October 25, 2016
Posted By: MSLK

GCI magazine invited MSLK’s Sheri L Koetting to write about how design should be infused into all parts of the brand development process. Savvy, intelligent brands are starting to realize that having designers present in early product development meetings will poise them for success. Involving design early allows brand architecture, product organization, and core messaging to be considered up front so these aspects can be cohesive across all major touch-points, from the packaging to the retail and digital experiences. The full article is available on the GCI website.

July 25, 2016
Posted By: Marc

There’s a longstanding industry term for the visual aspect of packaging: “Decoration.” Unfortunately, this arcane term represents everything wrong with the old way of thinking — that design is merely a façade to “fancy something up.” If a brand views design as the exterior of their packaging, they’re likely missing out on the deeper connection design has to a brand . Good design can inform the way the products are organized through to how the information is meant to be revealed at retail.

Too often we see great packaging containing lousy products, and vice versa. So few are able to deliver on the promise of the packaging. Personal care products share an intimate relationship with you. They are on your body all day! If it seems as if the people making the product have never spoken to the people designing the packaging, you’re right on the money.

Why is this so? It’s usually a strict adherence to “the way things were” and an unwillingness to deviate from processes that have been in place for decades. Unwillingness to take risks is likely the main reason so few companies adopt more modern working practices that could foster a more creative outcome. Most are too caught up in the day-to-day to innovate. Most are very beholden to corporate hierarchy to appreciate good that could come from asking fundamental questions.

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July 20, 2016
Posted By: Ryan


For their summer consumer-focused issue, GCI magazine invited MSLK’s chief strategist, Sheri L Koetting, to write about how the consumer influences our brand-building process. For us, everything comes back to the brand’s core audience. A keen understanding of their demographics and behavior streamlines branding efforts, allowing teams to make objective decisions about design, messaging, and the proper channels to reach them. Most importantly, understanding your audience ensures that budgets are focused and allocated in exactly the right places. The full article is available on the GCI Website.

May 10, 2016
Posted By: Marc



Join Sheri L Koetting as she gives insider tips about packaging, brand strategy, and overall brand positioning at three upcoming events. These talks are perfect for beauty brands who are thinking about their next steps.


“Customizing Stock Packaging to Create a Luxury Experience”
Luxe Pack  |  May 11  |  10:00 am  |  Pier 92, NYC
Sheri will be speaking with sustainable production expert Eva Lundqvist of Stora Enso. They will discuss utilizing on-demand printing, working in small batches, and out-of-the-ordinary production techniques to create the feeling of limited edition, hand-crafted luxury.



“Effectively Using Packaging to Tell the Right Brand Story” 
EastPack: Packaging Design for Health & Beauty
June 15  |  3:30 pm  |  Javits Center, NYC
Sheri, Victoria Neilson from VSN Brand Innovation, and Michele Sawyer of Sawyer Design Vision will uncover how to successfully create a brand story, establish a “pass around factor” through brand narrative, and how brand packaging can provide the most ROI by making it your “silent salesman.”



Beauty Entrepreneur Summit
May 16 – June 5
This beauty summit gives attendees the opportunity to learn key insights from beauty industry experts and successful brands every day. Sheri will be interview by Private Label brand consultant, Melody Bockelman, about how to stand out in a competitive market. Online viewing is free, contact us for registration details.



May 9, 2016
Posted By: Marc

Sheri L Koetting's latest GCI Magazine Article, "When Green Isn't Enough"

MSLK Partner and Chief Strategist, Sheri L Koetting’s latest article for GCI Magazine tackles the concerns brands face when positioning themselves as “natural” or “organic.” What may have worked well only a few years ago is likely not to be a best practice in today’s highly-competitive retail environment. Sheri emphasizes that while brands may have once been able to make a name for themselves as leaders in the green beauty space, a well-defined brand story needs to tell more than how pure a brand is. Read the full article here: http://www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/segments/natural/Natural-Isnt-Enough-376786221-376786621.html

March 16, 2016
Posted By: Sheri

Does Your Beauty Brand Have a Purpose?

Many businesses are seeking ways to develop a brand story in order to form deeper connections to staff and customers. Giving back to a cause is a powerful way to enhance a brand story while helping others.

Being associated with a cause helps communicate that your brand exists for a purpose other than profit. If done correctly, your charitable contribution creates opportunities to showcase the issues you care about most.

The merger of making a positive difference in the world and letting your community know about it is called cause marketing, or cause branding.

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March 11, 2016
Posted By: Marc

Communication-Arts-Avivi-MSLK-2016-interactive-arrts-issueWe’re thrilled to have our work featured in the new issue of Communication Arts Magazine! It’s always great to be recognized amongst our peers — and in as a prestigious publication as this. More info here: http://www.commarts.com/exhibit/avivi-packaging

February 24, 2016
Posted By: Marc


Brands want their customers to be able to choose products that are right for them, and keep them coming back for more. Smart brands do so by basing their experience around the user’s experience. Sheri Koetting was invited by GCI Magazine in the January 2016 issue to share some of the ways brands can best optimize their products to already-existing norms within user experiences.

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February 8, 2016
Posted By: Marc

MSLK-Avivi-GDUSA AwardWe are honored to have just received a 2016 American Package Design Award’s “Certificate of Excellence” for our work with beauty brand Avivi. Wishing the team at Avivi continued success!


February 1, 2016
Posted By: Sheri




Beauty and personal care brands no longer can rely on “natural” or “organic” as their main differentiator when connecting with consumers. According to Kline & Co., natural personal care products accounted for 25% of the overall beauty market in 2015. It is projected that sales in the natural market segment will increase at a compound annual growth rate of almost 10% through 2019. As the number of natural and organic brands in the market increases, competition is increasing as well. Although being natural is a great door-opener, there should be more to a brand’s story to create meaningful connections with consumers.

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