March 20, 2017

5 psychic elements that build brands and influence packaging design

The 5 psychic elements of branding and packaging design we can learn from GOOGLE Teams.

In a recent blog post put out by Peter Diamandis, the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, Peter discusses the top 5 key psychic elements that Google applies to their team creation and what we can learn from them. 

  1. Psychological safety
  2. Dependability
  3. Structure and clarity
  4. Meaning
  5. Impact

The goal of this blog post is to extract these 5 psychic elements and show you how they apply to effective branding and packaging design so you can “crush it” on the retail shelf.

To slice through the noise on shelf means you must first nail-down your brand essence.

Read anything on what makes for companies successful on shelf, and you’ll very quickly learn that the ones that are “crushing it,” don’t just have, great products, great technology and great marketing. The most successful products on shelf connect emotionally with their target audience. Today, if you want excite the heart of your category on shelf, if you want to forge an emotional connection, you must understand, express and be very clear on your brand essence.

The top 5 psychic messages your brand essence must stand for.

Your brand essence is the emotional heart of your brand/product. Your brand essence allows you to capture and communicate both the narrative and the conceptual subtleties of your brand to your market audience.

Does your brand essence connote:

  1. Psychological safety? Psychological safety refers to a consumer’s perception of the consequences of taking a risk on your product on shelf. In the face of being seen by others as ignorant, extravagant, non-conforming, unconsidered and impulsive. Does your product branding and packaging provide the consumer with the psychological safety? Does it allow them to feel safe and therefore willing to take a risk and buy outside of their habitual purchasing patterns? A clear brand essence needs to send a strong message. A message that creates a strong feeling of confidence whereby your targeted consumer won’t be embarrassed, chastised or dismissed by others. Your brand essence must express that the consumer is in the safe zone for risk-taking.
  1. Dependability? Dependability means trusting the promise of your brand. It says your product has the ability to do its job when required and for the duration your customer wanted… problem free. Can the consumer rely on your product when they need it to perform its intended task? Dependability of your brand must signify reliability, easy maintenance and maintenance support.  
  1. Structure and clarity? Consumers will judge your book by its cover. Attributes like functionality, shape, graphical hierarchy and engaging design all have the ability to make a package design appear more desirable than its competitors on shelf. Structure, otherwise known as form and function of packaging really matters to consumers. Not simply because unique forms of packaging attract and appeal to the eye of the consumer, but also because today’s consumers desire packaging that are more adapted to their needs than ever before. Consumers want packaging that protects from breaking, spilling (74%) or spoiling(72%).

Overwhelming research tells us that today’s consumers are overwhelmed with choice. To accommodate for this, effective packaging designs boil down and simplify to the core essence of the brand or product. Effective designs are distilled down to a clear and digestible message, distinctive forms with a clean and coherent story. This is what will makes your brand stand out surrounded from a mountain of choices.

  1. Meaning?  Brand essence is an emotion and is not tangible. How does your brand connect emotionally with your customers? Your brand essence is an intersection of your brand promise of specific values and benefits all of which create meaning and relevance to your targeted audience. Jeff Bezos from Amazon said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.” What’s the the one thing your targeted consumer can say about your brand that is most compelling and which individualises it apart from all others on the shelf? What is the true meaning of your brand? Most brand marketers are unclear as to their brand essence. They are unable to articulate it easily. Can you?
  1. Impact? People don’t buy what they need…they buy what they want. Needs are driven by logic whilst wants are driven from the interplay of the six buying decision emotions of greed (reward), fear (risk aversion), altruism (environmental impact), envy(social comparison/competition), pride (ego focused ownership) and shame (failure). Your brand essence needs to amplify the positive attributes of the emotional triggers and at the same time discharge the negative voltage of the triggered emotion. Which of these emotions are your products and brands triggering?

Think about your brand essence as a North Star. Your brand essence guides, inspire and unifies your target consumer and your own organization around it’s promise.

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