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Artistry cosmetics: reaching a packaging crescendo.

Over the past few years, Amway Corporation has worked to evolve the packaging for its Artistry skin care and makeup brand, culminating in a cohesive look that differentiates it from its competitors in the global prestige beauty space. Satinique, Amway's now premium hair care brand, has also undergone a dramatic, upscale packaging makeover, which has been lauded with numerous awards. No wonder, in a year with record online voting numbers, Beauty Packaging's readers chose Amway/Artistry as 2014's Beauty Company of the Year: Excellence in Packaging. The direct seller's approach to prestige beauty products and packaging holds valuable lessons for all.

Many people around the world know Amway for its market-leading home care products and Nutrilite dietary supplements. Fewer may be aware of the global direct seller's position in the worldwide prestige beauty space, with Artistry Cosmetics, and in the premium market with Satinique hair care. These brands have been gaining rapid ground for years among devoted Amway business owners and their widespread, loyal clientele. In fact, Amway says that Artistry products are used by more than 5 million women in 50 markets around the world.

With growing global markets and the subsequent potential for increased sales, the packaging called out for a "renovation."

So several years ago, Amway made the strategic decision to focus on its beauty holdings and elevate the image of its Artistry and Satinique brands, generating new scientific formulas and upgrading the packaging. The results have been impressive, taking what were once mismatched assortments of individually designed products and turning them into contemporary styled, cohesive lines that express the brands' identity, intent and DNA at a glance.

Putting the Emphasis on Prestige

With sales of prestige cosmetics at the forefront of much of today's beauty economy--and Artistry's positioning as the only global direct seller of prestige makeup and skin care products--the time was right for increasing attention on key brands. Particularly important was making the packaging stand out among leading global retail competitors and creating a unification of packages and products across Amway's many markets. This packaging strategy also applied to the "premiumization" of the Satinique hair care brand.

Maud Pansing, Amway's vice president-global beauty, says, "Artistry brand awareness fluctuates greatly between regions. Hence our renewed focus on elevating the prestige factor." She explains, "Artistry has always possessed superb R&D, exquisite textures and unmatched performance. Moving forward, it will also possess a more dynamic and consistent brand image as well as a definitive point of view. By contemporizing and streamlining the Artistry brand aesthetic to match its stealth performance, we believe we've identified a winning strategy that will rival even our biggest beauty competitors in the prestige retail space."

Further, explains Pansing, "Our aim is to lead the charge toward beautifying the direct-selling channel."

For the Artistry brand, the packaging "renovation" revolved around "a unified pledge from philosophy to packaging: for the most part, slanted caps shaped in an upward Crescendo design--signaling Forward Beauty--moving forward, elevating the prestige factor, capitalizing on global trends to develop breakthrough products that deliver exceptional results.

All of the teams' hard work and efforts in redesigning the packaging over the last several years continued in 2014--and with additional launches in the pipeline, skin care updates are expected to culminate in 2015.

Artistry added to the global relaunch of the award-winning Crescendo packaging design in 2014, with its Hydra-V skin care line. The design received the gold award in the Health and Beauty Category in the NJPEC Package of the Year awards in 2013. Crescendo debuted in the U.S. in 2013 following the global debut of its Youth Xtend Collection in 2012.

In 2014, the relaunched Satinique collection of hair care, treatments and styling products received two packaging awards--HBA's International Package Design Award and NJPEC's Sustainability award.

What's more, because Artistry and Satinique products are sold direcdy by more than 3 million entrepreneurial business owners in more than 50 markets, the details of how the brands' packaging teams accomplished their goals is admirable, from the level of research and testing, to usage parameters, to componentry, design and decorative aesthetics.

Delivering safe, high-quality prestige products that Amway distributors can sell with pride remains at the company's core--and how those products perform is hugely important. To create a "memorable" experience from start to finish, Amway has developed a very rigorous testing and validation process.

"In the prestige beauty market, the package plays the all-important role of setting the first impression," says John Morgan, senior packaging engineer, Beauty Team Packaging R&D, Artistry Cosmetics. He says one of Packaging R&D's guiding principles "is to design and develop package solutions that communicate the brand image, and preserve the product, and delight our customers by delivering a superior experience during the product life. A truly well designed and engineered package incorporates all of these attributes without compromise."

Collaboration among team members--and among divisions has been key to the packaging renovation process.

Eric Grossnickle, group manager of the Beauty Packaging R&D team, says: "One of Amway's greatest strengths as an organization is its collaborative culture. The Packaging Engineering team embraces this collaborative spirit. During the recent brand renovations, as many as five packaging engineers worked in concert to bring the new packaging to life. The engineers collaborated in this comprehensive process to develop and execute the renovations for both the Artistry and Satinique brands."

Packaging for Direct Sales

Traditionally, the four functions of a package are defined as contain, protect, dispense, and aid in the sale of the product. In addition to these four functions, packaging in the direct-selling industry plays a greater role, because of the personal relationship cultivated between buyer and seller. The package has to live up to the expectations of Amway Business Owners (ABOs), who not only sell the products but, in most cases, are also consumers. Their business is built on relationships, so when they sell a product, their reputation is on the line. To meet their expectations, Amway says the product must deliver on its promise 100% of the time, and must look and function as intended.

To ensure this level of trust is maintained, the packaging engineering team collaborates with many internal and external partners to meticulously map out and understand the role the product/package plays. Methodologies such as conducting user behavior studies enable them to empathize with the user's experience and take these considerations into account during the design process. A well-designed package/product system enables the ABO to successfully demonstrate the performance and intended function of the product, therefore directly impacting the growth of their business.

Thus, package performance is critical. Morgan says, "Having worked at other prestige beauty companies before coming to Amway, I had a solid foundation of industry standards, particularly in the area of package testing. Shortly after joining Amway in 2011, I began to appreciate the rigor that is applied to packaging development and testing at Amway to ensure quality."

With the recent Artistry and Satinique brand renovations, Morgan says the primary structural packaging design and colors were harmonized globally. Artwork was developed to support as many global markets as possible, therefore reducing the number of country-specific components and total number of SKUs. Some markets may require special labeling, which he says is easily accomplished via dedicated artwork.

Artistry Closeup

The Artistry brand is a global competitor in the prestige beauty space, boasting anti-aging, brightening, luxury and basic skin care collections. The brand features Australian screen actress Teresa Palmer as its global face for skin care and color cosmetics, and Rick DiCecca as its global makeup artist.

Artistry targets a range of demographics--including those under 35 years old--with skin care products that address anti-aging, as well as multi-tasking cosmetic products. Always with an eye on science, Artistry says it has developed a universal knowledge of beauty and skin care needs for various cultures and ethnicities. Due to the brand's broad range of skin care and makeup products, they address "every beauty need for women of all skin types and skin tones globally, from basic hydration to advanced anti-aging and everyday makeup needs."

Edith Rehnborg, wife of Nutrilite's founder Carl Rehnborg, founded Artistry based on three key pillars that remain the driving force for the brand today: Discovery, Imagination and Invention. Artistry employs 900 scientists and holds more than 200 patents globally.

Artistry Packaging Moves Forward

Artistry embarked on its journey to elevate the brand to prestigious new heights, renovating its packaging through an ongoing collaboration with Olivier van Doorne, president and worldwide creative director at SelectNY, and visionary behind the Artistry brand's revamped aesthetic.

According to Mark Mettler, senior principal packaging engineer for Artistry, prior to the brand renovation, the various skin care product lines did not exhibit any cohesiveness or common geometry. The products had an eclectic mix of different package shapes, sizes and colors. This was largely due to how the brand had expanded globally. Certain brands were launched in a particular market such as Japan only, whereas others were launched globally. The product lines were treated as separate entities and there was no overall identity.

At the cornerstone of the Artistry brand's re-emergence is a signature new look--the distinctive and sophisticated package design, called Crescendo, named for the grace and height of its upward-slanted caps. Tall, sleek bottles capture the essence of the Artistry woman--"her elegance and her modern sophistication, always at the forefront of beauty." Jars with softly sloping profiles further distinguish this prestigious packaging.

"Elegant and elevated, it's the perfect encapsulation of the brand's beauty," explains Doorne, "With the exquisite finish in detail and distinctive colors, together these elements reinforce Artistry Forward Beauty positioning."

Accompanying the new package design are finessed brand features including a sleeker, more refined Artistry logo and an iconic mark, a cartouche-like "A" that the brand expects will become more recognizable over time.

The Crescendo packaging is proprietary to the Artistry brand and was first introduced in 2012 with the premier of the Youth Xtend Collection. The Youth Xtend packaging stands out in its simplicity and beauty. Rose-tinted with golden accents, the bottles, jars and tubes make an elegant statement. The innovative, tinted bases on the pump bottles enable consumers to easily view the product inside, so they can re-order before the product is used up. Every cap has the same graceful slant and silhouette. The jars and bottles have shiny and matte caps to easily differentiate the day and night products. The pump bottles have transparent caps with a rose tint. The Artistry logo is hot-stamped on the bottles and on jar caps for a finishing touch. The packaging was designed in the hope that customers would want to show it off in their powder rooms or on their dressers.

Accomplishing Artistry's goal, the Crescendo packaging culminates in an iconic look that's globally recognizable and that's easily distinguished from its competition. Its ergonomically engineered closures have been designed to be simple and easy to open. As a prestige package, all quality cues were heightened, including weight, which indicates that something substantial is inside; this was achieved through metal cups in the jars and heavy-walled, high-quality PET. Closures were designed for the utmost formula preservation, featuring an automatic shut-off valve for the pump products to protect the formula inside, and a locking pump closure.

High-end materials are used throughout, with all pumps, jar caps and the inner cups in the jars metallized. The pump caps snap into a secure forward position. The use of color has also been carefully orchestrated within the Crescendo renovation, with each of the five Artistry sub-lines differentiated by a signature shade in a subdued and sophisticated jewel-like tone.

In 2014, Hydra-V, in appropriately watery-blue colored packaging, was the fifth sub-line in the Artistry skin care portfolio to launch.

In addition to elevating the brand's image, Morgan says the renovation has also resulted in significant gains in efficiency to the supply chain and production environment, particularly in reduction of inventory and manufacturing. "With the use of the standardized packaging across all skin care sub-lines we were able to reduce component lead-time," he says.

The Brand Evolution Continues

Packaging for the Artistry makeup line brand evolution followed its skin care renovation. In 2014, Artistry's powder compact was also redesigned and launched to incorporate the Crescendo design. It is a custom compact with the base molded in black and the lid vacuum metallized gold to highlight the Crescendo shape. The stacked design allows the applicator to be stored in a separate tray beneath the product. The compact is refillable and can hold either the Artistry Pressed Powder or Powder Foundation. Therefore the consumer only has to buy it once and reuse it for various products in the range, making it convenient--and sustainable.

Artistry's Signature Color Lipstick launched in 2014 to rave reviews. Its Crescendo packaging and patented "twist and click" innovative functionality contributed largely to its success in the prestige beauty market. (See sidebar for details on the design.)

Color Collections

Every year Artistry releases two color collections--one in the spring and one in the fall. Morgan, who handled the packaging for the 2014 eight-shade compact palettes, from Artistry's New York office, says the collections capitalize on the latest beauty and fashion trends. Each collection is completely unique and has a limited life. The compacts have never been used before and custom colors are developed.

He says production can be challenging because Artistry takes a different approach to the seasonal color collections from the typical industry practice. "While most brands usually utilize existing components in their core-line range, Artistry develops completely brand new ranges for its color seasonal collection packaging," Morgan explains. "The collections serve as a promotional vehicle for the brand and therefore design and aesthetics are quite different from the core-line items. The design is unique for each collection and is inspired by the latest trends in the fashion and beauty industry, making them highly desired items that usually sell out within days."

The limited-life nature of collections presents a unique challenge from a packaging standpoint. Morgan says this approach does not justify investment in costly custom tooling. And, the accelerated timeline does not allow sufficient time to support building complex tooling. Therefore he says that the engineering team must come up with creative solutions to identify cost effective alternatives while maintaining the prestige image of the brand. "A strong knowledge of suppliers' stock offerings enables us to identify packaging components that meet the needs of our collections," he adds.

All collections products are fully subcontracted. Morgan explains that the team works with key strategic global partners to design, develop, and launch the Artistry collections. "This strong connection enables us to take advantage of a wide range of capabilities and technologies, which gives us a competitive edge in the industry," he says.

In 2014, the Cafe Melange Season Spring 2014 Color Collection entered the makeup world, and the Artistry Little Black Dress Color Collection launched for Fall 2014. The Little Black Dress Eye Shadow Palette flaunted eight plum berry shadows and a dual-ended brush to blend eye shadow and apply defining eyeliner.

Satinique Bottles Throw a Curve

The Satinique brand has been a part of the Amway portfolio since 1963. It had been more than 15 years since the brand had changed its positioning or packaging when it was rebranded in 2014. The idea was to move the brand from mass to premium through exclusive new formulas in hair care, treatment and styling, plus a global positioning "that brings to life the transformative and emotional power of hair and dynamic new packaging."

The innovative makeover obviously ticked all the boxes as the brand received two prestigious packaging awards in 2014: NJPEC's 2014 Sustainability Award and HBAs 1PDA Award.

John Fedewa, senior engineer, Amway Packaging R&D, says it's been a powerful relaunch.

"The Satinique Collection continues to launch worldwide with incredible metrics--and distributor sales increased significantly," he says. "Packaging contributed largely to this success, earning early validation from Amway Business Owners and consumers alike."

The rebranded packaging was as revolutionary as its powerful new formulas. Elongated, feminine silhouettes that resemble a statuesque woman and vibrant jewel-toned colors anchor the patented packaging of the new hair care collection.

Fedewa says, "Uncompromising quality and protection are found at the forefront of every detail of the package, creating an unforgettable experience that exudes luxury and validates the investment in salon-quality hair care. What's more, we realized the efficiencies of global unification in both packaging and formulas, including optimal supply chain flexibility, economic benefits and environmental impacts through SKU reductions and responsible use of materials."

In addition, the smaller bottle footprint is ideal in Asia and Europe, where shower space is at a premium. Color is carried through treatments and styling products in ribbons of color, and cartons feature a flood of color inside. A matte finish on the bottles ensures that the glossy icon pops.

The bottles required investment in multiple new blow and injection mold tools to meet the premium profile. Upgrades to manufacturing lines allowed seamless production on existing equipment.

Both the 280- and 750ml bottles are patented or patent-pending, as is the 280ml custom closure. Oriented to securely lock into alignment, this closure is a seamless extension of the bottle that draws the eye to the logo. Bottles are engineered to fit comfortably in hand, enhancing ease of use and a premium feel. The 280ml bottle affords one-handed dispensing with a patented flip-top closure that snaps shut with an audible click.

Designed to assist the visually impaired, the 280ml shampoo bottle features raised horizontal ribs to identify shampoo from conditioner. The 750ml bottles ribbed actuator likewise marks it as shampoo, versus unribbed actuators for conditioners.

A polypropylene co-polymer adds durability to the hinge, which endured 100,000 open/close cycles in testing. Once open, the closure snaps back to prevent interference during dispensing. The closure also features a generous surface area so it can stand inverted, allowing for complete evacuation of the package.

Smart Economics

When it came to the economics of the newly designed hair care products, global unification of packaging and formulas enabled optimal flexibility, as the product can ship ready to sell in any Amway market. This allows quick movement of inventory from one market to another when sales demands change. A new line of tooling consolidated various regional packaging shapes into one and Woohyung Lee who sits in Seoul, South Korea. global packaging line, reducing base SKUs by 6% with a 29% reduction in total SKUs achieved by reducing sell copy and over-labeling, as compared to the previous Satinique line. And when it came to decorating, the glossy Satinique icon--which symbolizes a moisture drop and energized strands of hair--is printed in MiraFoil ink, an Amway first that achieves a similar upscale aesthetic to hot stamping, but at significantly less cost than on existing UV decoration equipment.

Responsible use of materials and sustainable design were intentionally built into the packaging for Satinique. Post-consumer recycled HDPE is used in the bottles middle layer to support sustainability goals. Bottles contain 25% post-consumer resin. Low profile, small diameter neck finishes were specified in bottles to reduce resin. More sustainable MiraFoil inks were implemented instead of a traditional hot stamp for the new Satinique icon. Increased units per corrugated shipper reduce corrugated usage. The new configurations reduce overall weight of each shipment, as well as increase the ratio of product shipped to overall packaging required for the product.

Devices on the Rise

In 2013, Amway took measures to get closer to beauty and skin care trends by establishing the Asia Beauty Innovation Center (ABIC) in Seoul, South Korea, at the core of its sizable Asian markets. The main objectives of the ABIC are to improve understanding, speed, relevancy, and integration of Asian regional insights into global skin care, cosmetic, and personal care products. The ABIC team is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals and scientists who focus on execution of regional projects, competitive intelligence, launching devices and new technology.

In 2014, Artistry launched the Hot & Cold device in its Asian markets. Artistry says the " intuitive and on-trend" device is the first-to-market as a "total pore solution."

The prestige skin care and makeup brand also developed an exclusive misting device, essence spray refill, and a mask that supported the launch of Hydra V in South Korea in October 2014.

According to Woohyung Lee, packaging engineer, ABIC Seoul, "By the end of the month, 83% of the total promotion forecast had been sold. This was the highest-revenue Artistry launch in Korean history for the company."

This device will launch in 2015 in Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam and Australia.

The Path of Forward Beauty

Amway says as it evolves its long-term strategic plans, the company will continue to invest in technology and innovation that supports the success of its distributors around the world. Ensuring that they continue to develop products that their ABOs want to sell and consumers want to buy requires constantly conducting research and assessing trends. They say they will continue to focus and invest in new technology, including as it relates to packaging. Collaborating both internally and externally to get a deeper understanding of the "U35" (those under age 35) segment of consumers is essential to ensure they are anticipating future desires and needs.

Kristi Pelc, director of packaging R&D, Amway, says, "It is a very exciting time to be a part of the Amway packaging team. We are creating engaging, beautiful packaging with a special focus on the customer experience, pushing the boundaries of design to incorporate innovation."

Zach Wahl, manager of packaging R&D Amway, notes: "Technology planning and development at Amway helps us focus our resources on meaningful outcomes that align with business needs."

As the company moves forward, it pledges "to continue to leverage its vast global network of technical and scientific expertise to share best knowledge, industry trends, and establish standardized best practices globally."

How It All Began

Amway (short for American Way) was founded more than 50 years ago, in 1959, by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, longtime friends who envisioned a business model powered by personal relationships. Their efforts were set in motion in 1949, when the two became distributors of the IMutrilite health brand, which would eventually become part of the Amway Corporation in 1972. Amway's original product was a liquid organic cleaner.

Beauty entered Amway via Nutrilite, with the Artistry brand, which had originally launched in the 1950s when Edith Rehnborg, the wife of Nutrilite's founder Carl Rehnborg, introduced her own line of cosmetics. The brand was updated when Amway accessed it.

Satinique, which Amway launched in 1963, was rebranded from mass to premium in 2014.

Thanks to Amway's large brand portfolio--and its more than 3 million independent business owners who sell the company's more than 450 vitamin supplements, cosmetics and household products--the privately owned firm, now known as the world's largest direct sales company, reported 2013 sales of $11.8 billion. Beauty accounted for 25% of the annual total.

Amway now operates in more than 100 countries and territories around the world, largely in Asia, and with China reportedly its largest market.

Case Study: Artistry's Signature Lipstick 'Twist and Click' Package

Artistry says its new Signature Color Lipstick meets the luxury consumer's demand for innovation with packaging that raises the bar within prestige beauty. A key feature is what the brand says is the industry's first and only "twist-and-click" cap, which allows the lipstick base to be released with a simple twist of the cap and return to its original position to maintain the iconic Crescendo design. Engineered to be not only exclusive but also exceptionally functional, this unique user experience is the result of four years of development and rigorous product testing. Specifically, the user rotates the cap either clockwise or counter-clockwise; 17 interconnected parts work together to present the base for easy removal. After product usage, the user simply returns the base into the cap until there is an audible snap signaling full closure.

Artistry scientists conducted four years of rigorous product development and testing to evaluate and ensure functional integrity and a prestige consumer experience at every point throughout the package use. Testing included evaluating torque and removal force over 1,500 cycles. The design was optimized to maintain a smooth resistance and even torque and click sound that communicates quality for the full life of the package.

For added elegance and safety, the aluminum edge is rolled over to the inside of the cap. This eliminates any potential sharp edges while enhancing the prestige look and feel of the product.

Caps are topped with a signature "A" to give the Artistry brand a presence yet not overshadow the packaging's simple elegance. This iconic accent is applied through a two-step process of silk-screening and hot stamping to ensure durable adhesion throughout the product's lifecycle.

The custom lipstick case fits comfortably in the hand and the cap ergonomically suits both right- and left-handed consumers by twisting both ways seamlessly. What's more, the cap's height was designed to show the base and allow for ample grip of the twist-and-click feature.

Stephanie Pohl, senior packaging engineer, Beauty Team Packaging R&D, Artistry, says: "The lip color package was an exciting project to work on. Its twist-and-click design creates a unique user experience while also incorporating the signature Crescendo design on the top and bottom of the cap. This technically challenging design required precise engineering and very tight molding tolerances. Subtle details like the feel of the twist and the sound of the click were critical to create the prestige experience. Multiple prototypes, mold revisions and unique test methods were developed and evaluated to optimize the design."

Amway Packaging Professionals

Amway boasts a group of 47 packaging professionals; 15 are focused on the Beauty business. Packaging professionals are located in the U.S. (Ml, CA, and NY), South Korea, China and India. Most new product development on global launches is managed in the U.S.

The New York City office, located in the global hub of the fashion and beauty industry in North America, was established in 2008, and houses a team of marketing, product development, formulation R&D and packaging engineering employees focused on color cosmetics, hair care, oral care and fragrance.
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Author:Matusow, Jamie
Publication:Beauty Packaging
Article Type:Cover story
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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