklace. “It was a great added bonus for consumers over the holidays, especially for gifting purposes,” says Candace Craig Bulishak, Tarte’s director of public relations. “Additionally,” she says, “the necklace was the perfect accessory for holiday parties.”

The brand’s new neutralEYES natural eye palette for spring, houses eye color in a stylish, reusable clutch, adorned with a zipper design and faux-snakeskin pattern.

“Whenever we use additional packaging materials we ensure that they’re also eco-friendly,” adds Bulishak. “For instance, neutralEYES is housed in a refillable palette.”

Accessories Enter Personal Care

From decorative bling to practical tools, packaging accessories are also showing up in the personal care aisle.

The Smoothing Drops and Smoothing Lustre Lotion from göt2b’s Smooth Operator collection both attract attention in the crowded mass-market personal care aisle via a pink and peachy palette and whimsical charms that dangle from the silver-hued necks of the bottles. The ornaments highlight the brand’s campaign to “satisfy your couture craving with over-the–top glamour, decadent formulas.” Copy on the bottle follows the theme with “Charmed Life Lesson” tips for achieving irresistible hair, and how-to instructions for use appear under a “b charming” title.

While Henkel added a decorative accessory to its göt2b personal care brand, L’Oréal took a practical approach with its revolutionary scrublet tool, which generated headlines when it was launched in spring 2010 as an accessory embedded in its Go Clean line of cleansing products.

Topline Products Company, Inc. brought the L’Oréal conceptual design to fruition by working with its engineering team to develop this innovative tool.

Damien Dossin, vice president of sales at Topline, explains its uniqueness: “I believe this is the first time a removable tool was incorporated into a primary package. Typically the dispensing system (applicator) acts as the point of contact with the customer. The design allows the scrublet to be shipped with the product without compromising the design or creating assembly challenges, and the overall look is sleek and ergonomic.”

What’s more, the back of the scrublet features a suction element that enables it to be removed from the bottle and then attached to the shower wall or mirror, offering users another practical benefit.

Dossin says that the development of the accessory was very demanding, because the scrublet material is tacky, and “L’Oréal wanted the perfect combination of exfoliating and softness textures.” The scrublet is inserted at the bottle manufacturer.

L’Oréal offers five different SKUs of its Go Clean product that contains the scrublet, each with the tool matched to the color of the individual SKU’s bottle cap.

Whether decorative or practical, packaging accessories continue to reach out and attract beauty consumers’ attention, always offering a value-added touch that can help to close the sale.