While consumers may see a variety of shapes, colors, and typography, there are a lot of strategic decisions involved in the process of addressing the evolving needs of today’s consumers.
Packaging is often the first interaction that shoppers have with a product. It is tactile and intimate. It tells a story, sets the tone and provides a tangible experience for consumers. It showcases a brand and its unique identity.
A national study conducted by IPSOS found that over 7 in 10 (71%) of consumers agree that packaging design can influence their purchasing decision.
Other research has demonstrated that colors affect a consumer’s feelings. For instance red can be hunger-inducing, while blue is hunger reducing, yellow is said to promote happiness and black signifies elegance.
Feelings aside, strong packaging design can deliver double-digit sales growth for some of today’s fast-moving consumer brands.
“Increasingly, consumer-packaged goods companies are realizing that design is a significant driver of brand growth, particularly when it’s guided by objective, strategic decision-making,” said Steve Lamoureux, CEO and founder of Designalytics.
Designalytics is a firm that monitors the performance of brand’s and competitors’ package designs. The company leverages syndicated analytics with “on-demand” design testing, allowing brands to manage their designs proactively and select the design routes that are most likely to drive strong sales performance.
“Historically, the impact of design has been difficult to measure, and thus quickly dismissed as unimportant relative to other trendy or quantifiable factors. Now that we have the precise tools to measure design performance, we can illustrate how packaging design can be a significant marketing lever for business growth—capable of driving double-digit increases in sales,” said Lamoureux.
One company hoping to cash in on their packaging redesign is Goodbelly by NextFoods.
Juan Gluth, CEO of GoodBelly said they decided to optimize their probiotic shots packaging to increase clarity around the different types of shots that GoodBelly offers and support consumers in making informed decisions around their probiotic purchases.
“In my opinion, being clear, transparent, and approachable will deliver trust and credibility to the consumer. Our research shows that ⅓ of Shots consumers make purchasing decisions at the shelf, or as they’re shopping online, so it’s important that we’re effectively communicating this line of messaging on the front of the package,” said Gluth.
Trend reshaping design
Goodbelly executed its own quantitative research study. The brand found that flavor and probiotic-focused benefits are the two main drivers of consumer purchasing decisions.
“Based on what we learned, we added the functional benefit callout to the Shots. The brand’s No Sugar Added Probiotic Shots have been renamed as Digestion Shots, and the Vitamins + Calcium Shots have been renamed as Digestion + Wellness Shots as a way to clearly identify the functional benefits and differences between each product line.
We also delivered on a larger flavor callout. Our research showed flavor plays a large role in driving purchasing decisions, even more than claims, price or other factors. As a result of this finding, the new packaging includes a clearer flavor callout at the top of the packaging,” said Gluth.
As consumers become more savvy, the brand also made the decision to highlight and amplify probiotic counts as they found that consumers value a higher number of live and active cultures in their probiotics.
So much info, so little space
Gluth said added that the brand ultimately had to address:
- What are the most important factors of our offering to the consumer?
- How do we clearly identify on the packaging what’s most important to the consumer?
- Where do we place that information on the packaging?
While much of the research findings were straightforward, executing some of these consumer demands proved to be a challenge.
“Space on the front of the package is always a challenge when trying to convey the features and benefits of our offerings through a small 2.7oz Shots solution. Fortunately, our Shots products portfolio is offered in a larger 4pk solution for consumer convenience and stock up, and allows us more space to communicate our message,” said Gluth.
As new products find their way to the shelves, it is critical for brands to have a strong packaging strategy to stand out in the market. Gluth said when it comes to a packaging overhaul, brands should pay attention to what consumers are saying.
“Listen to your consumer and consumer target and understand why your brand is important to them. Try to answer whether your packaging communicates what it needs to when that consumer could be making a purchasing decision in a matter of seconds.”