By Michelle Leissner

The $532 billion global market for cosmetics may be glowing, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that even for the biggest brands, the competition is not pretty.

Shiny new products emerge by the minute, targeting an increasingly diverse population of buyers whose options seem almost limitless. Is it even possible in 2018 America, to ever be more than a lipstick’s throw away from a makeup counter?

But for all of the seemingly insatiable demand for skin that glows, eyelashes that plump, and an infinite palette of substances to apply to our cheeks, lips and eyelids, cosmetic buyers are finicky consumers. They won’t give you a chance to make them look good unless you make them feel good first. And why shouldn’t they be choosy, with acres of products to choose from?

If you’re a brand manager with a budget big enough to bag an A-list celebrity or a beauty influencer with 7 million Instagram followers, these are hurdles you may be able to manage.

But for everyone else with a beauty product to sell, you’re in a fight to be noticed by a consumer who has more choices for mascara than eyelashes to put it on. Beauty may be skin deep, but you’ve got to go a lot deeper to break through the multitude of demands on a buyer’s attention.

Multisensory Special Effects: Because You Can’t Get by on Just Your Looks

While human psychology is deeply embedded into consumer habits across the landscape, few products are as deeply entangled with our emotions as the shiny powders and creams that promise us youth and beauty. Your packaging has to speak to the same desires that fuel demand for what’s inside.

That’s asking a lot of a box or a tube. But with multisensory special effect printing techniques, you can deliver more than just a pretty package—you can deliver an experience.

State-of-the-art screen printing techniques with multisensory effects generate consumer engagement on a level that strictly visual elements cannot match.

Backed by research in neuroscience and consumer psychology, multisensory effects evoke memories, emotions, and desires, creating a connection to your brand that resonates across the clutter of the retail shelf. Here are just a few examples:

  • Incredibly realistic textures like satin and leather convey luxury and exclusivity.
  • Scent, perhaps the most powerful of senses, taps into memories and feelings and can be created to reproduce the smell of anything from freshly baked cupcakes to freshly washed sheets.
  • Custom-mixed glitter and pearlescent effects combine visual and textural effects that tease to the promise of glow and glamour inside.
  • Thermochromic and color-changing effects create excitement, mystery, and packaging you can’t help but touch.
  • Light-sensitive inks create hidden messages revealed on a cell phone camera and shared across social media.

In today’s market for beauty products, you can’t get by just on your looks. Modern makeup buyers expect to be wowed. They’re looking for transformation. They’re shopping for an experience that begins long before your product ever touches their skin. Multisensory special effects can deliver all that, with an ROI that will leave you glowing.

Michelle Leissner is president and CEO of H&H Graphics, a Chicago-area screen printing company specializing in packaging and print promotions that generate heightened consumer engagement through the use of multisensory printing techniques, including custom-created colors, scents, and effects.

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