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Anatomy of a packaging: Guerlain’s “La Petite Robe Noire”

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No need to repeat it once again; packaging is a pert of customer experience, bit it from an aesthetic viewpoint or from a functional one. Apple for instance masters the functional aspects of the packaging; other brands goes very far to have every tiny aspect of their packagings aligned with their very positioning.

Let’s review today Guerlain’s latest perfume (“La Petite Robe Noire”) packaging.

In the case of a perfume you don’t have one packaging but two and both must match perfectly (literally and figuratively). The bottle is most often the packaging with gets the most attention; however the box deserves as much attention and it is often neglected by brands.

Let’s quickly go through the bottle: it’s curves on the top remind me of some Art Nouveau style, inspired by Nature, whereas the cap (made of plastic) looks like an ancient carved piece of crystal. Just below the cap there is this little piece of tissue, which may not catch your eyes but it’s a reminiscence of others perfumes of the same brand. Take Shalimar for instance, the brand’s best seller.

You’ll find on this perfume the same kind of ornament at the bottom of the cap. In the case of Shalimar it’s made of real silk and it’s still crafted by hand in France; History is preserved one would say.

Let’s now move to the box. The white paperboard contrasts nicely with the black dress printed in relief. The printing technology used for this box is amazing. Not only is it printed in relief, but it has also a checkered structure which adds up to the complexity of the product.

Open the box and it just goes on.

A black inner cardboard houses the bottle. This black cardboard has the armory of Guerlain embossed. And guess what, you find the same emblem, perfectly aligned with the previous one, printed on the outer box.

My take:

Guerlain got it right. The bottle and the box of their latest perfume are full of little details which contribute perfectly to an overall consistent experience of luxury.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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