When someone goes to the store, they can’t open up items and try them out. Their child can’t break out a toy and start playing with it, for instance. And someone definitely can’t open up pre-packaged foods for a taste.
Instead, consumers must rely on the visual cues and other sensory details the package offers. This can include blatant information, like product claims or descriptive package copy. It can also include subconscious messages, for example, how a chocolate brand with cheery pastel colors implies fun and youthfulness.
The way an item is packaged can also affect how usable the item appears. Resealable crackers can stay fresher longer, implying value and less waste. Items packaged for easy travel imply that they’re more versatile and handy. Items declaring they have been packaged in recycled plastics declare that choosing their product indirectly benefits the environment.
All these are just some of ways for how packaging affects sales. Learn more about the messages packaging sends and how it can affect purchase decisions – thereby affecting your bottom line – by reading on.
Packaging Color and Design Reveal Visual Information That Helps Consumers Make Purchase Decisions
“People are told not to judge a book by its cover, but human beings are hard-wired to respond to certain visual cues,” reveals packaging R&D company Phase 1 Prototypes. They assert that the right packaging design and strategy can “elicit emotional reactions and catch attention, pique interest, inspire desire and prompt us to take action to purchase something.”
With this most important information about a product obscured to the consumer, they have to look to packaging alone. “Packaging counts for more than a pretty box,” Phase 1 declares. “it may be what sells the product.”
This assertion is backed by research. According to a 2015 peer-reviewed study published in Ecoforum, 84% of consumers agreed with the statement: “Package design has an impact on product selection during the buying process.” Of that 84%, 35% “strongly agreed."
The consensus was even more aligned for the statement “the brand image on the package has an impact on consumer behavior on the buying process.” 85% of people agreed, with half of those strongly agreeing.
Positive and Negative Cues Explain How Packaging Affects Sales
Just aslike how wild animals use color and visual cues to tell safe plants from harmful ones, consumers make decisions in their self-interest based on packaging’s available visual information. This can include the way in which the information is presented, and even how much is absent.
As an example, market research company Mintel declares that “39% of French consumers feel that excessive information on food and drink packaging can make it hard to trust a brand.” The feeling that brands who bombard you with claims must have something to hide has led to a trend in minimalistic, clean-looking packages. The fact that the absence of information can prompt more trust in a brand reveals how powerful of a signal package copy can be.
Similarly, legislation aiming to reduce sales of tobacco products reveals how powerful of a signal package color can be. Pantone declared “opaque couché,” a type of greenish brown, “the ugliest color in the world.” Consequently, legislatures in the UK and Australia mandated that cigarettes are displayed only in uniform packages of this color. Compare that to U.S. cigarette brands, which can be downright colorful in order to attract attention from behind the register.
Again, the fact that legislators would consider color a powerful enough signal to discourage buying indicates how adept use of color in packaging can lead to improved sales.
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Product manufacturers and contract packagers can get the optimal packaging line solutions to suit their product strategy and sales goals when they work with Raab Sales. Our packaging and manufacturing experts can assess the equipment you need to improve your production line while also encouraging consumer interest and trust through outstanding package design.
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