Measuring the Impact of Package DesignNovember 14, 2020 - by Taylor Getler
While most brands recognize how important it is to have strong package design, many marketers aren’t always sure how to measure the impact that their packaging has on their brand. By being aware of how to track the success of new packaging design, marketers can make sure that their design teams are delivering the results that they need.
One important way of assessing a design team’s performance is to look at the quality of the new packaging in the wider context of the project.
-Does the design offer solutions to problems that have been addressed with the client?
-Does the design offer a clear path for future designs to meet their goals (planning for variety types, line extensions, new package sizes and formats, etc.)?
-Does the design stand out on shelf among competitors?
There are also basic quality standards that effective design needs to meet. Is the file naming formatted correctly? Does the final deliverable use the right brand colors, fonts, and claims?
In order to understand the real impact of a new package design, the design team needs to sit down with the client and make sure that they understand the quantitative goals that they want to get out of a project.
For example, maybe a client finds that their demographic is aging, and they want a packaging refresh to help them appeal to millennial shoppers. The client should be able to measure the sales performance of the original packaging with this demographic against the performance of the new packaging, which will explain what kind of impact the new design has had in helping the client meet their goals.
In this instance, we can see that the impact of design might not necessarily result in increased sales across the board. If an increase in millennial purchases coincides with a decline in purchases from Gen X or baby boomer consumers, it could initially look like there was no change in sales at all. This is why it’s important to outline specific and measurable goals from the beginning, so that the marketing and sales team knows exactly what to look for.
Bringing Marketing Research into the Design Process
Some clients could benefit from introducing ongoing marketing research into the design process when a creative team is working on new packaging. Eye tracking, surveys, and detailed consumer interviews can all give brands insights into how new packaging will be perceived on shelf.
For example, some brands rely heavily on impulse purchases to drive sales. Products like candy, snacks, and soda often have a fraction of a second to catch a shopper’s attention and push them to purchase, and package design plays a huge role in making that connection successful. Marketers can use web-based eye tracking programs to study how well their current packaging is able to stand out and retain research participants’ attention versus category competitors. Later, marketers can test their redesign in this same way before it’s even introduced to market. Financial performance is just one way to measure the effectiveness of design, and this is one example of a way that marketing and sales teams can use market research tools to further test the impact of new packaging.
At the end of the day, the best way for brands to understand the impact of package design is to know their own strengths, weaknesses, goals, and ways of tracking if they’ve met those goals. If the marketing and sales teams are able to coordinate with the design team on these points from the very beginning of the project, they will be able to maximize their packaging’s success.