Which Image- and $ales Effect do packaging or design alternatives achieve?
70 percent of all brand choice decisions are made at the POS. Consumer select in 3.4 seconds on average which product they purchase. Therefore packaging or product design is the final sales pitch and has usually only a very limited time span to influence the purchase decision in favour of your brand.
Packaging or product design communicates the brand idea in its most concentrated form and positions the brand directly in the customers’ mind. This communication occurs again every time the product is used, making it one of the most relevant marketing-mix factors. A lot of companies still underestimate the importance of packaging or product design. New packaging or significant changes in the design are often not (thoroughly) tested. - Experience, however, has proven that the sales effect caused by different packaging design alternatives can vary by a multiplier magnitude of more than ten. The better the package design and copy, the greater the sales effect achieved.
Most packaging tests tend to focus on the packaging design itself, but not on the effects caused by design alternatives. They measure criteria such as shelf impact, uniqueness, attractiveness, likes and dislikes etc. These questions are of course relevant and should be analysed. But the key objectives, the image and sales effects caused by different designs are often neglected or not measured at all.
In early 2009, the US market leader in orange juice Tropicana decided to give a fresh look to its Pure Premium Orange Juice carton. They changed the classic “orange with straw” in favor of a “glass of juice.” However, customers were upset and created a so called “shit storm” in the internet. Some comments described the new packaging as “ugly” or “stupid,” and resembling “a generic bargain brand” or a “store brand. ”After less than two months and a 20 percent drop in sales, Tropicana switched back to its original design of an orange skewered by a drinking straw. This fiasco has cost Tropicana more than U$35 million.
The medium sized German company Brauns Heitmann considered in 2011 to change the design of its Heitmann range. The intended new dark blue color for the Heitmann Anti-Kalk Power pack design (as an example) received positive rational perceptions such as “unique” and “attractive”. However, our Packaging $ales Effect Test predicted strong negative sales effects, because the „too dark color“ resulted subconsciously in a significant lower cleaning performance perception. A fiasco was prevented.
Even „small” design changes can cause (great positive or) severe negative effects. Some years ago 7-up tested a relaunch packaging design. They considered to add 15 percent more yellow to the green on the package. However, that “small” color difference changed the perceived taste experience significantly. Respondents reported a lot more lime or lemon flavor and they reacted upset. “You are changing my 7-Up! Don’t do a ‘New Coke’ on me.”- It was exactly the same product, but a different set of associations was transferred from the packaging color, which in this case would have caused negative sales effects.
The Packaging $ales Effect Test measures all relevant criteria.