Are you a marketer who wants to know how your customers interpret sensory stimuli?
Learn how cutting-edge techniques such as eye tracking, virtual store environments, and EEG can help you gain insights into what catches consumers’ attention and influences their decision-making, providing you with the tools needed to create more effective product packaging rather than guessing what works for people.
Our experts at the Institute for Neuromarketing can give clear guidance on how to effectively reach your target demographic and design marketing strategies that deliver results.
Read on to know more about how neuromarketing can help you with your packaging strategy.
It is widely known that consumer health consciousness is continually growing as we get flooded with health information on the web and social media. This changing health awareness has been further reinforced by the Covid epidemic which gave a boost to the nutritional supplement businesses across the world attracting huge number of players into the market. Europe has shown a similar trend, where the dietary supplement market is expected to grow by 9.3% CAGR and hit a value of 33 bn USD by 2027 (Fortune Business Insights, 2020).
With these shifting market dynamics and consumer behaviour, it has become even more difficult for consumer healthcare businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors as a greater number of brands now competing for a share of already slipping consumer attention spans.
Due to this product packaging, which is the initial point of interaction between brands and consumers becomes more important from a strategic point of view, than previously assumed (Fairbanks, 2016).
Significance of product packaging as a vital consumer touchpoint
The value of product packaging goes beyond safeguarding the product and providing product information. Especially for new, small, or medium-sized brands that lack strong brand recognition or equity, it is an important medium to provide identity to a brand. This is crucial for making the initial connection with consumers. Packaging is an essential element that can convey brand values, voice, purpose, and beliefs to any consumer whether niche or mainstream. (Prince, 2018)
Another important factor is that very few modifications are made in product packaging over time, hence, fundamental aspects of design have a lasting impact on the market making package design a strategic task, not just a tactical one.
For consumer brands, package design is often the most consistent touchpoint with consumers, beyond just the brand logo and/or symbol; for instance, when a consumer takes his everyday supplement, they are interacting with the product pack daily. So, while ad campaigns can change frequently, consistent package design can encourage habitual buying and establish brand recognition. (McDiven and Steidl, 2016)
Consumers today prefer packaging that is simple, straightforward, and sustainable, as well as a design that reflects the brand’s mission and principles while providing transparency. Bold colours, prominent names, and symbols can appeal to today’s consumer, who is very conscious of brand choices and interested in brand stories (Prince, 2018).
Brands have historically employed strong visuals, memories, and a variety of colours to connect with consumers through appealing packaging. Nonetheless, to pin down what ‘works’ in matching the evolving consumer expectations, it is now critical to go beyond this strategy and understand ‘subconscious’ responses from consumers after being exposed to packaging designs.
It is, though, easier said than done. Understanding consumer preferences is a constant issue that marketers encounter.
By using traditional market research methods like as surveys, interviews, and focus groups, marketers can only obtain insight into the appealing components of the packaging but not the underlying feelings or reasons for loving them. As a result, design decisions based on these insights may fall short of connecting with customers since they rely on what consumers ‘say’ about their own preferences.
For instance, according to recent study, when people were questioned about their future activities, they frequently envision an ideal version of themselves. However, most of the times, due to external influences and uncertain situations in life, this ideal version may not always match their real behaviours.
As a result, there is often dissonance between ‘what individuals say’ and ‘what they do’ and therefore, organisations cannot entirely rely on individual responses alone, unless they build a precise decision-making environment. So, traditional market research methods are often not effective in understanding consumer preferences because simply asking someone cannot be enough to understand their behaviour (TEDx Talks, 2019).
Fortunately, neuromarketing provides cost-effective, non-invasive tools like eye tracking and EEG, as well as neuro-shelf testing, that can tap into the ‘subconscious’ and anticipate consumer behaviour by studying physiological responses including eye movement, brain waves, and response times. This advancement in market research methodology enables marketers to better understand consumer preferences and needs and make more informed decisions.
Bonus Tip : Check below infographic to discover ways to get an edge over competitors using neuromarketing insights for packaging.
Image source : Sola, Dr.H.M. (2021)
The effectiveness of packaging design and brand positioning was measured using eye tracking and EEG. The EEG findings suggested that the visual elicited avoidance responses. However, there was no significant difference in the left and right frontal symmetry. The heat map indicated that participants noticed the area around the brand logo – Imunoalfa most frequently followed by the purpose – “Food Supplement for Immunity, Tablets of goat and mare’s milk For Children and Adults”. However, the bottom part of the pack that included information on ingredients was not noticed by the participants (refer image 2A, 2B and 2C).
The text was marked according to the area of interest (AOI) show by the consumers (figure 2A) and based on the results following recommendations were given to optimise the pack :
- The position of the text marked AOI B, should be exchanged with the position of AOI C so that consumers can categorize and understand the product more easily.
- The text “Tablets made from goat’s and mare’s milk with added herbs,” which is the unique selling proposition of the brand needs to be highlighted instead of the ingredients.
To sum it up, the study done using eye-tracking technology and EEG data gave crucial insights into the customer response to Imunoalfa product packaging. The heat map research highlighted the significance of the brand logo and the product purpose’s visibility on the package.
A notable outcome was that the ingredient information, which was positioned at the bottom of the container, remained unnoticed by the participants.
The Imunoalfa brand logo, AOI A, appeared as the most prioritised and eye-catching region on the box, underlining its importance as the major feature. Implementing these ideas might possibly increase the overall attractiveness and efficacy of packaging design and brand positioning, better matching them with consumer preferences and optimising product’s reception in the market (Sola, 2021).
Neuromarketing can help to keep up with the evolving consumer needs and expectations in today’s competitive market environment . While consumer attention spans are shortening in the middle of this information overload, making numerous stimuli to go unnoticed, Neuromarketing research can help to solve the puzzles of how consumers interpret and absorb information.
Research method such as eye tracking is an effective way for allowing researchers to probe deeply into consumer behaviours. Neuromarketing experts can further acquire substantial insights into what attracts customers’ attention and impacts their decision-making processes by combining eye tracking with other cutting-edge methods such as Neuro-shelf testing and EEG that can help marketers to create more compelling and successful product packaging strategies.
So, are you ready to take your product packaging to the next level and leave a lasting impression on the market?
Our team of experienced Neuromarketing specialists at the Institute for Neuromarketing is available to advise you. Set up a consultation with us now, and let’s collaborate to reach your marketing objectives with accuracy and refinement!
Fairbanks, C. (2016). Neuromarketing’s Relevance to Packaging Design. Insights, NMSBA, 16, pp.8–9.
Fortune Business Insights (2020). Europe Dietary Supplements Market Size, Trends & Analysis 2026. [online] www.fortunebusinessinsights.com. Available at: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/europe-dietary-supplements-market-101918
McDiven, C. and Steidl, P. (2016). The Strategic Importance of Packaging Design. Insights , NMSBA, 16(16), pp.4–6.
Prince, J. (2018). Design Experts Talk Packaging Trends for Dietary Supplements and Natural Products, Including Transparency, Simplicity, Sustainability, and Personalization. Nutritional Outlook, [online] 21(3). Available at: https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/design-experts-talk-packaging-trends-dietary-supplements-and-natural-products-including-transparency
Sola, Dr.H.M. (2021). How Neuroscience-Based Research Methodologies Can Deliver New Insights to Marketers. International Journal of Social Science and Human Research, 04(10). doi:http://ijsshr.in/v4i10/41.php
TEDx Talks (2019). Don’t Listen To Your Customers – Do This Instead | Kristen Berman | TEDxBerlin. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gxnr3r1YVU.