Multiple eye-tracking studies have revealed that on an average, buyers barely read 7 words during an entire shopping trip, as they continue to buy instinctively based on the shape, color, familiarity and purchasing history.
Contrary to popular belief, most customers don't make logical, well-informed purchasing decisions, instead, they are driven by primal cues that trigger an emotional connection, before the rational part of the brain has time to react.
Best-selling products work because they leverage their packaging to make three things clear: Who I am, what I am and how can I be a relevant addition to your life.
As a business owner and/or an entrepreneur, how can you make your product packaging more appeal to your target demographic? Here are a few pointers:
- Use 'bio motive triggers':
Bio motive triggers are instinctive responses that customers reportedly experience after being exposed to a certain color scheme or graphic elements. For example, a 'cusp' shape (similar to horns) signifies caution or fear, whereas 'curves' convey comfort and softness. In order to compete with rectangular containers in the supermarket aisle, Gressingham Foods, the leading retail duck producer in the UK, not only 'rounded' off their packaging, but also their logo and label. Additionally, the signature gold that the brand has been associated with since their inception was replaced with a warm amber. Result? After 2012 redesign, Gressingham sales increased by 47%, without any marketing support. Similarly, Campbell’s, the canned soup manufacturer, decided to tag at the customer's emotions by adding a visual of a bowl of hot soup on their packaging to represent a 'warm and fuzzy' feeling.
- Keep it legal:
Knowing the laws of the land is of utmost importance for package design. Many elements are mandatory like in the U.S., the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967 introduced two governing bodies, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who are responsible for setting industry standards. According to the basic guidelines put forward by FPLA, your product packaging should display:
- A distinguishing statement that identifies the commodity, for example, deodorant, detergent, soap, etc.
- Name of business and geographical location of the manufacturer, distributor or packer.
- The net quantity of contents in terms of weight or numerical count (both metric and inch/pound.
- Likewise, understanding of CE & RoHS certification requirements is mandatory for certain categories and countries.
Most businesses and entrepreneurs are happy to be involved in the 'design' process, completely ignoring the legal repercussions that might arise due to the information that you put on the packaging.
- Consider 'eco-friendly' options:
According to the International Journal of Consumer Studies, environmental-consciousness is not only an ethical choice but also an excellent business decision. When compared side-by-side, almost one-third of consumers preferred packaging that was green-labeled over another. For example, in an attempt to greatly reduce their carbon footprint and attract customers with their cleaner, safer and greener manufacturing practices, Puma launched 'The Clever Bag' an environment-friendly alternative to the paperboard shoebox. While brands should ensure that their existing and potential customers and target demographic corresponds with this viewpoint, it is definitely an option you should consider while designing product packaging.
Before starting the design process, you should assess the product packaging your competitors have put out in the market to understand what's viable and cost-effective for your brand. Remember, while the idea of being innovative and thinking 'outside-the-box' sounds good on paper, the end result might not resonate with customers. Striking a balance between functional and easily identifiable designs is necessary for driving sales and getting the customer's attention.