POSTED BY: Lorna McWeeney

Top of the pack-ing order: How Packaging Influences Consumers

10th Apr, 2018
The influence of packaging on consumers.

Top of the pack-ing order: How Packaging Influences Consumers

Your mother may have told you that it’s what’s inside that counts, but when it comes to selling your product, it’s a superficial world! Your product’s packaging design will directly impact its retail performance. Each exterior element represents your brand and the product inside, communicating vital information with your target audience about how that product can benefit them. Let’s look at the various ways packaging influences consumers.

60-70% of buying decisions are made in-store

Information is power

The information on your packaging will help differentiate your brand from the other dozen on the shelf beside it. Consumers need to know what the product is and how it can satisfy their needs. By communicating the advantages of your product you can persuade consumers at the point of sale by presenting an advantage they can’t get from the next brand. This is especially important when you consider that 60-70% of buying decisions are made in-store.

Your packaging is a great opportunity for you to tell your story. Hook consumers with your unique brand message or ethos and they’ll buy again. Your story will help you stand out from your competitors. For example, most people know about footwear brand Toms’ ‘One for One’ mission – a pair of shoes is donated for every pair purchased. This mission statement is a key feature of their tastefully designed shoeboxes and, as a smart extra, within each box is a photo of those that have benefited from the ‘One for One’ initiative. Find what makes your brand special and shout about it!

Consumers access products in just 7 seconds.

Decision-making : Your packaging should inspire desire

The appearance of the packaging is the first thing consumers notice about your product – naturally, it directly influences and drives sales. Extensive research shows that consumer product decision-making is based at least one-third on packaging. 20% of the average household’s grocery bill comes from items that were purchased on impulse alone. Often, a consumer sets out with a certain item in mind, but no loyalty to any specific brand. Used effectively, product packaging is your business’s primary in-store selling tool, it’s the salesman on the ground persuading customers that your product is the best option for them. Consumers hurrying around the supermarket form an impression of products based on approximately 7 seconds of information-gathering. If your product packaging doesn’t catch their eye, they’ll quickly move on to a competitor’s that does. Packaging that triggers positive emotions in consumers will continue to influence long after the in-store experience. It can help to establish customer loyalty, repeat purchases and exposure via online platforms which increases brand visibility. 40% of surveyed consumers said that they share photos of products on social media if they found the packaging interesting.

Heinz' sales increased 6% after packaging improvements.

Convenience: Easy peasy ketchup squeezy?

Consumers want to purchase goods quickly and with little effort. Convenience, therefore, is a key element of the purchasing decision process and should be considered early in the packaging design development. Packaging can appeal to consumers due to its convenient size or functionality. For example, when Heinz introduced the upside-down bottle, sales rose by 6%.
While we’re talking about convenience, let’s not overlook the importance of one of your packaging’s fundamental elements – colour! Colour is proven to be the main factor that sways customer purchase habits with 80% of brand recognition driven by colour alone. Choosing the appropriate colour for your packaging is essential as it helps buyers to easily distinguish and emotionally respond to your product in seconds.

Packaging can enhance a product's perceived value.

Perceived Value: Cheap at twice the price!

Perceived value is the worth a consumer ascribes to your product. It’s tricky for customers to judge how much a product is worth so they often respond to visceral cues from the packaging while making judgements about worth. Carefully considered, well-designed packaging has the ability to greatly enhance your product’s perceived value. Even simple, cost-effective additions such as texture, UV coating or foil can increase your product’s desirability and the perception of its quality. Often, packaging re-designs offer substantial return on investment with 30% of businesses saying that consumers paid more attention to their products after they refocused on their packaging. Click here to see some of Neworld’s packaging projects.


Lorna Mc Weeney | Packaging Designer

Lorna is a Packaging Designer with Neworld, a brand agency with over 30 years experience. We immerse ourselves in your industry, your customers, your competitors and your business goals to create design solutions that will guarantee to boost your bottom line.