Making New Friends

Restaurant Tech Live blog post 1 Restaurant Tech Live blog post 4

With the average purchase decision process in the supermarkets taking just five seconds, packaging has to communicate extremely quickly and effectively.

So how does packaging influence consumer purchase behaviour?

Putting price aside, if it’s a regular buy, the packaging shape, form and colour act as a visual shorthand, enabling the consumer to quickly identify their favoured product on shelf and removing the need for close scrutiny.

For a new purchase the task is more complex. Just as we have to work harder when we meet someone for the first time, packaging has to use its own ‘body language’ to communicate key product attributes, to define expectations and to create a reason to buy, through an inherent ability to create an ‘instant dialogue’ with a potential purchaser.

With only 20% of the purchase decision process taking place consciously and rationally, the brand identity and other components of the packaging design play a crucial role, connecting sub-consciously and on an emotional level with the consumer.

Let’s place ourselves in a supermarket trying to make a choice between similar products from two different manufacturers.

The first is a brand we’re familiar with, the second is a brand we don’t recognise. We continue to look at them comparing the information on the packaging.

After some deliberation, whilst we cannot distinguish any significant difference between them, the majority of us will choose the brand we feel most comfortable with.

But why do we react like this? Let’s think about this process in a human context.

When you walk into a room full of strangers you instinctively look around for someone you recognise. After a while you see an old friend and start to walk towards them. As you do so, a stranger approaches and starts to talk to you.

The chances are you’ll exchange pleasantries with the stranger and then walk on to talk to the person that you know unless the stranger instantly gains your attention.

Throughout our lives, we gain reassurance from things that are familiar to us – people, places and experiences that are predictable and consistent which creative positive emotions. And we are most likely to choose things that we are attracted to.

Going back to the supermarket, we are attracted by products which create the strongest and most positive connection with us as individuals, those which are seen as being most relevant to us and ‘fit’ with our emotional analysis of what we are looking for.

A new product therefore has to work harder and smarter than its established competitors.

To achieve success, it is essential that it has the visual strength to arrest the consumer in that all-important, five second purchase decision window and can rapidly convey the inherent and relevant brand attributes, hence projecting a unique personality for the product.

Successful brands have the ability to create a dialogue with consumers and achieve exceptional product stand-out. Just like our friends, they use a language we like and understand and are familiar.





PHONE: 0207 205 2998