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What Studies Show About How Packaging Attracts Consumers

Shelves filled with neatly folded items.

It’s an understatement to say that CPG packaging plays a role in consumer decision-making during the buying process. Packaging is that eye-catching shelf differentiator that draws the eye, the hand, and ultimately, the pocketbook to the product. But what is it that actually makes the impression that sets you apart from the competition? What moves the consumer forward—or away?

CPG Packaging to Attract Buyers

Your branded CPG packaging has the power to make or break the sale. The type of packaging you choose influences the retailer’s product placement. The type of packaging reinforces a brand image you’re trying to portray; sleek and sophisticated or rustic and charming? 

Beverages look a certain way for the most part. Transparent packaging is good for food products. Eco-friendly packaging tells customers that you care about the environment and the health of the planet. 

One study found that certain elements in CPG packaging had a particular influence on consumer purchase patterns. For example:

Color Attracts

Color remains the first CPG packaging element that attracts the consumer to the product. This is true both online and on store shelves. Another study reinforced this, stating that 62 to 90% of the initial product assessment was based on the color alone. 

Bold colors attract the eye, particularly within a row of similar patterns and colors. Note that there are cultural flavorings to color that can trip up CPG branding when the package crosses geographic boundaries. However, the point is that color causes consumers to act. How they act is up to you.

Typography Counts

Typography clarity and layout is the secondary consideration for consumer attraction. If color draws the eye in, a clean layout and easy-to-ready typeset is what will further engage the consumer in your brand. Having the wrong font or a layout that is cluttered will literally cause the consumer to walk away before the product is purchased, according to the research.

Unusual package shape.

Size and Shape Matter

The size and shape of the package matters. Larger packages cause consumers to assume there is a greater value for the money. But package designers beware; if the consumer takes it home and there’s too much wasted in the packaging, they will ding you on sustainability and you might see a negative online review and fail to retain that buyer. 

The research also showed that elongated packages attract attention more quickly than “normal” shapes. Eye-catching shapes that fit the target audience, such as animal-shaped boxes for kids, are sure to have them clamoring at their parents to make the purchase.

Materials Get Noticed

Don’t skimp on the materials for your CPG packaging design. The research showed that high-end items need to have packaging that also looks expensive. Poor quality paper doesn’t fly on a technology product. If the package comes across as cheap, the consumer will assume what’s inside is also cheap—and we don’t mean cost, either. 

Better quality packaging is more expensive, but it's the eco-friendly nature of the packaging that consumers care about. The research shows the packaging must look high-quality but must also be recyclable or sustainable in some way. 

Innovation in packaging design still matters because it’s often the packaging that initially attracts the consumer. While the product itself may keep them coming back for more, if you get the packaging wrong, your product won’t even make it home.

PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!


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