The technical agenda at the World Candle Congress is one of the main activities that always attracts the interest of the attendees. This is a valuable opportunity to learn from various sectors.
At this event, one of the presentations causing great expectation is “How to sell stories through container design”, offered by Kevin Harvey, a professional in the color industry with 36 years of experience, which has led him to develop formulations for Estee Lauder, MAC Cosmetics and Heinz Kraft Company, among other top companies.
Currently, he is a Color Technician at JAFE Decorating working on projects for Bath & Body Works, Libbey and Candle-Lite. In this interview, Kevin gives us some highlights about his presentation and shares his vision on the candle industry.
What are your expectations as a speaker at the World Candle Congress?
The best take away would be to be inspired and to inspire others. Seeing products that spark the imagination and establish conversations that lead to that “ah-ha!” moment. I want to discover the global novelties in the candle industry because, to stay relevant, we must keep up with the innovations. Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated. Consumers’ demands range from sustainability, health concerns, social causes, etc. All aspects of the candle must collaboratively support the product story of each candle, which includes the containers.
Your presentation “How to Sell Stories Through Container Design” has caused a lot of expectation among the candle manufacturers. Could you share some highlights?
When I first started working in manufacturing, the company dictated how the consumer saw their brand and products. Social media has turned this upside down. Now the consumers tell each other what your brand should be like. The fragrance used to be the first determining factor in the purchase of a candle. With social media and web pages, we need to improve the strategies to capture the consumer’s attention, hence the candle container can help us achieve the objective.
Stories and images are crucial to achieve a reaction from the online customer since we can no longer hold or smell a candle through a web page.
In these post-pandemic times, how important is the color formulation for candles?
In one word, CRUCIAL! After returning to work from the lock-down, I saw companies change their colors, textures, and collections. Chrome and glossy colors went away, it was too flamboyant. Earthy-inspired colors of soft blues, greens, reds, browns, or tans with all hues of white became the new palette. Everything gloss went to frost or matte. Being a member of the Color Marketing Group, I was amazed when I saw the forecasted colors for North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia stayed relatively similar after COVID. Regardless of culture or region, people are impacted and desired the same by color. We are still seeing some of the same palettes during the pandemic. But now, we are seeing the revival of glossy and brighter chromatic colors. Chrome is starting to return. Although, consumers are wanting to see something new and fresh in design. Things will never fully return to pre-COVID, hence why, consumers are moving on and desiring something new. This ties to consumers’ emotions of moving forward.
Any other recommendations for candle manufacturers?
I think COVID has provided an opportunity for the candle industry to grow exponentially. Along with religious candles, candles can also provide beauty, hope, joy, wellness, and passion. Candles can be a symbol of light in the darkness, the good in dark times. We must find hope, joy, and happiness. Candles can be that link to a better day. Through color, texture, and fragrance, we can lift the souls of our consumers. We can design better products to help change a perspective of hope, joy, peace, calmness, and happiness. When we truly see what our consumers need, we can design candles to have a great and deeper impact on the betterment of our customers.