According to a Tetra Pak Index report, packaging has an important role to play as a gateway to greater consumer engagement. The report states that brands need to focus their online engagement on a new generation of influencers: ‘Super Leaders’, a digital community of early adopters who, when engaged, can become brand advocates to spread messages and shape opinions. Packaging can be used to augment this. For example, digital codes printed on packages can improve transparency of traceability, allowing consumers to access information about the product right down to the source. The package can also be transformed into a platform for two-way information flow where brands can capture specific, valuable data about their consumers.

A psychological study from Avery, meanwhile, has revealed how much labels matter when it comes to consumer decisions and loyalty. Working with a behavioural psychologist, Avery, tested consumer response to small business label designs. The research included three scientific approaches to understand what makes a successful label, including the use of eye-tracking apparatus in controlled laboratory conditions to trace exactly where a label can lead the eye. Three online experiments were also conducted, testing 1,108 adults to examine the more cerebral and behavioural aspects of labels, centred on product labelling and mailing and shipping labels. A literature review of 159 academic papers was also conducted to identify gaps in knowledge and shape the rest of the study.

Consumer Attention

Key outcomes included the importance of catching the eye, with bright colours and large labels making consumers stop and look, while bold lines, borders and stripes saw a label viewed 42 percent more than plainer labels nearby. Once a consumer’s attention has been captured, the best way to hold it and convert it into a desired outcome (purchase or a positive opinion of a brand) is to make the brain think and engage with the product or package. This can be achieved through emotion, information, priming, decision-making shortcuts and curiosity.

 Packaging and in-store displays are viewed as more important to the success of the overall brand experience than channels like email, direct mail and mobile apps, according to a recent Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council survey. 46% of respondents said that across the marketing landscape teams have separated into physical or digital groups, enabling specialisation and functional focus but making alignment and cohesion across these channels even more difficult. Further, 66% of marketing leaders have reported that their end consumers are very sensitive