Have you ever wondered why certain products seem to fly off the shelves while others are forgotten and left to gather dust in their aisles? Maybe you believe brand loyalty plays a pivotal role in which products are popular or argue that product qualities are an essential part of the decision-making process. While you would certainly not be wrong in these educated guesses, these two factors ignore one of the most important things influencing a buyer’s decision; product packaging.
Product packaging is a critical touchpoint in the consumer journey that has a major influence over a consumer’s decision to choose a particular product, and it is the psychology that marks the underlying reason product packaging has such a powerful impact on consumer choice. During a shopping spree or casual visit to the store, consumers’ brains are working overtime to decipher deals and pinpoint attractive offerings, triggered on a subconscious level by the visual stimuli plastered across the shelves of stores peppering the mall. In fact, product packaging is so influential that authority figure Megan Sullivan argues that “Quality aside, sometimes the flashier, prettier or sexier product wins the day.”
With this consideration in mind, it is no surprise that certain products outshine others and that quality products are sometimes disregarded in a consumers’ pursuit for the most attractive visual offering. This is not to say that quality doesn’t count at all, and companies would be wise to combine these two components and more into one cohesive offering. A brand like Apple, with its crisp and clean product packaging supporting innovative technology, showcases that these two marketing strategies work hand in hand to influence consumer behavior. Alas, companies without such clout could benefit from ensuring that they create stylish packaging, a strategy that can only be done alongside a trusted and reputable packaging supplier. This is easier said than done as finding the right fit can be an incredibly time-consuming task, however, Compack facilitates an efficient service to pinpointing the perfect packaging partner through an informative comparison process.
your preferred packaging partner selected, you can start thinking about how you plan to capitalize on your market and set yourself apart from the competition through the creation of novel product packaging. To make this process easier, we have outlined some of the key psychological considerations to bear in mind when planning and designing your product packaging.
Emotions are stirred by color
The first and most powerful psychological trigger you can leverage with your packaging is your use of color. Color has a marvelous way of drawing people’s attention, with research suggesting certain colors access certain responses in a consumer’s mind through the distinct nature of their wavelengths. One such study indicates that some of the most eye-grabbing colors include red, yellow, green, and pink. While this may stand true, you should not necessarily include these colors in your product packaging. The trick to using color is ensuring that accents within your color palette mirror your brand identity to create overall cohesion and to play with colors your competitors are not using as your product will then stand out from them. Furthermore, you want to select colors that appropriately connect with your consumers’ desires. For example, it would be wise to use powdery blues and vibrant lavenders if you are creating packaging for beauty products as these reflect a calming feeling.
Desires are swayed by shape and structure
Beyond color, the shape and structural choices of packaging can play a pivotal role in swaying a consumer’s decision when they are browsing in-store. When a consumer’s eyes pan across the shelves of the store, they will immediately focus on product packaging that disrupts their expectations. For example, if all the perfume bottles are in a rigid rectangular shape then the consumer will tend to be enticed by the organically-shaped bottle boasting full curves and rounded angles. This is not to say that you should always go against the grain as consumers could be shocked and put off products that do not look as though they fit their packaging mold. A consumer searching for a pair of sneakers is unlikely going to purchase shoes sold in a round box as this is too drastic a difference from the standard application. Striking a fine balance between disrupting the norm and working for your customer’s attention rather than against it is the key to winning them through your product packaging’s shape. In the example of the sneakers, a traditional rectangular box could be taken to the next level by incorporating vents into the sides of the box to reflect the product’s unique quality, in this example, the shoe could feature breathable vents.
Moods are shifted by texture
Texture can add flair and flavor to otherwise dull and bland product packaging. This is an essential consideration to take note of in understanding the psychology of product packaging as products are meant to be felt, not just looked at. Members of the Harvard Business Review support this theory, claiming that “Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions.” Incorporating appropriate textures, such as soft fabrics used around the labels of dog toys or the actual grip of a running shoe’s sole featuring on the product packaging, can give your product a sensory edge in the market that changes the moods of consumers while they are browsing the store.
Upon reviewing studies and authoritative information, we can see that various psychological impulses are at work when consumers shop, guiding them to purchase certain products over others. From color choices to packaging shape and textures used, the design of your product packaging has a tremendous influence over the buyer’s decision-making process while they are browsing stores. By incorporating distinct packaging utilizing the best practices in each of these key areas, and working alongside a reputable and trustworthy packaging partner, you can outshine your competitors with pretty packaging that catches the eye of consumers who meander past your products.