Yes we love packaging and so should you because your product packaging is both a brilliant branding tool and a powerful revenue generator. Your product packaging is your final piece of marketing to your targeted consumer. All of your marketing spend comes down to a single point of attraction: will they or won’t they put your product in their shopping trolley? That’s why we love it! Do you love your packaging?  Most brand managers love their product packaging when it delivers sales. Do yours?

Making contact with the consumer

With all the tumult currently gripping the marketing world, there is one constant that can be still be counted on. Retail shoppers.  Yes consumers are still shopping in droves. Yet…Still many brand marketers are missing the vital opportunity that comes at the point-of-purchase to create a ‘First Moment of Truth’.  The making contact with the consumer and then converting that contact. 

What is exactly is “The First Moment of Truth

The First Moment of Truth (FMOT, pronounced EFF-mot), is the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters your product on a store shelf. According to P&G research, FMOT are those precious few seconds where you as a marketer have the best chance of converting a browser into a buyer. This conversion is created by the product pack on shelf. Ideally your product pack has been designed to appeal to your targeted consumers senses, values and emotions. This FMOT is where, where 76% of decisions are made to buy a specific brand or product. When marketers grasp the fact that 96% of consumers buy purchases that were not intended, they get excited about the opportunities presented on shelf.


Did you know, according to Woolworth’s research, 73% of all brand purchase decisions are made when shoppers are in the store? Also interestingly enough, in Australia, 20% of grocery shoppers don’t use shopping lists. However here’s the BIG OPPORTUNITY…Of those consumers that use shopping lists, a staggering 88% deviate from their list when making purchases. Ca…ching, ca…ching!

Consumer shopping research also tells us that 86% of shoppers identify themselves as ‘switchers’. These switchers have no loyalty to any one product or brand. This brand ambivalence represents a huge opening for those brands fighting for new customers. It also presents a real challenge for existing brands struggling to hold on to their still loyal customers. What is scary is that despite all the available consumer buying behavior research, brand marketers still aren’t fully taking the opportunity to interrupt shopper behavior and dial up their brand messages at the point of decision…on the retail shelf!

Ouch! You almost had ‘em…

Here’s the problem, for marketers and brand managers alike. You keep pouring your limited marketing resources into the “Grab their Attention Pot” in order to bring the consumer to the retail shelf… but then what? How much does it cost you to get into a Coles or Woolies catalogue these days? You’d be lucky to get any change out of $30K. Once your hard earned marketing dollars gets the consumer gets to the shelf, then your packaging standing there is really your last opportunity to influence them before they decide to buy. So is your product pack ready to deliver your final sales pitch and close the sale? It only has 3 to 5 seconds!

Unfortunately… that very same consumer you’ve invested so much to bring to the shelf, is now faced with a plethora of choices. Should they put your product into the trolley, or should they select a competitor’s product simply because it “sparkles” more than yours? If they do, in effect you’ve paid your competitors marketing bill.

How to get your product packaging into the shopping trolley?

The key for ensuring your product is the one that ends up in the trolley is to keep your packaging design goal top of mind. Remember the ultimate goal is to sell the product, again and again. Yes…commercial package designs must be attractive, but more importantly, they must be effective.  The packaging design must appeal to the right consumer in the right way. The product packaging needs to do your heavy lifting. Your product pack must inspire the consumer to buy. For this to happen you need more than pretty packs on shelf. You need strategically designed packaging.

If you want to sell through and exceed your hurdle rates and outperform your competition on shelf, then your product packaging must deliver high impact. Developing a winning pack requires professional expertise.  Like the brain surgeon your packaging designer must create a delicate balance of both honoring the brand authenticity and the consumer relationship. However, unfortunately if your marketing has invested the bulk of its marketing budget on getting the consumer to the shelf, then you’ll only have a General Practitioners budget left over for developing a package to sell. Cheap design options will end up costing you dearly in the trolley.

To get real cut through on shelf requires the knowledge and experience of a packaging specialist (Brain-Surgeon) and the appropriate budget to ensure product performance on shelf.

Does your product packaging create a First Moment Of Truth?