Thanks to the internet and the technological revolution in general, the average consumer is more informed than ever before. Innate planners, women in particular turn to the Web for advice, opinions and reviews from other women on beauty products. From the hundreds of thousands of YouTube beauty how-to’s, to forums filled with self-proclaimed “experts,” today’s woman has access to an unprecedented arsenal of the latest beauty information, trends and tips.
This new reality has created a special challenge for marketers. Forget the new exotic plant extract that has dubious scientific links to transforming hair from parched to perfect, what matters is how effectively the shampoo is marketed to the modern -day woman. This week, we’ve consulted a resident beauty authority to help us dissect the labels of two shampoos that claim to clean hair while preserving and protecting color-treated strands.
1. Does the label announce what’s inside the package?
Both labels clearly state that they are moisturizing/hydrating shampoos. However, the target market for these shampoos are women who are searching for a sulfate-free shampoo, one that gently cleanses without stripping color or adversely affecting other hair treatments many women use today. The hunt for the often elusive sulfate-free shampoo used to be quite the challenge, but both Organix and L’Oreal made the search easier.
Sulfates (or, Sodium Lauryl Sulfates) are harsh, synthetic detergents added to shampoos to make them foam, and have been outed in recent years for their relatively caustic effect on everything from scalp and hair to eyes and skin. Although Organix’s name implies that it doesn’t contain synthetic ingredients (organic), it doesn’t proudly state its’ sulfate-free status on its label. Considering the aforementioned target market, L’Oreal wins this category by a hair.
2. Does the label attract attention?
Both Organix and L’Oreal clearly have professionally designed labels, and each takes its own approach to presentation. The Organix label is clean, simplistic and the green bottle lends a little credibility to its leafy “TeaTree-Mint” infusion. Marketers also made the choice to focus on a very detailed, adjective-heavy description for the label, using words and phrases like “ultra-hydrating,” “nourishing,” moisturizing,” “hydration” and “balance.” The label also makes mention of key moisture-infusing ingredients like “Australian tea tree oils” and “micro-infused peppermint oils.” Whether or not these ingredients are biologically proven, oils in general are associated with moisture, and these fancy varieties just might have us convinced.
L’Oreal’s label is on the complete other side of the design spectrum. A pearlescent purple bottle and contemporary font offer a more luxurious appeal, and L’Oreal’s marketing team made the smart choice to emphasize the shampoo’s “sulfate-free” formula, while also reminding shoppers that it is designed as a color-care system. The trusted L’Oreal name doesn’t hurt either, but we’re focusing on the label alone. The label is called “EverPure” and makes mention of its hydrating intentions with “Moisture” shampoo. The label also tells the consumer that it is 100% vegan and contains “no harsh salts.”
The purpose of the label for these types of shampoos is to let the consumer know that they are organic and free of harsh, man-made chemicals. So which label more effectively convinces our beauty buff that it will preserve the integrity of a fresh color treatment, let alone skin and eyes? L’Oreal wins with its no-bones, proud approach to stating its’ “pure” state.
3. Does the label instill confidence?
While it would be a little irresponsible to not to acknowledge L’Oreal’s brand power at all, we really are trying to analyze both products based solely on their label; and as with their physical appeal, both brands assumed different approaches to establishing their own credibility.
Organix may make a detail of its’ organic ingredients, but it does effectively instill confidence with a well-written label. The very detailed and descriptive words paint a picture that inspires mental images of legitimate exotic plant oils and their ability to protect and moisturize over-processed locks.
L’Oreal isn’t shy about making numerous bold claims on its label, and a glance at its ingredient list backs them up. The name of the shampoo, “EverPure,” has the same intentions as Organix’s brand name choice; but L’Oreal doesn’t rely on the product name alone to earn consumers’ trust – explicitly communicating its vegan and sulfate-free formula makes this label a more trustworthy choice for the shopper searching for this type of product.
Organix offers all the same perks as L’Oreal’s EverPure. However, Organix is a relatively new shampoo, and has a better chance of securing a bigger part of the market if they can overcome their shy approach to label design. L’Oreal cleans up each category, winning this beauty battle.
I invite you to participate in the “Good Label, Bad Label” forum. We’ve all seen a bad label or twelve, so please feel free to send us some awesomely bad examples and your submission could be included in our series!
Blue Ribbon Tag & Label offers a wide range of services and products, including food labels, cosmetic labels, veterinary labels and pharmaceutical labels. If you need a professionally designed label, call us at 1-800-433-4974. We’ll get the job done.