Packaging Aesthetics and First Impressions

Packaging Aesthetics

Did you know that packaging aesthetics could make or break the first impression of your product? Because they will. And worse: it doesn’t end there.


Research and experience have shown repeatedly that product judgment, (on all of its forms, from purpose to reliability), determines market profitability. Packaging is tasked to take care of a single field: aesthetics. But that field involves much more than just looks.

Marcel Knobil, Superbrands founder, put it like this in an interview with Packaging News:

[quote]“Thanks to impressive print packaging, brands can seduce customers into a change of purchasing vote at the point of purchase (…) we would end up with less brand and more bland were it not for the attention that the packaging attracts.”[/quote]

Today’s packaging trends, according to PN, are driven by “longer supermarket opening hours, continually enhanced print technologies and capabilities and demand to protect brands and increase recognition.” But, how exactly is brand recognition to be achieved, when first impressions often take one tenth of a second? We’re accustomed to making snap judgements, says ConversionXL. And those judgements can matter all from liking the product, to despising it, to leaving it on the shelf. (ConversionXL focused mainly on web design, but all of their findings could be just as helpful for packaging design).

First impressions rely on different attributes: structure, alignment, color, symmetry, text, familiarity, functionality, originality, etc. An analysis of destination web sites found that visual aesthetics took a very important part on how long users stayed on the site, hence providing better conversions. Other study pointed out at the importance of a positive first impression when dealing with ratings, proving that customers experience higher satisfaction and subjectiveness when faced with aesthetically pleasing products, (also known as the Halo Effect).

But first impressions don’t leave after those few seconds of finding a new product. Barry Straw and Ha Hoang looked at NBA players 5 years after their draft, and found their playtimes to be strongly related.

Packaging Aesthetics

Finally, Cheskin Research found that, when it comes to packaging, looks really count. Their bottom line:

[quote]“In a study released today from Cheskin Research, 25% of consumers interviewed revealed that in looking for quality packaging, appearance is most important. Aspects of appearance mentioned most included color, graphic design, size and type of lettering, and overall brightness of the package. Glass containers, reusable and resealable packages, and lastly enduring packaging such as wood, were also associated with quality.”[/quote]

That’s a pretty strong case for aesthetics and sustainability. Now, it’s on you.


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