Branding in numbers. How to predict the effectiveness of packaging design?

The FMCG market is a constantly updated system. Some brands and products come, others, having not found their buyer, are forced to leave. 

According to Nielsen, which has been specializing in marketing measurements for almost a century, about 40,000 launches occur annually in the Russian FMCG segment. It should be borne in mind that only a small part of them are really new products.

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Most of the new products are connected in one way or another with changes in packaging and label design. But how many of them fire? As experience shows, no more than 20%. 

In practice, this means that entrepreneurs redesign and rebrand over and over again, but do not achieve the desired result. Why is this happening? In many ways, the failure of the next novelty is due to an erroneous assessment of the effectiveness of packaging.

“What, I like it! Let’s start!”

Who is the business for? For buyers. In order to attract them, branded packaging is being developed, the label design is being updated, and current design trends are being introduced. 

And as it is not surprising, but in such a situation, only some companies are interested in the opinion of the target audience.

Under such conditions, redesign and rebranding are transformed from effective tools as they were intended to become taste. The fundamental selection criterion is the opinion of one person, and the decision is made on the principle of “like – dislike.”

Are you still surprised that the updated packaging design doesn’t work?

And what should be the ideal?

Why are some goods not in demand even at a lower cost, while others are bought up at a price that is noticeably higher than the average market price? Because the latter belong to a strong, commercially effective brand. In this case, efficiency is the added value that people see in the products of a particular brand.

Package design:

  • creates a unique visual image of the product;
  • distinguishes the product from the background of competing products;
  • communicates additional value to the buyer.

When one package solves all the above problems, the product is doomed to success. And it is in this case that we can talk about the effectiveness of design.

Ideally, the effectiveness of a package should be assessed prior to its launch, and not after the fact, when significant funds have been invested in the development and creation. But how do you predict success? There are several methods for this. We will talk about one of them.

Packaging Design Effectiveness Formula

Only the lazy did not talk about how good this or that design was. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, a personal opinion is issued for an expert assessment. And far from always it is objective and has any basis. At the same time, it is important to realize that in business an assessment at the level of “beautiful – ugly, like – dislike” is unacceptable. And even more so, you can’t make decisions based on the opinion of one person or a small group of people.

For a reliable assessment of the commercial success of a particular design option, it is necessary to remember what components it consists of. Imagine the packaging efficiency in the form of a layer cake and consider it in more detail to understand how an objective assessment is formed and a forecast is made.

  • The first layer is the visual component. The packaging must be visible. And even from afar or with a casual glance with peripheral vision. Imagine a person who thinks about his own and walks along the shelves. If your packaging can attract a distracted eye, then you can talk about the effectiveness of the design.
  • The second layer is the logo. It is one of the most important elements of brand visualization. A good logo is easy to remember and establishes a strong association with the brand. Seeing it on another product should make the customer think, “Oh! I know this brand. I bought juice from this brand. I’ll try the fruit drink too! This means that the logo must be clearly visible on the packaging.
  • The third layer is information. The customer doesn’t want to play charades in front of a shelf of goods. He wants to quickly buy a product. Efficient packaging and label design helps him in his decision making. What kind of product it is, what product group it belongs to, what it may be needed for – this information should be clearly visible and understandable at a glance.
  • The fourth layer is conversion. This is what creates additional value and makes buyers choose this product. Including at a higher price. The unique selling proposition placed on the package articulates the value of the product and answers the buyer’s question “Why do I need this?”.

As you can see, packaging design is a complex system. And it is impossible to consider it from the position of “beautiful – ugly”. How then to evaluate? So, let’s move on to the main thing and offer to study the checklist of 14 questions. By honestly answering them, you can understand how well your packaging is performing or predict the effectiveness of a new design that is planned to be introduced in the future.

We evaluate the design correctly!

1. How noticeable is your product among competing products?

How to check? The easiest way to do this in real conditions. Put the packaging on the store shelf. See how it compares to the competition. Assess its visibility. Step back 10-20 meters and look again. Is the packaging still highly visible and stands out from similar products from other brands? If you can answer yes to this question, then great. A negative answer is a reason to reconsider the design.

2. How noticeable is the logo?

An easily identifiable logo increases the chances that a customer will remember your brand and make a repeat purchase. Consider your packaging and think about whether the logo is clearly visible, does it immediately catch your eye or should you look for it? If the logo is text, then make sure it is easy to read. The buyer does not have to make efforts and guess riddles.

3. How easy is it to get information?

Packaging for food products, household chemicals or other goods from the FMCG segment is not only a beautiful picture and name, but also information. Evaluate how easy it is for the buyer to find it. At the first glance at the product, the consumer must determine the category of the product, the approximate price segment, and the benefits.

4. How does the packaging match the category trends?

It is very important to stand out from the competition! But this does not mean that traditional solutions should be completely anathema. Let’s say you produce dairy products. As a rule, tetra pack packaging or plastic bottles and bags are used for this category. And in the design most often there are images of cows, grass, the sun. So, you can refuse any one traditional element, but not all at once. Milk in an acid-colored tin may attract attention. But it is unlikely that they will buy it constantly.

5. Show the product face

According to statistics, the presence of a food zone increases the conversion by about 30%. The food zone is the part of the package that displays the product. Depending on the category, it may show the contents of the package or an image of the product. For example, a transparent window is often left on bags of buckwheat, through which the buyer can assess the purity of the cereal. But on frozen semi-finished meat products, an image of the finished dish is more often placed, since it looks more appetizing.

6. Feel free to talk about the benefits of the product

Each product has certain advantages. For example, it is made from natural ingredients, does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), does not contain soy, etc. Sometimes manufacturers seem to be embarrassed to talk about the benefits and hide information about them. And absolutely in vain! The merits of the product must be declared loudly and openly. Present the packaging on the store shelf and make sure that the pros of the product are in the visible area. If not, then there is definitely a design problem.

7. Unity of style in the design of the product line

Let’s say you produce juice, fruit drinks and compote. It is very important to link these products into a single unit. Of course, the design of the compote packaging should be different from the design of the juice box. But the overall style should be recognizable. As an example, consider the Dobry brand. Its product line includes juices, nectars, fruit drinks, smoothies, as well as a children’s product line. The design of each product group is different, but they all have common features that allow the packaging to remain recognizable.

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