Optimizing the first impression
Packaging has more than one function: An attractive design gives a first impression of the product, transports a purchase incentive and also suits the product. At the same time it acts as a brand ambassador with a communicative function that exceeds the scope of the product itself. The usability of some packagings plays a pivotal role during the initial, and sometimes also in the repeated use of the product.
- Which design features are eye-catching for the target group?
- Which packaging version is most attractive to the target group and creates the greatest purchase incentive?
- Which role does packaging play in comparison to product properties in a stricter sense (e.g. price)?
- Which packaging version best suits the product and the brand?
- Does the target group find it easy to open and, if applicable, close the packaging again?
Our packaging tests are targeted at conducting a review of the various functions of the packaging (purchase incentive, product and brand communication, usability) in a modular sense and at identifying customer preferences in a comparison of different designs. Here, we collect more not only the consumers' “rational” judgement but also their gut feeling by asking respondents to make decisions under time pressure or record nonverbal responses (e.g. gestures/facial expressions). We use eye-tracking to determine which parts of the packaging are viewed and in which sequence, hence gaining insight into how the design can be improved. In our conjoint analyses, we systematically vary design features of the packaging and product properties (e.g. price) and can hence identify precisely which variations are preferred and which relevance the various features possess in terms of consumer appreciation.
These methods can both be applied online and face-to-face in the test studio/laboratory. Usability, however, can only be tested in the studio or laboratory.
- Heat maps and path analyses illustrate which elements of the packaging are eye-catching and the sequence in which information is absorbed.
- Association scales reveal what consumers think about the packaging and what kind of gut feeling is triggered. Additionally, a comparison with brand associations demonstrates the extent to which the packaging suits the brand.
- We employ part-worth utilities to elucidate the design variations your customers prefer and the features your customers consider particularly important.
- Usability indicators disclose strengths and weaknesses in handling the packaging and point out any possible pitfalls.
- We summarize the results of the individual modules in a management summary, thus providing you with a clear and comprehensible recommendation for the design of your packaging.