When all you have is 3-5 seconds to grab your consumers attention with your product on shelf you have to make sure your product packaging delivers.

3-5 seconds decision making

Consumers make hundreds of split-second decisions whilst walking through the shopping aisles. When they land at your shelf, if your pack doesn’t grab their attention… they keep on walking and you may never get another opportunity to convert them into a customer. The problem is then further compounded by the fact that if they didn’t buy your product the first time to try it… they won’t be back to buy it again and again and again. You lose the life time value sales of that product. If a customer typically buys your product once a month, then not only have you lost the initial sale, you have also lost all the additional top-up sales too. All because your pack failed to convince them to buy now!

If you want to sell lots of your product then it stands to reason that you need to make sure that you have world class sales materials. Your product pack is your salesman & your sales material. Your product pack is your last marketing opportunity to convert the consumer into a regular customer. 

Grabbing the consumers attention

So the question is, how do we capture the consumer’s attention in those first 3-5 seconds? Remember back in the bad old days of the internet how web marketers thought flashing buttons and blinking text was the answer. Web surfers quickly figured that one out and ran for their web surfing lives.  And we know that louder, and brighter and prettier packs on shelf wont cut it either. So how do you stand out on shelf?

The 3-5 seconds WOW moment isn’t enough!

Whilst the LOUD SCREAMING pack may get the consumer’s attention, and bring them to the shelf to look…it won’t necessarily close the sale. Yes, the pack must grab consumer attention… but that’s only the first step.

Example: Recently a manufacturer of natural nut bars and muesli bars changed their packaging. Whist their new pack screamed …”Hey look here! Look at me!”, when the consumer got close to the product on shelf and saw how “unnatural” the pack looked, they automatically assumed that the product wasn’t natural” either. It didn’t take long for the company to have to start discounting to move the product off the shelf. It has been nearly 3 months since the new product packaging was launched and the product is still being discounted. The sad thing about this story is that the company would have invested heavily in the new design, translating it across all touch-points, only to find that the design, whist attention grabbing, fails miserably on shelf. 

BOLD packaging design

Package design requires Boldness as opposed to LOUDNESS. Boldness happens when a pack is designed in conjunction with authentic insights. An example of an “Authentic Insight” may be to capitalise on a trend of a particular category.

Example: There is a current trend for “artisan” food. “Bold” amplifies the “artisan” trend to create cut through on shelf. “Bold” is a single-minded proposition focus. Bold states something specific, it demonstrates something about the product & what it contains, or a new trend in the market. Then what being “bold” does is harmonizes this with the expectations and personal dispositions of the targeted consumer the package design is created for. To capture a consumer in 3-5 seconds, your package design needs to Boldly stand out against its competition by exhibiting distinction making it pop in it’s category. Boldness disrupts without alienating the consumer. This is not done by shouting the loudest. Rather, Boldness targets the expectations of the targeted consumer by appealing to that consumer’s core values and amplifying them.

Think of one of your favourite actors. Take Meryl Streep. No one would ever call Meryl a stunner, but when Meryl Streep is on screen…she pops! Meryl Streep epitomizes Bold. She captures your attention and holds you in her palm. Isn’t that what you want your product packaging to do?

When you only have 3-5 seconds to grab the consumer’s attention, you’d better make it count or it will cost you. So go Bold… rather than LOUD!