Despite that the average grocery store has as many words as an entire dictionary stacked and labeled throughout the store, eye-tracking studies have shown that on average, consumers only read about seven words throughout their shopping experience. Thus, most purchase decisions are made by the consumer’s instinct: colour, shape and familiarity of the product location.
These instincts are referred to as Biomotive Triggers. Biomotive Triggers are sensory cues that generate emotion and action in our subconsciousbefore the conscious brain realizes it. These Biomotive Triggers can be designed into packages. Researches have so far identified 16 combinations of these triggers that influence consumer choices. Thus, not enough emphasis can be made about the importance of packaging in marketing a product. So what are the keys to effective packaging?
1.) Be Simple. Convoluted packaging can overwhelm consumers, causing confusion about your product. Consider the needs of your client and how they would want to feel about your product. For example, if the client needs your product for solving a problem, perhaps unclogging a drain or a software product needed for simplifying graphic design – you can anticipate your customer’s emotions when they are looking for the product: they could be agitated or frustrated. It is best to have your product wrapped in a simple and clean looking label that communicates calm and simplification.
2.) Trigger Emotional Engagement. We instinctively return eye contact that is made towards us. Especially in children’s products, note how many effective labels feature characters who are making eye contact. Most consumers act when a brand makes them feel something.
3.) The Five-Year Old Test: You should be able to describe your brand to a five-year-old then send them into a store to find it. If the child can find it then you have succeeded in creating a memorable and easily spotted brand. Doing so often means choosing one or two elements that immediately stand out. Too many details can bog down the effectiveness of your label by watering down the few key elements that it relies on to work.
4.) Label Image Quality: It is one thing to have your label drafted up nicely on the whiteboard, but a whole other to have it printed out clearly and professionally. Choose packaging software that will ensure your label design comes out professional and engaging. Poor packaging software choices can make all the difference in the effectiveness of marketing and labeling campaigns. A quality image designed with quality packaging software will solicit the consumer’s trust in the product.
5.) Know Your Competitors. Knowing your competitors, who you will be sharing shelf space with, is essential in appropriate and successful labeling. Find the medium so that your label looks unmistakably unique but not so different that it seems like it is selling an entirely different product and has been stacked on the wrong shelf.
There is still much research to be completed when it comes to packaging and its importance in a product’s success. However, we have made leaps in our findings about the relationship between labels and consumer choices, which suggests that companies’ longevity depends on their understanding of this relationship.