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What is it that makes a consumer decide to buy one product over another? There are a lot of psychological aspects that go into whether the person picks up your product or your competitors. Understanding how the average mind works can help you increase your bottom line.

Color Psychology

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Think about nature. Which flowers are bees and butterflies most attracted to? Typically, it is bright colors. Humans are similar in that they are attracted to things that stand out. How do you know what color to choose? It depends on the type of product you are selling and the “purchase motivation of [the] target market.”

For example, if you plan to sell a cleaning product, consider using blue or white, which are colors often associated with cleanliness. Green can be used for healthy and eco-friendly initiatives. Bright colors convey energy.

For example, Windex uses a blue label on their product with red labeling. The product can be seen through a clear bottle and is decidedly blue. The dark blue label with white lettering and light accents also gives the feeling of cleanliness. However, Windex also packages their product with a red logo and red accents on the spray portion of the bottle. This draws the eye because it is bold, bright and energetic.

Figuring out which colors to use in what combination is no easy task, but you can learn a lot by studying what Windex does.

Shape of Packaging

The shape of the package can influence consumers as well. Almost two-thirds of customers have bought a product because they were attracted to the way it looked sitting on a store shelf. An unusual shape can make a product stand out from the crowd. At the same time, the product has to fit on the shelf and not look so crazy that the consumer doesn’t know what it is.

A good example of unique shape in product packaging can be found in Toblerone candies. The triangle shape of these candies is vastly different looking than most candy on the shelves, thus it draws the eye.

However, at the same time, a really odd shape may be hard for retailers to shelve. A triangular shape works well because the triangles can be placed side to side to create a more uniform shape. Toblerone is a good brand to study because the packaging is unique but functional at the same time.

Symbols

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Even the symbols used on product packaging can send a message to the consumer. Either the brand becomes synonymous with the symbol, such as McDonald’s golden arches, or the symbol conveys what the brand is about from the beginning. About 52% of online shoppers indicate they would buy again from a store if it includes premium packaging as part of the shopping experience.

A good example of a product symbol is Twitter’s tweeting bird. Who would imagine a simple little symbol of a bird would become so recognizable. Yet, when people are browsing online and see that symbol, they immediately know it is related to twitter.

This proves that the symbols you use in your product packaging and branding do not have to be complex. Simple is sometimes better when it comes to brand symbols.

Material

What material you use for your product packaging can also send a message to the consumer. For example, if you use a velvet box for a piece of jewelry, it can make the jewelry look more luxurious. On the other hand, if you use a plain box with some cotton, the jewelry may be perceived as having less value.

Think about your brand’s characteristics and which materials best convey those to the consumer. Even the texture of your product packaging can have an impact. Think about the idea of receiving a piece of jewelry in that recognizable Tiffany-blue box. Now, picture the same piece of jewelry in a plain cardboard box. It doesn’t have quite the same impact does it? Packaging matters.

Images

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

What is the target audience for your brand? You might want to include an image of a gently bubbling mountain brook to convey relaxation, such as for a bath product. On the other hand, if you are creating a cereal for children, then including a fun cartoon image of a rabbit or honey bee may be the way to go.

The key to including images is to make sure they speak to the values of the brand. Is your brand fun and upbeat? Keep images bright and fresh. Are you offering a luxury product? Then, you may want to scale it back and keep images a bit more mature and regal.

Whatever message you want to get across, a picture is worth 1000 words. Take the time to find an image that conveys the tone you want to convey to potential customers.

 

If you have always thought it is more about the product than the packaging, you should rethink this attitude. The produce is what will cause a customer to say or leave, but the packaging is what draws the customer in the first place.

[Cover image by Alireza Jajarmi]

 

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