Dynamic Design With Harris Interactive

Stuart Pritchard November 2, 2018

Want to design packaging that flies off the shelves? SUSAN VIDLER, Head of Research at Harris Interactive has a septet of smart ideas to get stratospheric…

Anyone with access to a TV screen cannot have failed to see Amazon’s recent ‘singing boxes’ advertising campaign. Playing on its distinctive smile and arrow logo, Amazon brought packaging to life and made it the star of the show – with only a few fleeting visual markers of the brand itself. Of course, Amazon’s universal brand awareness did much to make this bold move successful. But by proving that boxes can drive emotional responses, it also underlined the power of packaging.

So, with packaging playing such a sizeable role in capturing consumer interest and outshining competitors, it’s crucial for brands to get it right, particularly when launching a new product. And to do that, they must offer more than great design. While creative imagery is vital, getting effective packaging to market quickly requires a considered strategy.

With this in mind, let’s explore the five key steps to giving packaging irresistible appeal…

Awareness Of Market Trends

Pack testing is a essential way to ensure you’re appealing to consumer tastes

Although following every emerging trend isn’t realistic, aligning with major market shifts is important to gain consumer favour when considering new product packaging. For example, growing sensitivity to environmental issues is making shoppers more concerned with eco-friendly packaging than ever.

Last year, some supermarkets came under fire for using plastic to wrap grocery items with natural protection, such as onions and coconuts. As a result, several companies have already taken action: Iceland has pledged to eliminate plastic from its own brands products by 2023, and Waitrose has promised to remove black plastic trays within a year. So far, it looks like a wise decision: recent Harris research revealed 64% of consumers would switch to supermarket-own wares if they were plastic-free.

Consistent Where It Counts

While being willing to move with the times is important, it’s essential that any changes brands make aren’t too drastic if they decide to relaunch or revitalise a product with new packaging. Indeed, loyal customer reactions to alterations viewed as unnecessary can be fierce.

Take the case of the Cadbury Roses confectionery revamp. The company faced a Twitter storm when it rolled out a new bon-bon style “flow wrap” to replace its traditional foil “twist” wrappers. Clearly, it pays for brands to discover what long-term shoppers love about their products and packaging, before modification. Indeed, this is especially vital when we consider that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new brand products, and 31% more inclined to spend higher, than new customers.

Keeping Things Simple

Using new packaging testing platforms brands can quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of their packaging

Packaging should inspire consumers to pick up – or click on – products and take them to the checkout, whether it’s online or offline. But this doesn’t mean imagery should be garish or messaging overcomplicated.

While consumers make packaging judgments quickly, the products they’re typically drawn to clearly state what they are, and – to paraphrase a famous advertising slogan – do exactly what they say on the tin. They should also offer an attractive aesthetic. Just look at Apple’s clean and minimalist design; understated images of what boxes contain and an expanse of white. Sometimes simplicity can be the best route to conveying strong messages and standing out.

Engaging Target Shoppers

In addition to matching target audience values, new packaging design must also provide the right sensory experience. Removing an item from its wrappings, after all, is a big event. So, consumers want packaging that is a joy to take apart and closely linked with their personal sense of identity. Once more, Apple is a good example of this: it’s sleek silver font and modernist image have earned the brand, and its packaging, a vast following.

Refining Testing Methods

The digital era has seen a significant growth in the number of new products being launched and the speed with which they are brought to market has increased. But with an estimated 80% of new products failing, it is vital that packaging is tested at every stage before launch to give products the best start possible.

Using new packaging testing platforms, which blend human support and knowledge with automated testing functionality, brands can quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of their packaging and make necessary changes. Furthermore, they can also run in-depth analysis of responses to specific factors, such as features, messaging, claims and price to determine their effectiveness for certain consumer groups.

Armed with the comprehensive insight evaluation generates, brands can then optimise their packaging design to boost audience allure, experience, and sales.

Famous Five

By adopting these five principles, brands can ensure their new products make a positive impact with consumers. By producing clear and eye-catching concepts, moving with market trends and fulfilling consumer needs – and above all, testing designs robustly – they can develop a winning combination that flies off the shelves and into customer baskets.