Why packaging is important? And why package testing involves understanding consumer emotions? Read the article to know more.

The packaging of a product is a major deciding factor in whether a consumer will buy the product or not. As consumers, decisions to what to buy and what not to be largely influenced by the factors like store layout and packaging.

Various research on packaging and human emotions found interesting patterns, which are used by major brands across the world. A product image that is more in the foreground compared to the background elicited more positive emotional responses among consumers. The same researchers would now like to run this experiment in a store, which would enrich the results of the study.  Researchers studied various packaging designs, in particular the visual representation of the product and its effects on consumers. Since shopping is increasingly perceived as a hastened activity, the researchers explain that product packaging should help consumers make a quick decision.

The researchers chose two tests for the study, a famous food brand was chosen for the research in package testing. Construal Level Theory describes the relation between psychological distance and the extent to which people’s thinking (e.g., about objects and events) is coherent. The general idea is that the more distant an object is from the individual, the more abstract it will be thought of, while the closer the object is, the more concretely it will be thought of. The packaging of the product was changed according to this theory. 

A packaging showed flour as one of the ingredients and moved its snack product image to the background.   A group of students for observation were welcomed to the laboratory room and were asked to watch a video with various random pictures. While the students watched the video, their facial expressions were recorded on video for analysis. The second test was designed around two fictional brands for lemon cake and crackers. The same procedure was followed, and a total of sixty students participated. Students were asked to report their decision with regards to the design.

In both tests, facial expression showed more positive emotional responses with the foreground product picture. This outcome is in line with the Construal Level Theory. Because the picture is positioned in the foreground, consumers feel nearer to the product by perceiving a smaller psychological distance from the product packaging. Purchase intent did not differ significantly. Various social experiments collect valuable insights using eye-tracking technologies, physiological measures and behavior mapping.

Emphor DLAS has been helping various brands in designing packages and package testing. The company has collaborated with various scientific communities to create effective packaging in the Middle East & Africa regions for various consumer products.