Great examples of how genderless packaging is transforming the beauty industry

Gender stereotypes have always been common in the beauty industry.

Makeup is predominantly for women, male-identifying customers don’t care about skincare etc. – these are all opinions that have defined the beauty industry, but no more.

Brands are starting to embrace inclusivity, now creating products that not only ignore gender stereotypes but also target all customers.

In recent years, we have seen some great examples of how brands can go against the grain and embrace customers’ calls for more inclusivity.

Here is how genderless packaging is transforming the beauty industry.

Why is genderless packaging important?

Society is changing, people are embracing gender neutrality and encouraging others to break through norms and be who they want to be.

As societal changes progress, it’s important that industries keep up – in this case, going genderless is not just a passing trend, it’s the new normal.

Genderless packaging is important because it allows everyone to get involved and express themselves through makeup, or take care of their body with the right skincare products.

Beauty shouldn’t only be for the select few, but for everyone. Genderless packaging is helping to break down stereotypes and create a more welcoming community of beauty-lovers, all using the same products – regardless of gender, race, or identity.

At APackaging Group, we think that this is an important, long overdue, change and we’re excited to help more of our customers switch to genderless packaging.

What does inclusive packaging look like?

Skincare and beauty packaging used to be predominantly marketed toward women. You may get the end-of-the-aisle selection of male products, but it was always clear that there was some distinction between the two groups of products.

Now more brands are creating packaging with neutral colors that could easily appeal to both female- and male-identifying customers.

Products are no longer confined to a brand’s pre-determined ideas of who their ideal customers are. Instead, brands can focus on their ingredients, interactions with customers and skin concerns.

Examples of this include brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List, which have embraced monochrome, clinical designs that are simple and minimalist.

There are also brands like Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace which has designed fun, bright packaging but uses a gender-neutral green shade that any customer could be attracted to.

Packaging plays a big part in purchasing decisions, and if you go straight in with designs that are stereotypically female, you could be turning off a whole section of the market who thinks your product isn’t for them.

Go one step further with gender-neutral marketing campaigns

Packaging is a huge factor, but creating a more genderless beauty industry also comes down to how you’re promoting your products.

When you see marketing campaigns full of one type of person, for example, makeup adverts that have always featured predominately women, anyone who doesn’t identify as a woman instantly feels like they aren’t able to purchase the product.

Promoting inclusivity in all aspects should be the goal for any brand, but it needs to be a conscious decision.

How to make your packaging gender-neutral

Whether you’re launching a new product or looking to revamp your current packaging, it’s not so difficult to make your packaging gender-neutral.

Here are a few packaging elements that you should consider:

  • Colors: Think about the colors that you’re using on your packaging. Certain colors may often be stereotyped with a certain gender – e.g., bright pinks may not be the most appealing to men. Try to stick to neutral colors like green, yellow, black, white, purple etc.
  • Design: Certain designs can turn customers off, especially if they’re too loud and colorful. Normally minimal designs are the best if you want to appeal to a large range of customers. So, stick to a consistent color palette and keep your designs simple yet eye catching.
  • Choose your words wisely: Getting people attracted to your packaging is the first step, so you wouldn’t want to fall at the last hurdle by using descriptions that only appeal to a certain section of the market. Use gender-inclusive words when describing your products and try not to seem like you’re targeting a specific group of people.

Don’t forget to ask your customers what they think too. The only way to know if your packaging is inclusive is by asking beauty consumers whether they would buy your product or not.

Simple market research will quickly tell you if you’re excluding certain areas of the market, or if your packaging is as inclusive as you hoped.

Don’t forget to be creative

Creating gender-neutral packaging doesn’t mean you have to compromise creativity. It’s easy to make everything monochrome and minimal, but that’s not the only way you can achieve gender inclusivity.

Work with your design team and packaging supplier to come up with new design ideas that work for everyone, while still sharing your brand’s message.


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