5 issues with premium packaging for cosmetic samples and their solutions

From this article you will find out if premium sample packaging is for you, and what problems we have to face with such packaging.

Premium cosmetic sample packaging – what makes it different?

Premium sample packaging is what we see and recognise as the packaging that stands out on the shelves: the way it is made, often the construction, design, choice of raw materials, finishing techniques, quality of finish, durability, and price. The difference between premium and economy packaging is noticeable at first glance, and that is precisely the purpose of premium packaging.

Such packaging should be refined and aesthetically pleasing, because it is on the basis of this that we judge the product inside. The beauty industry is judged through the prism of beauty because that is its purpose – it is to lead us to beauty. The packaging of a luxury perfume is not like the packaging of a biscuit, which is supposed to make us eat the product inside – in which case the packaging does not play as big a role as it does for cosmetics. The packaging of biscuits is supposed to be in a sense ‘tasty’, eye-catching, and have an informative function about the product, its composition, additives, etc., which often misses the aesthetics, originality or beauty of the packaging.

Interesting shapes, an elegant and aesthetically pleasing appearance, a pleasant feel and a noble raw material structure – these are packaging features that give a product a luxurious look and allow such products to be distinguished from mass productions.

So can the budget version of packaging also be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing – of course it can. The way the packaging is made and finished in such a case will be adequate to the budget we are operating with.

For example, we have two packagings with the same design and using the same raw material and what makes them different are the finishing touches and the packaging design. Suppose a premium product will have a packaging with a cover on which the logo is embossed and a design with an interesting shape, for example with pop-up elements. On the other hand, the budget version will have the same great and aesthetically pleasing design, but without embossing, and a simple design, making it cheaper and less exclusive, but still of great quality and aesthetics.

Selecting sample packaging, who should opt for premium packaging and when?

Who should benefit from premium sample packaging:

  • Luxury brands that stand out for the quality and exclusivity of their product. They should opt for premium packaging to maintain consistency with their product and, above all, their image;

  • Companies that are launching new products can use premium sample packaging as part of their marketing strategy to attract customers’ attention and make them remember their product;

  • If a brand is targeting a more affluent customer segment, premium packaging for samples will certainly be better perceived by this target group;

  • If you have large margins on your products, the cost of premium packaging may be more acceptable to you.

Who can opt out of premium sample packs and use the budget version:

  • Companies that offer lower-priced products or mass productions can focus on minimising packaging costs instead of luxury solutions. Packaging can sometimes outweigh the price of the product inside;

  • Companies that are committed to sustainability may avoid premium packaging, which is often less environmentally friendly or uses expensive green solutions;

  • If the product is daily use and purchased in large quantities, e.g. lotions, feminine hygiene products, then premium packaging for samples may be less relevant, or completely irrelevant to consumers;

  • If the target group of our products puts its attractive price above its appearance, then premium packaging for samples makes no sense and can only deter customers by giving it a more expensive appearance.

The choice of premium sample packaging depends on our strategy, the market segment in which we are positioned, the type of product we offer and the values we want to convey to our customers. It is therefore important to be aware of who our target audience is and what our marketing objectives are.

5 issues we face with premium cosmetic sample packaging

Issues with premium cosmetic sample packaging, can be challenging for cosmetic companies and packaging manufacturers. We have compiled a list of the five most common problems we encounter when working with cosmetic brands and creating premium sample packaging for them:

PRICE – it is a fact that premium packaging is not a good choice for everyone – they are quite a lot more expensive than economy substitutes. This can be a problem, especially for companies with limited budgets.

We can tackle the high price in several ways:

  • By choosing an experienced manufacturer who has knowledge of the industry and the market, you can optimise costs, e.g. by selecting enhancements and solutions that are not so expensive, but which will result in a luxurious packaging look;

  • By using a company that has its own production, distribution and design office, so we can often get the design for free (which can be a saving of 3 to even 100,000);

  • Premium packaging does not need to be produced in mass quantities to have a better sales effect for the product. It is more advantageous to tailor the product to a target group that is more likely to use it and to rely on less packaging.

TIME – creating premium packaging for samples can be more complex and time-consuming than standard packaging. The production time for such packaging increases due to:

  • a more neat and refined design. Sometimes a lot of time passes from the first version of the packaging to the final approval before production. This is influenced by both the packaging design company and the client. The designer – because of the time it takes, for example, to paint the packaging elements by hand or to choose the right graphics, colours or typefaces. It is not uncommon for the customer not to provide any graphic materials and the designers have to look for them themselves. Client – due to decision-making, e.g. many people approve the design, so the approval period is extended, which affects the lead time;

  • complicated construction, which requires manual and careful folding or gluing;

  • selected finishing techniques – e.g. embossing or laminating or foiling the packaging takes longer than printing itself.

WRONGLY MATCHING PACKAGING TO PRODUCT – It is very common for packaging to be out of sync with the product, or with the idea of our company. Sometimes a very thin line separates something that is premium from something that is kitsch, glamour and exaggeration. Such pseuopremium packaging is unattractive and unsightly, despite being cut from high-quality raw materials and richly refined. Sometimes inappropriate text and graphics are enough to spoil promising packaging, in which case more expensive packaging is just unnecessary costs that will not translate into profits. In addition, complicated or impractical packaging can make it difficult for users to use cosmetics samples.

How, then, to counteract this – it is important to know the market and current trends, When designing packaging, it is worth opting for timelessness, minimalism and modesty. Develop packaging that is easy to open and use, while maintaining an aesthetic and interesting appearance.

QUALITY – When we hear premium packaging, the first thing we think of is quality. This is one of the most important qualities that describes premium packaging. In fact, quality is very much related to the budget and should be in line with the price, this does not only apply to sample packaging or the packaging itself, but also to products and services in general. In fact, every developer would like to maintain the best possible quality at optimised costs, hardly ever (and probably never) can companies afford to say that ‘price is not an issue’. We always have some sort of budget on the table, and the difficulty is to create high-quality packaging to fit into the financial plan.

We have to look for solutions that allow us to reduce costs – without losing quality. For example, if we go for minimalism and our packaging is printed in black and white, it will be cheaper to produce than full-colour, thus saving money without compromising quality. We can do the same by replacing more expensive raw materials with cheaper equivalents, while retaining the existing finishing.

ECO-FRIENDLINESS premium packaging can be less eco-friendly, which goes against current sustainability trends, often relying on plastic, film or other materials that are difficult to recycle. Nowadays, increasingly conscious consumers are more likely to choose companies that reduce their carbon footprint, so green packaging can increase our product sales. This is why it is so important here to find the right solution to make our packaging both environmentally friendly and still be called premium.

Solving these problems requires the search for ever newer green alternatives.

So consider using greener materials, such as biodegradable or recyclable packaging. You can also promote the reuse of your packaging by your customers in other ways, e.g. after removing the sample they can be used as a nice jewellery box.

The basis here is a balanced approach between aesthetics and functionality, as well as taking into account current environmental trends. Good packaging for cosmetic samples can attract customers and increase the appeal of the product, but it must also be practical and economical. It is important to have well sized packaging, i.e. packaging that is not too large but appropriately sized for the product – thus not wasting raw material.


It is a fact that luxury products should expect packaging of the same standard. The packaging and the emotions when opening it often play a key role in the purchase decision. Do you need premium packaging that matches the quality of your products?

Contact us, at Burgopak Poland we can take care of everything – from packaging design to production to packaging and dispatch to the customer. For years, we have been supplying packaging for premium products for the beauty industry in particular.

Source: Own study.

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