Innovation tracker: a squeezy ball of lip balm


The fresh and contemporary style of packaging used for Estée Lauder's Estée Edit cosmetics range has a very different feel to that of the company's other brands, and this is particularly striking in the case of the spherical "jar" used for Estée Edit Cocobalm, a coconut oil-infused lip balm with a "pop of color."  

The Estée Edit range is targeted at Millennials, a younger audience than the typical Estée Lauder consumer, and the brand encourages self-expression and individuality. Cobalt blue ink-splat imagery on the outer cartons used for the line helps to bring a fresh, youthful, and dynamic feel, while the brand was originally launched through the Sephora retail chain, which is popular with Millennials and represents a move away from Estée Lauder's traditional home in department and specialty stores.

The pack consists of an injection-molded clear plastic outer ring that has flat faces to front and back, and an aperture at the center, in which a ball-like semi-flexible clear plastic bottle (containing the product) sits with its bulbous front and back faces protruding. A chrome-effect plastic fitment is snap-fitted to the shoulder of the outer ring, and the dispensing nozzle protrudes through the center of the shoulder fitment. A chrome-look twist-off closure completes the circular outline of the pack.

The pack is easy and intuitive to use; just twist off the cap and squeeze the flexible ball to dispense the product. The nozzle has an angled tip for comfortable application to the lips, and a fine dispensing aperture gives good control over the amount of lip balm released, thereby minimizing wastage. Excess product tends to be sucked back into the pack as the squeeze pressure on the ball is released.

"This pack has a very stylish look, with chrome elements delivering a contemporary touch, and the rigid plastic outer ring mimicking glass very effectively for a premium feel," according to a packaging analyst for GlobalData. "The almost spherical pack fits comfortably in the hand, with the thumb and forefinger automatically gravitating to the flexible colored ball at the center. The squeezability of the ball brings a sense of fun; when you touch it you naturally want to play with it and see how it feels between your fingers as you squeeze it. This introduces a greater level of engagement that is likely to appeal to the targeted younger consumers."