Meet the brains behind the brands we pay more for
The past few years have seen a rapid growth of interest in the multisensory design of product packaging. Traditionally, the focus has been on packaging’s look, but now designers, marketing executives and research scientists are starting to think much more carefully about how it sounds when it’s interacted with, how it smells and, increasingly, what it feels like in the hands.
The aim is to create a signature sensory cue that distinguishes one brand from the rest – think of the iconic shape of the Coca-Cola bottle, or the look and feel of the Jif lemon juice packaging – as well as enhancing the consumer’s experience of the product.
It is becoming increasingly clear that people’s feelings about a given product are very often influenced by their response to the packaging. One of the classic examples of the power of packaging comes from studies on wine. It has been shown that people tend to prefer wine from cork-stoppered rather than screwtop bottles, even if they can tell no difference under blind tasting conditions.
Similarly, even though the bag-in-a-box represents a more sustainable form of packaging, people experience wine sold this way as tasting different – inferior, in fact – to the same wine served in a cork-stoppered bottle.