All Na Packaging!

All Na Packaging!

Yes, your packaging will take you places!

If we conducted a mini-experiment and asked people to choose between a pack of store brand potato chips that are the same price, quality and quantity as a pack of branded potato chips, which one do you think most will choose?

Yes, you guessed right! The pack of branded potato chips. And if we ask them why, the main reason would be that they believe the branded choice would taste better.

“Between two products equal in price, function and quality the one with the most attractive exterior will win” Raymond Loewy

This phenomenon is termed Sensation Transference: the unconscious process whereby we transfer our sensory input based assessment towards the packaging, to the product itself. Many case studies show how powerful this phenomenon is such as the cases of Imperial Margarine, The Marlboro Man, Coca Cola, 7Up, Ford and so on.

What we find is that people consistently choose the product with better packaging and, as long as the packaging does not change, people trust that they are receiving the same quality from the product.

Let’s use the brand Tropicana to explain this better…

Tropicana Pure Premium is one of the best-selling orange juice brands in North America. In January 2009, they decided to launch a new packaging in the North American market that is more modern and simplistic. Just a few days after the launch, they were criticized by consumers for this new packaging.

Consumers were questioning whether or not the product was still the same especially after the orange (which signified freshness, versus concentrate) was removed from the packaging. Within 2 months, sales for this bestseller had dropped by 20%, forcing Tropicana to revert to its original packaging.

The packaging is very important as in most cases it is the first thing consumers see, and in other cases, it is the last thing they see before making a decision. It is very important that your packaging makes consumers always choose you over others but it is also essential that when you take risks in evolving and changing your packaging, consumers still trust that the product is the same.

How do you do this? Test! Ensure you test your packaging not just by asking, but by observing the behaviour of your consumers where their unconscious reactions are revealed.

Want to learn more about testing? Contact Versa Research!


What to Learn From Tropicana’s Packaging Redesign Failure?