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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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.



September 29, 2015
Posted By: Marc


By winning the hearts and minds of professionals, brands simultaneously evolve their stature and gain insider access to the salon’s clientele. Sheri Koetting was invited by GCI Magazine to share some of the ways in which she’s learned how haircare brands could better connect with salons, which is in the September 2015 issue.

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June 9, 2015
Posted By: Sheri




Designing retail packaging is equal parts science and art. GCI magazine recently asked Sheri L Koetting of MSLK to share effective strategies we’ve gleaned over the years to help guide their readers as they consider their own package design process. In the article, which appears in the May 2015 issue, we explore the top three considerations for creating competitive packaging that performs at retail. A recap of the article appears below:

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April 22, 2015
Posted By: Marc


Mark your calendars, there are now four chances to catch MSLK partner and Chief Strategist, Sheri L Koetting, as she discusses topics such as how to define your brand, how to position you brand, and packaging design considerations for brands of all sizes. See the info after the jump for dates, and registration information & more!

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March 20, 2014
Posted By: Sheri


 GCI beauty magazine asked MSLK to share our unique process of establishing strategies for Target Design Directions in their March 2014 issue, “Integrating Packaging and Ingredients” These strategies guide the design exploration turning subjective creative evaluation into a more objective process. A recap of this article is below.

Where to Begin
From the outside, working with a designer or design team on a creative assignment — be it a logo, packaging, or campaign — is often seen as a daunting, mysterious process. Experience has shown that uncertainty during the design process is the cause of much frustration.

Some clients may have very clear ideas of the end result, but do not know how to translate this to their designers. Other clients may be lost in a sea of endless possibilities. Various other stakeholders on the decision-making side may have a differing sense of what a design should or could be. While these concerns are valid, they are not the only ones to be considered. It is important to look at market data, insights from salespeople and retailers, and production considerations. All of these factors may influence the direction a design should follow.

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January 8, 2014
Posted By: Sheri

2014 strategic brand development

The economy is improving and as 2013 came to a close, I believe all of our clients finally felt this to be true. It is now our collective job to get out there and capitalize on the reemergence of commerce. Do you have a plan to convert more business in 2014?

We’ve been working with many of our clients on setting that plan. Here’s six of the most common strategies we’ve found on the “To Do” list for 2014.

1. Create a targeted direct mail piece
Everyone got the memo that print is dead and guess what—now our inboxes are jammed full, and our mailboxes are sleepy. We see this as a great opportunity to make some noise! Create something exciting, memorable — heck, even beautiful — for recipients to open! Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a nice card in the mail? You’ll be surprised how many recipients will tell you later that your mailer is still out on display, keeping you top of mind. Read more

August 1, 2013
Posted By: Sheri

Recharging an existing brand comes with unique opportunities and challenges. We believe that turning the subjective creative process into an objective one, helps brands best achieve their goals. GCI beauty magazine asked us to codify our thoughts on Best Practices for Existing Brands in their July 2013 issue, “Recharging Brands”.  A recap of this article is below.

Change is necessary and inevitable in today’s fast-paced market. In addition to new competition entering the market, existing brands are constantly extending their overall product line and positioning, launching new products to keep up with retailer and consumer demands. Read more

February 14, 2013
Posted By: Sheri

There are so many challenges start-ups face, few feel they have time to slow down for strategy. However, we believe this is what secures a start-up’s success. GCI beauty magazine asked us to codify our thoughts on the Beauty of Strategy in their January 2013 issue, “Map Your Success”. A recap of this article is below.

Statistics provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration* indicate that 50% of start-up brands will not survive their first five years of business. There are many factors contributing to this failure rate, and one of them most definitely is certainly insufficient capital. To combat this, start-ups need to define a clear brand strategy for differentiating themselves in the market. This crucial element of planning is what separates the 50% of successes from the rest of the pack.

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September 12, 2012
Posted By: MSLK

MSLK-Quidad Salon Series-packaging

Curly haircare brand Ouidad needed new packaging to be developed for their signature line of hair treatments. Exclusively sold in Sephora, each treatment is based on an innovative Salon formula, hand-crafted by expert stylists.

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