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Don't Blink

By Carl Marci

You have four seconds. At most. About the time it takes to read this paragraph. If you didn’t grab your consumer by then, forget it. Because that’s about all the time they’ll spend looking at your product on the shelf.

This holiday season is likely to hold an exciting gift for consumer brands: the biggest spike in November and December sales since 2011. While this is great news for the economy, will your brand actually benefit undefined flying off the shelves this season – or will it miss the mark?

Emotional Engagement Matters

You’ll know in four seconds. Keep that in mind the next time you design or redesign your packaging. It can’t just be good. It has to stand out. It must be better than everyone else’s. With so much riding on that differentiation, why not use all of the data that’s available. What the consumer will tell you is important. But what about what the consumer won’t (or can’t) tell you? In our work looking at hundreds of packaging designs (and the subsequent sales impact), we’ve seen one constant: emotional engagement with packaging directly correlates to better sales.

With that in mind, we’d found three primary ways that neuroscience measures can help to ensure that you’ve chosen a package design that – above all others – will maximize your sales. 

  • Your equity. Do you know the design elements that are most important to your consumers? The ones they nonconsciously think are important. The ones they associate with you. The ones they associate with your competitors. We can’t tell you how many times a client thought something was really important, only to find out that it made no difference whatsoever – taking up valuable real estate with no impact on sales. 
  • Your candidates. Too often, viable design options are chosen in the board room, with little, if any, input from consumers. And we’ve seen several cases where eliminated designs would have outperformed final designs. From the early stages, understanding emotional engagement gives you the confidence to determine which are the most viable design options to explore. 
  • Your choice. You’ve explored several strong options. But which new design warrants in-market placement? With a comprehensive assessment, including measuring emotional engagement and visual attention, you can take confidence to the shelves. 

You’ll spend months, if not years, and significant resources exploring product and package designs. Just make sure that the designs you chose don’t require five seconds or more to resonate – or you’ll be left in the dust this holiday season.