The Japanese Hada Labo skincare line has been around Asia since its launch in 2004.
The popularity of Hada Labo, or “Skin Lab,” has reached the overseas market in recent years with their products available for purchase in their original packaging. However, the Japanese labels make it difficult to sell to a market that can’t read the language and sometimes consumers only have the small sticker taped on the back of the bottles for the translated list of ingredients and instructions on how to use. Since then, Hada Labo has released a US version under the name “Hada Labo Tokyo.” Besides the slight difference in ingredients, Hada Labo Tokyo’s products are marketed under a completely different branding and packaging system.
This effort was most likely to try to differentiate this line from the other Hada Labo lines (as the company typically does whether it be with color palette, type arrangement). However, the US line takes a very drastic step away from their usual bottles and caps, color system, and all the products are packaged in a box. While the Japanese packaging conveyed simplicity and cleanliness through their minimal but bright use of color, and clean, thin type, the US version sticks to just using white and a dark brown with the predictable choice of red as their accent color. The package doesn’t experiment with large type and instead puts a clichéd illustration of a cherry blossom branch on all of its boxes. Although the feeling of simplicity and cleanliness still remains, the packaging system is very quiet and unoriginal to its Japanese counterpart and is far from being a great solution to localizing the original packaging for the US market.