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Consumers in awe of powerful packaging

By Andrew McDougall , 24-May-2012
Last updated on 24-May-2012 at 17:18 GMT2012-05-24T17:18:57Z

Consumers in awe of powerful packaging

How a product is packaged is as important as the product itself, and luxury packaging succeeds best by filling the consumer with the feeling of awe, according to a market analyst.

Speaking at the Luxe Pack New York event at the Altman Building in Manhattan, Donna Sturgess, co-founder of research firm Buyology, stated that many consumer decisions are made using the non-conscious mind, thus packagers should be appealing to the emotions.

“Awe is the highest end of emotion that you can get from a consumer, it is the highest end of desire,” she said. “This makes it ideal for luxury goods as it is potent and powerful.”

“Therefore you must create a package that consumers do not want to throw away once opened; something we are seeing nowadays with perfume.”

Competitive advantage

In her seminar, titled ‘Neuro insight and the science behind the most powerful packaging in the world’, Sturgess stated that brands can gain a significant competitive advantage through packaging.

“At least 85 percent of human decisions are governed by the non-conscious (instinct, intuition, emotions & desires and memories & values),” claimed Sturgess.

“Yet over $80bn is spent each year measuring the 15 percent that is conscious. These measurements account for nearly 100 percent of the facts that currently guide business decisions.”

The Buyology trailblazer explained there are four criteria that influence our non-conscious decisions: memories and values; intuition; emotional wants and desires; and reflexes.

“This really matters for marketers,” she continued. “Especially when it comes to luxury goods – rational choice goes out of the window – sometimes we buy things without quantifying the real reason for the purchase.”

Packs influence purchasing decisions

Sturgess explained that if a package makes the right impression to a consumer it is much more likely to appeal to their emotions and influence their buying decisions.

She gave examples from the luxury goods market of products that have seen different levels of success due to their packaging, including a high-end perfume which performed badly as its packaging was ‘too garish’ and cheapened the product.

Sturgess also said that what is put on the package in terms of image and text, can also affect the way the product is received, as they appeal to different parts of the brain.

“On the package, the text is normally for the conscious, images are for the non-conscious. So if you overload text on a package, you risk losing the emotion from the consumer.”

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