Abstract been little research, to the authors’ knowledge,

AbstractThe beauty and cosmetics trade are a valuable andsignificant global industry. According to Forbes, the beauty industry is worth$445 billion (Forbes, 2017). It is a very competitive industry and offers greatopportunities for new entrants and other competitors (Ramli, 2017).

Today, manymakeup and cosmetic brands have a specific target market, but most of themtarget the female consumer, based on the products. However, this industry isconstantly changing due to factors such as globalization, changes in the marketand specific demands. Due to these changes, innovation is very important forcosmetic brands to assure that both men and women consumers’ needs are met(Ramli, 2017). According to Belk (1988), the consumer views a brand as anextension of one’s self-image and worth. Brands function as main drivers thatconstruct the consumers’ identity (Fournier, 1998).While there is an extensive range of academicliterature on the cosmetic industry and branding, there has been littleresearch, to the authors’ knowledge, on how the effect of branding andpackaging in specific makeup products can affect the consumer’s choice ofpurchase.This dissertation aims to address this literaturegap by conducting four focus groups to gather in-depth information on theiropinions on the packaging and branding of the consumers cosmetic purchases.This dissertation will focus on women’s makeup products particularly eyeshadowpalettes and powder/ highlighters only as Ramli (2017) has stated that thefemale consumer is the main target audience for cosmetics.

KeyWords: Makeup industry, brand identity, packaging design,makeup products, cosmetic purchases, female consumer, Ireland, branding.  Literature ReviewThefollowing literature review aims to support theacademic value of this dissertation by building upon the theoreticaldiscussions around the makeup industry, branding and packaging and the femaleconsumer. MakeupIndustry The makeup industry is a majorcontender in today’s global economy, it is competitive yet offers new entrantsthe chance to be part of a thriving economy. It is one of the industries thatsurvived the global crisis and continues to cultivate.

The Irish makeupindustry is currently in an incline after financial crisis in 2008. Makeup practices began as early as the Neolithic period. (Aytug2015)investigatesthe history of makeup applications throughout the ages. From this literature itis evident that makeup has been an important cultural aspect of the growth ofthe beauty industry. ‘Woman charted a path to massconsumption outside the emerged system of national advertising anddistribution’ (Peiss,K. 2011)Thecosmetics industry became popular post WW I with the growing acceptance ofbeautifying blossomed into a mass market for cosmetics.

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In a short time,cosmetics had become affordable to most consumers. In 1929 Robert Lynd asociologist estimated that Americans were spending 700 million dollars a yearon both cosmetics and beauty services. Thus, starting businesses exploitationof femininity. There was diminished suspicion of cosmetics by promoting beautycare as a set of practices.

Post WW2 business women ‘Esteé Lauder’ and ‘MaryKay Ash’ changed beauty culture into a culture of shared meanings.              History of CosmeticsFashion symbolising began inAncient Egypt it set hierarchical structures in society. Pale skin was highlyidolised in early cultures dating back to the Middle Ages (A.D.476-1453) this is when the practice of ‘face painting’ became popular. Facepainting and patch continued in 18th Century.

English women to use andintoxication lead to whitening their faces continued. French women, however,were using an intensive red colour. French court instance based on the higherforms, hairs, wood and iron cage of shaped and powder were used. (Swinfield,1999: 96) Make up has always been important to females of everyculture. Package design only became important to consumers when Tupperware cameinto existence in the 1940s.

Plastics have played an integral rolein smart packaging solutionsthat help us do morewith less and thus contributed to the repackaging of cosmetics in theindustry. Cosmetic companies were now using two types of packaging, primary andsecondary. Primary packaging was the vessel that the product was contained inand the secondary packaging was now introducing competitive labelling into thecosmetic industry. This was the start of brand competition within the cosmeticindustry. Introducing Branding and Packaging             Ambrose (2017) states thatpackaging is how the product is protected and transported but we buy into thedesign of the packaging not the protection of the product.

The labels on theproduct act as a canvas to design and communicate information (Ambrose 2017).By referring to these studies there will be a concise understanding of howpackaging is used to seduce the consumer when making purchasing decisions.Every makeup product is labelled because of the contents that are concealedwithin them as there is obligatory information that the cosmetic product mustshow. There are many speculations that consumers have started to buy makeupproducts just because they are highly promoted and branded. There is a hypeabout new releases and getting the product when it first releases, be it onlineor in store. Stocks are usually limited in higher end makeup products whichmeans they sell out faster making the consumer watch the brand closely fortheir next restock.

These higher end products normally have sleek and beautifulpackaging which the consumer admires and then posts to social media creating a’free advertisement’ for the brands company. This is noticeable on social mediaplatforms such as Instagram. This is a new type of consumer-generatedmedia that “describes a variety of new sources of online information that arecreated, initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent on educating eachother about products, brands, services, personalities, and issues” (Blackshaw & Nazzaro, 2004, p. 2). Vila& Ampuero (2007) distinguished two areas of packaging elements: graphicelements (colour, typography, shapes and images) and structural elements (form,containers and materials). It is important to consider these factors whenexamining the makeup products packaging design. Packaging Design The value for the cosmeticpackaging industry alone is estimated to be about $170 billion a year,worldwide and nearly $50 billion in just the United States (Rufus, A. 2010).

 Over70% of consumers make their purchasing decisions in stores (POPAI, 1996), 85%make their decisions after picking up only one item, and 90% make theirdecisions after only examining the primary display panel of a package (Clement,2007). The packaging of a product can influence a consumerinto choosing one product over another therefore it is important to consideryour packaging when trying to sell a product.During the decision-making process, unique packaging can draw attention,communicate product benefits and ultimately give a product the chance ofconsideration (Silayoi & Speece, 2004) There is a huge visual pricepoint involved in a packaging design. Simpler packaging is usually viewed asbeing more affordable, while more aesthetic or interesting designs imply aproduct has higher value. Some people are not always looking for high qualitybut rather for a good deal at a lower price. Cosmetic packaging is usuallydesigned around the products selling value.

(Hill, A. 2011) states thatconsidering the packaging design plays a crucial role when displaying a brand.Hill believes that it is typically the first thing a consumer interacts with ina brand experience.

In fact, packaging can be the sole influencer in aconsumer’s purchase decision. Hill said even for this reason, small companieswill often invest heavily in their product packaging when compared to otherparts of a brand campaign. She suggests that the strongest packages areauthentic expressions of the brand personality and speak clearly to the audienceor consumer. If the consumer feels as if a package is speaking directly to themthey are more likely to purchase the product. (Holdway,Walker and Hilton 2002) state that packaging is used as a marketing vehicleaiding in communication and recognition of branding.

Often coined as the”silent salesman” on the shelf, packaging informs consumers of product featuresand benefits that can be obtained if a certain product is to be consumed.(Rettie and Brewer, 2000). (Silayoi and Speece 2004) state thereare two main packaging elements that can affect a consumer’s purchasingdecision, Visuals and information. Visual elements include graphic design,size, shape of the product and the information elements include ingredients andbenefits of the product. However visual processingis said to be more effective than information processing.(Deng.

X, 2009). BrandIdentity Branding is how a company wants to identifyitself. A company will often use branding strategy as a means of communicatingits identity and value to consumers and their competition. Through brandidentity, a company seeks to convey its individuality and distinctiveness toall its relevant publics (Kapferer, J.2012). According to (Harrisand de Chernatony 2001).

 brand identity is made up of the followingcomponents:- brand vision- brand culture- positioning- personality- relationships- presentations.Brand vision iswhy your brand is in existence, it can represent values in your brand and alongwith brand culture it can provide direction and guidance. Brands positioning iswhere it stands in the market for example what makes it unique in comparison toother competing brands. This can be considered when comparing different makeup productsthat all claim to do the same thing. Personality represents the emotionalcharacteristics of the brand.

When looking at makeup products the emotion canbe how the female consumers are made feel when they use a brands product i.e.do they feel better about themselves. Relationships can be a crucial element inbuilding a brand. Companies need to make sure they are communicating with theircostumers and their competition to make sure they stay relevant and relatableto their fans. This is especially important in the makeup industry when thereare constantly new competitors releasing similar products and sometimes even atcheaper prices. Finally, presentation styles are created to show of the brandsidentity, this has become much easier with the use of social media platforms topromote their brand and its identity.

Branding in makeup has been crucial forthe growth of companies. Most companies now rely heavily on ‘beautyinfluencers’ to rate their products on social media platforms such as YouTube,Snapchat and Instagram. This type of ‘advertising’ allows the consumer tobelieve they are buying a product that someone they trust is recommending tothem rather than buying a product based on an ad in a magazine. Makeup brandsneed to remain consistent and keep up to date with current trends to stayrelevant in the beauty industry (J.Kapferer 2003)  states that any company can sell goods buttheir brand is what conveys their uniqueness against their competitors which inessence keeps them in business. Logos and packaging can help identify a brands product.Benefit cosmetics are highly recognised for their package design, everythingthey sell is packaged beautifully and thus attracts consumers to buy their producteven if the product itself doesn’t have the highest rating amongst its competitors.The femaleconsumerAccording to (Warner2005)thefemale consumer is a highly influential consumer sector in the American market.

Globally woman drive the economy controlling about 20 trillion dollars annuallyin consumer spending. Considering this information this dissertation aims to focus on womenonly. (Granot etal 2010)discoversthat the female consumer has a structured decision-making processfor example the product or brand must have an emotional significance to thefemale consumer. Females are highly susceptible to manipulation by the mediaand thus brands can play on these emotions to sell their products. Many femaleconsumers of all ages and social status are highly encouraged to keep up withfashion trends (Warner 2005). Therefore when makeup trends change and evolvethe brands and companies need to make sure they meet the demands of theirfemale consumer because without their loyalty their business would fail.

(Granot et al 2010) shows that the female participants in their study showenjoyment with their relationships with specific brands. Men and women have different brain structures so when womenbegan having more decision power in the workplace therewas clearly a contrast between men and woman’s decision-making process. Thisled to studies of both the male and female brains. It was found that men had6.5 times more gray matter and women had 10 times more white matter. Graymatter characterizes information processing and white matter connects these partsof the brain. Neither brain preforms better or worse but does have implicationson how decisions are made. Typically, men are task orientated.

They enter a shopwith a need and leave with the product within 30 minutes. Whereas women shopwith more of an open mind meaning it takes them longer to choose a product butthere is generally a higher satisfaction result. Makeup companies must considerthat women generally don’t enter a shop to buy the first cosmetic product theysee, women will shop around. This is when brands need to get clever andestablish what makes their product better than the same product in the shelfnext to theirs. Cosmetic ConsumersTheconsumer does not compare advantages and disadvantages of each makeup product on every occasion,but is led by previous experiences and acts out of habits. Only when theconsumer really takes the time to value a new product does consider factorssuch as design, price, usability and package quality. Consumer is the ultimate user of every product,without any consumer there is no market as such (Baker, 2004).

 Theconsumer should be seen as the decider of a company. When consumers have had noexperiences with a product, they tend to trust a well-known brand name.Consumers often think well-known brands are better and are worth buying for theimplied assurance of quality dependability, performance and services.(Schiffman, Kanuk, 2009) Therefore many older generations of women tend to buythe same brands they’ve bought for years that younger women tend to sway from. This sense of loyalty keeps brands inbusiness but eventually they will need to try grab the attention of youngerconsumers. Many consumers view a low price for low quality which advertisersand marketers realise. Makeup products tend to be marketed at a price that isconsidered a splurge for some consumers but not priced too high that itsunaffordable to the masses.

This marketing technique gives the consumer thebelief that their product is of higher quality. (Mullen, B. and Johnson, C.2013). Conclusion The purpose of this review is to view the trends in thecosmetic industry and help the reader understand different aspects of research inareas such as branding, packaging and the female consumer. There is significantstudies and literature considering each of these elements but there is noextensive research to the authors knowledge combining each of these points particularlyfocused in Ireland in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). This research aims to be uniqueyet relevant to each of the works outlined above. In light of the research conductedthere will be an interesting discussion on how the female consumer interacts withpackaging design of makeup products and how a company’s overall brand can influencethe female consumers buying decisions.

This study aims to find out whether brandingand packaging in the cosmetic industry is an important element to the female consumer.