There was a time when non-alcoholic beverages meant just water, juice and soda. Never had the choice been so diverse until the year 2000, when basically any flavor has been made available. More and more “soft” drinks are being introduced, and all have something new to share. Also, with everyone taking part in the green revolution, companies engaged in the manufacture of these beverages now turn to producing vitamin and mineral enriched drinks, distilled or carbonated water, energy drinks and fruit juices, among others. While taste and nutritional values are the battleground, companies also capitalize on packaging as unique selling point. This is primarily due to the consumers’ short-lived drink preference given the slew of new products they can choose from.
Packaging design largely requires innovation and attention to detail. The end goal should not just be to pique consumer interest and demand a second glace, but to evoke a potential customer’s decision to buy the product. It is all about making the product stand out, so to speak. Failure is not an option given the market’s competitiveness, so it is imperative for a company to come up with an insights driven packaging initiative. This is especially true for large multinationals planning to launch a new beverage brand. Before implementing anything, a validated research must be done to gauge the effectiveness of the proposed design. Below are helpful considerations when planning out a packaging research. Of course, these are with the assumption that the beverage itself has already undergone test screening, and is ready for distribution.
Visualization is needed
Company researchers must ditch the convenience of gathering data through online means, as personal visualization is needed to properly gauge the market’s impression on the proposed design. Showing a photo is not enough. Respondents need to see and feel the design.
Most often than not, packaging does its job while on the shelf; however, it must go beyond this perspective. It does not just intend to induce trial, but also repeat usage – two totally different objectives that should go hand in hand. While aesthetics answers the first, the taste and quality of the non-alcoholic drink addresses the second objective. When conducting a study, it is better to let respondents try out the product so they can provide a better judgment of the overall package.
Show exact prototype
As most consumers are often more reactive than creative, it is not enough to show a mock up of the proposed packaging design. They can’t properly provide inputs until they see it realized, so it is better to bring the exact prototype to confirm their preferences and desires. This is also to save time on the side of the researcher, and avoid additional costs of multiple rounds of improvement and validation.
Work with a team
Tagging a chemist while doing the probe can help understand consumer perspectives in a holistic way. There can be actionable steps specific to him that a researcher can’t address due to insufficient understanding of the drink’s chemical components. Thus, working as a team yields more meaningful insights overall.