Have you ever noticed how various products are packaged and marketed differently to men and women? We’re sure you have.
While strolling through various department stores, we noticed a few key trends that really stood out in the health and hygiene product aisles.
Before we begin, we recommend you take a look back at our Color Choices for Packaging blog to learn more about how color choice can affect consumer perception.
Products, Packaging and Colors Overview
For starters let’s take a broad look down both aisles and compare the overall colors and styles. Note the primarily white packaging with lighter, softer accents in the women’s aisle. Brands use a lot of white and blue which helps build trust and reliability with the consumer while also presenting cleanliness and purity. We see soft blues used primarily on deodorant packaging. Blue specifically relays a message of trust and reliability. These key factors being extremely important to consumers when buying deodorant. Consumers want to know that the deodorant is going to last all day and power through the toughest of situations.
How does the above compare to men’s hygiene product packaging? Taking a wide look down the men’s aisle we see dark backdrops (primarily gray, black and blue). This portrays authority and luxury within the market. Brands want to be seen as high end, industry leaders compared to their competitor’s offerings. These dark colors are accompanied by bright reds and oranges. The red is very apparent on the deodorant and body wash side. The red helps frame the product as being bold, which may appeal to men looking to stand out in the scent department. On the flip side of the aisle we see more orange as both an accent and primary packaging color. Orange packaging gives the consumer a sense that the product is of a lower cost. With a wide variety of cheaper, subscription based alternatives, it is important for in-store brands to be seen as a cost effective primary option.
Shaving Products Men vs. Women
Recently, many online or subscription-based men’s shaving brands entered the market and have done very well, forcing in store brands to either lower their prices to compete or find a way to offer a better value to consumers.
Appearing to be of a better value in the eyes of consumer’s starts with packaging. If companies aren’t willing to lower prices or increase quantity offerings, they need to catch the customer’s eye through packaging. In the men’s shaving aisle we see more of the same colors and trends as the other personal hygiene products. The packaging has a dark backdrop with bright orange and yellow accents. Thus catching the consumer’s eye and appearing to be a fun, low-cost product.
Now on the other hand, some of these online/subscription based companies have done so well they’re even becoming in-store powerhouses. Take Harry’s for example, they are now on department store shelves with more than just shaving products. Currently they offer their full line of shaving products along with shampoo and body wash for men. Some of their success may be due to their packaging choices. Harry’s uses a fairly plain design focusing on contrast. We see a lot of gray and dark blue backdrops with some splashes of bright color. The blue/gray projects trust, reliability and luxury. The brighter colors, similar to their in store competition, presents a fun low cost product.
When it comes to female shaving products, light blue is EVERYWHERE. Brands use light blue for the primary packaging and as an accent color. You may be noticing a trend in women’s products portraying a sense of trust and reliability. Alongside the blue, we want to note how much brighter the women’s aisle is. Taking advantage of white instead of darker grays and blues. Alongside the soft blues and white, brands use purples and pinks as a primary and secondary packaging color option. The bold oranges from the men’s aisle are replaced with a wide range of soft colors to provoke imagination, success (purple), optimism, hope (yellow) and growth (green).
We know brands use different colors for their packaging to affect consumer perception of their products. We can also see a significant difference in the color choices for products marketed towards men vs. women. While we are sure there is endless data to confirm the success of these nuances, we want your opinion.
Does this work? As a consumer, do you buy products based on the packaging and colors? Do you prefer one product over another due to packaging?
Drop a comment below and let us know what you think!