Packaging Impacts Performance

Consumers buy with their eyes. When shopping, the appearance of a product’s packaging has a large influence on sales. A strong package helps cut through the noise and clutter generated by hundreds of thousands SKUs carried on the average grocery store shelves. Packaging needs to speak to consumers; it has to convey value and a lot more.

According to research from The Nielsen Company, 64% of consumers try a new product because of packaging! And it doesn’t stop there; 41% of repeat purchases are attributed to consumers liking the packaging as well. And although consumers use their eyes, they also use touch as a factor when buying. Touch leads to purchase roughly 61% of the time. If marketers can get a consumer to pick up the box, the odds are high that a purchase will be made.

There are number of elements to good package design:

  • Be visible
  • Stand out on the shelf
  • Elicit an emotional response
  • Be memorable
  • Be distinctive

Nielsen also undertook a study to evaluate and understand packaging design in an effort to calculate the return on investment for good design. The results were powerful:

  • Visibility lift: +34%
  • Increase in preference: +28%
  • Forecasted sales impact: +5.5%

Go ahead and look at the shelves next time you are shopping. What catches your eye – and what makes you pick up a new product?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of packaging with students. Ask them what factors lead them to pick a product off a shelf.
  2. What products have packages that are effective? Ineffective?
  3. Bring in a random sample of packaged goods that are in your pantry shelves, or make a trip to the store to find some good and bad examples.
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team come up with a redesigned package for the product.
  6. Have the class vote on the best re-design.

Source: The Nielsen Company (2016). Perfecting packaging design.

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