3. Appealing to the senses
Although not a new development, manufacturers and brands are starting to see the relevance and benefits of different sensory elements being integrated into packaging. The visual element of packaging is almost always the first aspect of packaging that consumers interact with—and perhaps the most influential in terms purchasing decision.
However, many experts define touch as the most arousing of human senses, with consumer neuroscience showing that the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex is also related to our willingness to buy, and even more importantly, a willingness to pay a higher price.
As consumers, there are certain tactile qualities that we tend to associate with feelings of “luxury,” “quality,” “freshness” and more. Designers are working to create packaging that conveys these types of desired product associations through tactile sensations. Tactility can be expressed by a number of printing and converting technologies, such as embossing, laser-etching, molded patterns, speciality materials and even tactile coatings. While these effects can add time and costs to the packaging production process, the added value they deliver on shelf could be worth the extra investment.
Special effects on packaging can attract greater attention and create that “wow” factor, but can also be used to provide relevant information to the consumer. Tactile packaging solutions are being used to communicate information in ways that may be more effective and accurate than words. Designer, Solveiga Pakastaite created the 2014 Dyson award-winning “Bump Mark”—a tactile expiry date—a small bioactive sheet of gelatin that is placed on the packaging and indicates that the food should be tossed out when the texture of the gelatin changes from smooth to bumpy.
Recent technological developments have made it much cheaper and quicker than ever before to prototype novel packaging designs and print finish coatings. To attract interest, increase the value of a product or packaging—and boost sales—brands will undoubtedly be looking to differentiate their products through various materials and finishing effects that appeal to the senses, primarily visual and tactile, but also scent, taste and auditory.
NEXT: Packaging mobilization