Various studies have shown that packaging is the most important factor in buying decisions. “Color, packaging material, design and innovation are most important factors when consumers make any buying decision,” according to a study cited in the Journal of Marketing and Consumer Research.
Visual Impact Leads
Certain generations and population groups in the U.S. are more likely than older “boomers” to buy based on visual and promotional perceptions. For example, millennials’ technical, digital literacy and preferences impact their choices. They “do not live to work,” and place value on relaxation. Millennials and “Coming of Agers” are increasingly dominating the marketplace. The current wipes world is a visual buffet of products for these groups.
According to Brand Packaging, “The packaging industry today is buzzing with ‘influencer packaging’ to deliver likes, shares and to create an ongoing dialogue across a bevy of social networks.” In addition, consumers are better informed than ever, with some 70% acknowledging that packaging plays an influential role in purchasing.
Both the imagery and functionality promised by wipes branding have their role. It begins with the package, and age-old elements like color and typography remain highly relevant. New uses of color in flexographic package printing are enabled by improved pre-press and presses that can handle eight colors and more. Those print decks can simultaneously deliver the usual colors, plus metallics, coatings and treatments. Flexo, digital and combinations drive quality, specialization and costs of branded wipes. Associated adhesives, liners, laminates and recycled materials offer design and featured choices.
Colors used in various niches are strategic. White is always a smart color for packaging sanitary and surface cleaning products, plus personal care and baby wipes. Colors such as lavender may attract buyers of new-age products, or green used for botanical branding. Or, for example, the “Yes To” brand as seen at Target boasts new cucumber soothing wipes shown via a bright green package, and a cucumber “slice” is depicted. “Yes To” brand “Skin Charging” facial cleansing wipes packaging impresses the eyes with a vivid purple-blue 25-wipe pack.
Certain colors complement a product line echoing a recognizable brand. Vibrant colors such as Burt’s Bees towelettes niches, though different colors, all have a similar brightness and complementary type fonts and labels.
Color is always in the news and marketers look for the headlines. This year, Colorlab by Watsons joined with L’Oréal to open a new concept makeup store in China, with plans to open 50 more stores this year. The new concept makeup store, launched through a partnership between A.S. Watson, the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, and L’Oréal, “features a modern vibe, with a striking black interior,” according to Beauty Packaging. It’s part of the always-new cosmetic color universe.
While this commentary is about visual appeal, designers will not overlook all the senses, including promised scent; and touchable materials--in both the packaging and the wipe itself. On the packaging side, the newest tactile, touchable films from companies like Filmquest are growing in usage. According to John Felinski, Filmquest president. “We are selling every ton we can make.” Experience-led sensory self-expression features impress certain consumer segments.
For those whose heads turn more slowly, solid benefits of convenience, portability and performance cannot be overlooked. It begins with solid packaging design. Factors such as ergonomics, storage, disposability, access to wipes, and continuing freshness play well with those who are brand loyal. These consumers are solid value driven buyers.
Promises of organics, natural ingredients and “green” product elements are also valued in various niches. The organic personal care market size is expected to top $25 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, expanding at a CAGR of 9.5%.
Whatever way you look at the current crop of wet wipes offerings, heads are turning on all fronts, faster than ever before, as marketers roll out new innovations.