Packaging test: The right packaging counts
Be it the launch of a new product, a range extension, or the re-launch of a product for which a new packaging was developed and designed: The packaging of a product always plays a vital role in its market success story.
Before a packaging test it is important to set specific targets and criteria as benchmarks:
- What is the exact objective of the packaging development?
- The objective defines the action standards (e.g. visual impact, brand identification, loos & aesthetics, product expectations, purchase intention)
- Relevant set of competitor products and current product
- Development of further packaging alternatives
- Fit to brand core
It should always be remembered that it’s difficult for new packages to score as high as the current pack that everyone’s used to. Therefore, at least parity of results is desired. That’s why it is so important to compare all results to the benchmarks set earlier. Only then it becomes apparent if the new packaging will be more successful in regards to the overall objective.
1. Step for a successful packaging: Shelf ImpactRound about 70% of all purchase decisions are made at the point of sale. During the daily 30 minutes that we spend on average in a well-stocked supermarket we perceive some 11,000 products. That’s 6 products per second!
Therefore, the ability to stand out amongst the competition on the shelf is decisive. Consequently the shelf situation in a test scenario should resemble real life conditions as closely as possible, i.e. number of brands surrounding the test product as well as the setup of a shelf test should resemble the situation of a real supermarket.
For a real shelf test this usually results in relatively high costs, not the least because of the cost intensive production of dummy packages. In order to save time and money virtual shelf tests are used with growing tendency.
But one thing remains the same: A new package needs to stand out, i.e. it needs to capture attention and trigger purchase intention.
2. Step for a successful packaging: Informative value or communication power for the product and quality of look-and-feelAfter the impact measurement of the shelf test the package is shown separately, i.e. without any competitor products (a good 3D image of the package may be sufficient). According to the action standards the look-and-feel, likes & dislikes as well as evaluations of specific aspects (e.g. logo, colors, pictures, readability, understanding, product expectations, image effect and purchase intention) are measured.
When doing CAPI or online tests, it is helpful to use or specially developed Marker Tool:
Prior to the test specific areas are defined (e.g. logo, variety name, texts, visual elements etc.) that respondents evaluate using a scale. They are then also asked to state the reason for their evaluation in an open-ended question.
Of course, it’s also possible to conduct a price test in the context of a packaging test, for example by using a PSM or PSMplus.
3. Step for a successful packaging: Implicit measurement of the emotional impact and brand fitThe qualitative analysis measures the look-and-feel explicitly. All evaluations are given more or less consciously. When measuring the emotional impact the unconscious emotions that are not accessible to language or the ratio are evaluated. In order to facilitate this respondents are shown the test package in combination with either a single image or a word item. The respondent then needs to assign or reject each image or item as fitting or not fitting the package. Each item or image is shown only for a very brief moment. This method allows a holistic image analysis of package, brand and product.
Eye-Tracking is another method used by MWResearch for package testing. It can help analyze if the essential information a package conveys, such as brand recognition and product information, are recognized quickly and efficiently.
CARES FOR PACKAGES – THE UNIQUE PACKAGE TEST FOR THE IDEAL PACKAGE
In this conjoint-based method package features (such as e.g. form and size, color, position of logo and text, as well as images) are combined in a specific way in order to be able to calculate their individual importance and usefulness for purchase. Respondents see only complete packages. It is possible to infer the benefits of separate package features from respondents’ preferences, so that the “ideal” package can be constructed.