Sound satisfaction is beauty's missing ingredient, but not for long

By Julia Wray | Published: 16-Jan-2024

From a reassuring 'click' to ASMR, here's why the role that sound plays in the beauty product experience is now commanding attention

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Packaging with haptic appeal is generating a lot of interest in the beauty world.

And it goes without saying that cosmetic products should appeal visually, as well as (when desired) to our sense of smell.

But sound also plays a role in providing the optimal consumer experience.

So, why – as experts note – is beauty lagging behind other industries in building ‘sound satisfaction’ into products and packs?

The equivalent of a Nestlé KitKat ‘snap’, or the widget that some beer brands use to create the sound (and foam) of a draught beer as consumers open the can.

Moreover, can home-use goods take a leaf out of the professional beauty sector’s book when it comes to integrating sound?

“Hearing is a very underutilised sense in our interaction with beauty and personal care packaging,” says Benjamin Punchard, Global Packaging Insights Director at consumer trends analyst Mintel.

But he questions why it should be this way, adding: “Food brands have long recognised the power of sound in supporting product quality, for example the crisp, crinkly bag for snacks that reinforce the ‘crunch’ of the product.”

Helga Hertsig-Lavocah, Senior Futurologist at Hint Futurology, likewise notes beauty’s reticence to embrace the power of sound. “Sound is an intrinsic part of life, yet when it comes to beauty NPD [new product development], it’s overlooked,” she tells Cosmetics Business.  

“This isn’t the case in other industries. The automotive sector dedicates resources to the sound that the car door makes when it shuts.”

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