When it comes to cosmetic labels, appearance is just about everything. It has been proven that women tend to give more weight to the appearance of a product label than men do, and considering the intended purpose of makeup, it is particularly important here. This week, we’re examining two brands of “age-defying” makeup foundation. But before you judge these books by their cover, remember that while females take label design into consideration, they also want a trustworthy product that will truly deliver on its age-erasing claims.
1. Does the label announce what’s inside the package?
The answer to this question is twofold, and both brands have a lot more explaining to do. Both Cover Girl and Revlon effectively communicate to customers that they are foundations with SPF protection. As far as marketing the ingredients that create that coveted age-defying result, neither brand sufficiently or explicitly explains why their product is superior to another. Cover Girl might have an advantage in that they collaborated with well-known anti-aging skincare product manufacturer Olay, but we’re analyzing both products on label alone, not strategic partnerships. We’re not quite sure of the significance of “Spa” on the Revlon label, but it was likely an attempt to conjure up images of a relaxing, indulgent day at the spa complete with professional products. Since both Cover Girl and Revlon tell the consumer that they are age-defying foundations with SPF with no further information, we’re declaring this category a tie.
Side note: An associate of mine makes a valid point – Cover Girl chose to name its product “Simple Ageless,” a fairly ambiguous title. Despite the gratuitous “Spa” on Revlon’s label, “Age Defying” does explicitly state what’s inside the package. We’re sticking with our overall determination at the conclusion of the article, but we had to include this astute observation!
2. Does the label attract attention?
This is where we separate the women from the girls. Although Revlon offers a neat and clean label with sophisticated, modern font and design, Cover Girl chose to go with a clear label that showcases the contents of its attractive container. While we’re not judging the product itself, the choice to go with a transparent label to let the makeup speak for itself (instead of creating graphic design for the label that would hide the effort put into the appearance of the foundation) was a calculated move that paid off. Since the container for the Cover Girl product is quite small, the foundation was swirled with a bit of a white substance that consumers will assume is hydrating, age-defying Olay lotion of some sort. Revlon simply added the word “Spa” to their label in an attempt to do the same job; but far less successfully. Winner: Cover Girl.
3. Does the label instill confidence?
Both Revlon and Cover Girl are household names in the world of cosmetics, and as we’ve mentioned before, brand power alone is enough to add credibility to any label. Regardless, we’re going to scrutinize the trustworthiness of each label independently of their global popularity. While both brands clearly display professionally designed labels, Cover Girl appears to have put more thought into their product. Cover Girl balances the design of their product by allowing all elements to work together, from the swirl in their foundation to the clear label that flaunts it. If it weren’t for the words “Age Defying” on the Revlon label, this would look like any other drugstore foundation.
With a cleverly planned approach to its label, Cover Girl effectively emphasizes the best qualities of each component of its product – a trait that lends itself perfectly to the concept of cosmetics, and beauty in general. Revlon was a strong contender, but in the end, couldn’t compete with the skill and effort that Cover Girl marketers undoubtedly employed to create the perfect product label.
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.