Carol Fitzgerald
Carol Fitzgerald 18 April 2022

The Moment of Truth: How to Make Your Pack Stand Out

In the few seconds called 'moment of truth' for your pack to influence, are you positive you'll win on shelf and online? Even with the growth of ecommerce, your pack should break through. Here's how to develop better packaging.

In the consumer goods sector, most companies are familiar with the Moment of Truth - the four seconds a brand has to make an impact and influence a purchase decision. Recently, various factors, such as Covid, the rise of ecommerce, and environmental concerns, have changed how packaging meets people’s desires while remaining faithful to what initially drives their purchase.

Packaging is a crucial component core to a brand's success. At buzzback we've accumulated insights from 20 years of pack testing and strategic thinking across multiple markets and stages of pack development. 

Here are some of our learnings on how to make your four seconds count:

1. Always Remember that Research is Key

We all know that brands must stand out on a crowded shelf, in a store or on the internet. However, you must first understand what your target audience is looking for when shopping and making purchasing decisions. What's the thing that's going to pique their interest and encourage them to buy your product? The only way to answer this issue is to understand and research what they want.

Consider the phase of development you are approaching and the type of research you need. For example, early-stage research will help you understand what your pack must convey about your brands, how it will stand out, and how people interact with the product.

Then, a design evaluation of imagery and graphics will help identify which visuals driver purchase. Finally, the formation of the pack and its journey will affect consumption and ultimately impact the overall experience.

2. Understand What your Brand Wants to Achieve

The design of a pack is the essential, defining element. Therefore, it’s important that you take a step back and ask yourself some key questions.

What is your brand equity? What does your brand stand for? If it’s a new brand, where do you want to go? What’s the positioning and brand impact you want to yield? You need to answer all these questions first to ensure the pack reflects your brand’s message. 

Color is one of the most important features of your pack. You must understand how color elicits feelings and choose a brand-consistent, visually appealing palette, which corresponds with your brand equity while remaining unique and dominant on shelves.

It’s important to ensure your brand’s logo is noticeable and easy to read and includes critical information about the product. You need to understand how a consumer ‘reads’ your pack, and what it is communicating.

For example, legibility may be improved if you only use one or two font types, and make sure they’re on brand and appropriate for your target. Next, think about what you want to communicate about your product’s claims and benefits. 70% of consumers read labels. Claims are both a meaningful way to inform and support product differentiation.

Next, consider the shelf space your product shares. You can test in a mock shelf environment to gauge impact. If you’re trying to stand out, you don’t want to look like everyone else and keep it simple works.

Also, consider an online environment – some categories skew as high as 50-60% online purchases. With the impact of Covid, more consumers are buying online or hybrid. So, your pack needs to differentiate your product. Think about materials, structure, size, sealing, and how consumers interact with what’s inside.

Also, ensure you are in alignment with your stakeholders: designers, brand managers, and shopper teams. By sharing consumer expectations and feedback, you can often make fact-based rather than opinion-based design choices. 

3. Consider the Importance of Sustainability Trends 

Sustainability and environmental concerns have increasing importance – especially among Millennials. For example, 70% of respondents are concerned and somewhat involved with environmental or sustainability issues, and over 60% say sustainable products and packs reflect their values and tend to be high quality. 

Does your pack address consumers’ concerns? What is your pack ‘saying’? What are key takeaways?

There is a growing effort to reduce plastic waste, as more consumers say they actively seek products with less plastic, smaller footprints, or no waste when making purchasing decisions. 60% identify glass jars as their favourite type of pack when it comes to food, followed by paper bags and cardboard boxes.

Overall, consumers are more educated, informed, curious, and connected. They want to know more at ‘point of purchase’. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of consumers’ wants, and you’ll be able to deliver a pack that is hard to ignore and will indeed deliver your very own Moment of Truth. 

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