How Much Does a Label & Brand Name Influence Our Perceptions About Beauty Products? My Blind Haircare Experience

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Given that I have spent over twenty years of my professional career as a focus group moderator, talking to consumers about products, advertising, marketing and branding, I was thrilled when I was invited to participate in a very unique beauty product review experience as a blogger. While I review and test beauty products all the time for brands and pr firms, I have never had the opportunity to participate in an unbranded beauty product trial experience. What that that means in simple terms is that I was sent a package of haircare products for my hair type (fine & dry) of plain unbranded or labeled products in a pretty box like this

Blind Hair Packages

Each product was simply labeled on the bottom of the package with an S for Shampoo, a C for Conditioner and an A for Styling Aid along with simple instructions for usage. I was also told that this these products could be found at mass retailers like a drugstore/Walmart and that these products are infused with secret hair nourishing ingredients. I was asked to test out these products for a week and then share my experience on my blog. So here goes!

My Initial Thoughts:

  • I was excited about participating in such a cool social experiment because it is a convergence of my two careers
  • The market researcher in me was intrigued about the idea of being a respondent in a blind study
  • Once the package arrived and I took out the unmarked, unlabeled hair product packages, I began to realize how much we rely on packaging to shape our product experiences
  • Branding, advertising and package labels strongly impact our perceptions about products before we ever actually try them – I was looking for cues and clues about these products that were not there
  • I found it really interesting how much I missed the label to guide me on usage, smell and the product benefits
  • I began to realize that trying a product blindly truly allows you to TRY the product and really experience it without being influenced by the marketing messages
  • I tried to guess what mass brand I thought it might be, but since so many mass brands have really upped their quality and ingredients in recent years, I was stumped!

My Product Trial/Reactions to using these Products:

  • I initially liked the fresh, clean floral smell of these products – they smelled a bit more decadent than your typical mass products
  • I loved how frothy, yet nourishing the shampoo was and found that it easily cleaned my hair and removed build up
  • The shampoo felt richer and more nourishing than your typical mass shampoo, in other words the texture felt more expensive
  • The conditioner had a lightweight, but very moisturizing formula and my hair seemed to drink it up
  • After I towel dried my hair, it felt surprisingly soft and moist which is not always the case with mass hair products which tend to make your hair feel drier/straw-like
  • The biggest surprise in my blind trial was the Styling Aid, which I would describe as a volumizing styling mousse – in all honesty I have not used a foaming/mousse-like product on my hair in years because in my experience they tend to make my hair stiff and dry
  • I applied about 3 pumps of this lightweight airy styling aid to the roots and then ends of my towel-dried hair and it absorbed instantly and my hair felt soft, not sticky
  • While blow drying my hair, I noticed that this product gave my fine hair a nice amount volume/lift without weighing it down
  • But it was the moisture and shine that I found the most surprising about this product – this innovative neo-hair mousse made my hair look healthy and shiny, not dry or stiff

The Results/My Final Thoughts

  • Here’s a pic of my fab blowdry and my hair looking healthy, full and radiant after using these haircare products (and the professional make-up doesn’t hurt either 😉 )

Blind Hair Trial

  • What do you think? Pretty fab, right! And with only a splash of hairspray, it held the style all day!
  • I couldn’t get over the soft texture and shine that these products delivered – very surprising results from a mass product
  • I realized that I really do tend to rely on reading the package to tell me about product benefits to shape my perceptions before, during and after using a product
  • Using these products blindly allowed me to really tune into how these products actually worked for my hair, rather than making assumptions based on the brand name and product label
  • Brand names, labels and product benefits play a much more significant role on haircare product perceptions than I ever imagined
  • I really enjoyed this blind hair product trial and look forward to revealing the ‘brand secret’ in an upcoming post, stay tuned!
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Disclosure: I partnered with Lunchbox Shopper Engagement Agency on this social media campaign, but all opinions and gorgeous shiny hair are my own


  1. Your hair looks great! I can’t wait to find out what brand these products are because like you, I have fine/dry hair. Thanks for sharing!

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