Online Exclusive: Premium Nail Care Brand Differentiation
The product package redesign helped Cutex nails elevate its style and stand apart in a sea of lookalikes.

To combat consumer confusion on shelf in the nail care aisle, Cutex recently revamped its product


Designers increased the height of the HDPE package to make it stand out on the shelf.

packaging. The mission of the redesign: Set Cutex nail polish remover apart from copy-cat branded or private-labeled products that crowd the shelves. Cutex market research showed that consumers were so confused by the lookalikes that eight out of 10 respondents in one Cutex Brands survey claimed they were buying Cutex products, even though sales numbers showed that was not possible.

Improved Product

In 2010, after the company changed owners, the new management set out to restore the brand to premium status. First, Cutex developed a novel nail polish remover formula by combining an acetone-based formula with natural botanical nourishing oils that are designed to solidify after application to produce stronger, healthier nails.

“Cutex Advanced Revival is the first new nail polish remover formula for the company in over 15 years. While it still has a high acetone content that will quickly remove nail polish, it has the added benefit of botanical oils. Apricot seed oil, black currant oil and flaxseed oil are natural drying oils that stay on your nails after the acetone dries. The oils condition the nails, making them feel stronger and nourished,” explains Barbara Hershfelt, Cutex brand manager.

She points out that in recent years, nail polish manufacturers have been changing their formulas to make better, longer-wearing products. “However, these products are also harder to remove and need a high acetone level to remove the polish – which is very drying on the nails. The botanical oils counteract the drying nature of the acetone and result in strengthened and conditioned nails,” she says.

New Look

Next, Cutex called in Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven design division to update, rebrand and differentiate the brand’s package. While the basic silhouette of the bottle stayed the same to ensure it was still instantly recognizable as nail polish remover, the design team made several crucial changes to elevate the brand image.

“Cutex brand is committed to producing high quality product and introducing innovative products in the nail polish remover category. Having a new shaped bottle and graphics not only refresh this heritage brand, but reinforce the higher quality nail polish remover that is consistent with the Cutex brand image,” Hershfelt says.

Yet, the brand needed to be realistic when it came to the budget. “The average cost of Cutex nail polish remover is about $3 for 6 ounces. While a fairly high volume business, there is not a whole lot of money in the product for packaging,” she notes. “So, we were definitely cost challenged.”

Additionally, the nature of acetone necessitates a thicker bottle wall to avoid bloating, explains Heather Eikemeier, Berlin Packaging consultant.


Swan-like Beauty

The evolution of the package included increasing the height of the HDPE package to make it stand out on

A decorative swan-like shape was debossed on the face of the bottle to add femininity. The label was die-cut in the same swan shape.
the shelf. A decorative swan-like shape was debossed on the face of the bottle to add femininity and a premium image. The label was die-cut in the same swan shape and updated with a modernized logo, softer graphics and lighter pastel color palette. Finally, a reverse-tapered closure replaced the standard straight-lined cap to elongate the bottle and accentuate the upscale appearance, explains Eikemeier.


Berlin’s sales and operations team worked hand in hand with the design team to ensure a quality product was produced on budget and on time. Hershfelt adds: “Studio One Eleven team did a great job understanding the Cutex brand, our customer base and the consumer. They embraced our challenges of cost and design limitations and totally delivered against our objectives.”

The new package is available in 6- and 10 oz. sizes and in five SKUs, including Cutex’s new Advanced Revival formula.