13 Seconds to Make an Impression

Graphic Designer
A recent graduate of Colorado Mesa University, Leah loves working on branding projects, layouts, and websites. Her favorite thing about design is that it allows her to be creative and artistic, but also gives her plenty of chances to dig into some tedious details, which is a fun balance.

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They say it’s what is on the inside that counts, but when it comes to product packaging, most consumers will judge a book by its cover.

Chances are, we’ve all had a moment of standing in a store looking at ten different options for the same item and had to choose which brand we wanted to purchase. Sometimes, we may spend some time comparing different features and prices to figure out the best option, but frankly, it can be overwhelming when there are so many choices and they all claim to be the best out there.

Most would like to believe that they consider their purchasing decisions carefully, but the reality is that on average, most people take around 13 seconds to make a purchasing decision in-store.1 That average increases to 19 seconds online, but the majority spend less than 10 seconds deciding.1 With the fast paced world we live in today, most people avoid comparing products. Instead, most consumers try to make quick decisions based more on general impressions and initial feelings about a brand.
“By only marketing the attributes of your product, you will likely generate lackluster results…Humans are driven by feelings. So if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company.”
—Logan Chierotti, Inc.com
One of the most powerful ways to get a consumer to engage with your product is through package design. Studies show that 72% of consumers are influenced by package design when making a purchase decision. This number jumps up to 81% when buying a gift.2 Businesses who are attentive to packaging enjoy a 30% increase in consumer interest.3

When we see a well-designed package, that can influence our thought process in several ways. First of all, good design gives the impression of a higher quality product. Consumers are unlikely to trust the quality of a product if the outer packaging is unappealing or isn’t designed thoughtfully. If it’s clear to a consumer that the company hasn’t invested in the look and appeal of their product, the consumer may also assume that they’ve done the same with the quality of their product.

Another way package design influences purchasing decisions is simply by making the product stand out on the shelf. When faced with a wall of generic, uninspired packages, unique and beautiful packages will draw attention. The number one thing to keep in mind for businesses that are trying to sell a product is that an engaging package design will encourage consumers to not only notice a product, but be intrigued enough by the design to pick it up off of shelf to get a closer look at it. A package design that invites this kind of engagement evokes an emotional response to the product, which will make people more likely to buy it.

Furthermore, good packaging design can have a profound impact on future decision making. Beautiful packaging can encourage repeat purchases and social media sharing. Nearly 40% of consumers said that they were likely to share photos on social media of packaging they found particularly unique or attractive.3 Because people tend to trust recommendations from their network more than ads, this kind of “free” marketing can pay huge dividends for companies with both large and small marketing budgets. Additionally, 52% of online consumers are likely to purchase again from a brand if the products arrive in premium packaging.3

So when consumers are faced with an overwhelming number of brand options daily, there’s an opportunity for brands to stand out by investing in quality package design. While marketing details about a product are important, consumers often don’t have time to research every product they see and often have to make split-second decisions based on their first impression. Package design is a great way to have control over how people will immediately perceive a brand and ultimately make a purchase decision.

For a case study showing how an improved package design can transform a brand, check out our packaging redesign for Lush Wine Mix here.

Interested in revamping your packaging?

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