Does your product have the looks to end up in a shopping cart?

We are all familiar with the process of going grocery shopping. You go to the store, look for a special category of products and then make a decision. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Think again!

The decision making process is very complicated and has been studied for quite some time now. Research has shown that the more options you have, the harder it is to make a decision. It can even lead to a sort of paralysis and the inability to make a choice.

According to Roger Dooley, the author of Brainfluence, 95% of our thoughts, emotions and learning occur before we are even aware of them. This means that for the most part our decisions are made subconsciously.

So how does this work when we are standing in front of the shelf with laundry detergent? All the brands are alike with similar colors, scents and product benefits. Yet, we reach for a specific package after only a few seconds of consideration.

Marketers have known for a long time that package design can impact on shopper decisions below the level of awareness. In a retail environment the packaging is often the only brand identity a shopper comes in to contact with. Hence, to compete with similar products a package design must stand out. However, this difference must be a subtle one, as the design must still adhere to the conventions of the product category.

Different parts of a design can connect with subconscious and emotional decision drivers and have an impact on the behavior at the moment of purchase. As with all things subconscious the consumer is not aware of this and therefore has a problem explaining what caused this particular product to end up in the shopping cart. With the help of EEG it is possible to see if a package design creates attention, interest and want. This combined with Eye tracking creates the possibility to identify specific design elements that work or don’t work, which could explain poor results and in the end have an impact on sales.

The Swedish coffee brand Löfbergs has among other tests also used neuromarketing to evaluate their product design for Kharisma. Kharisma was launched three years ago and has become a favorite among coffee drinkers in Sweden. Seven percent of Swedish households have bought Kharisma and about half of them have become loyal customers. The sales have constantly increased which is remarkable considering that this is a product category where consumers usually switch between brands and buy whichever is on sale. Another thing worth noting is that 75% of all launches in consumer packaged goods fail within the first year. Kharisma has somehow managed to increase it’s sales month by month.

Through the use of EEG and Eye tracking Löfbergs was able to determine that the design has been of great importance for the sale success. When a customer looks at a Kharisma package it creates a strong impulse to purchase and test the product. The study brought new insights that Löfbergs will be able to use in the future. A successful combination of colors, contrasts, text and image gives Löfbergs an advantage compared to many other coffee brands.

Over 50% of purchase decisions are made in front of the shelf. Marketers are therefore able to influence half of the consumers seconds before the decision is made. The design’s effectiveness to communicate with the customer will most certainly have an impact on sales. Neuromarketing gives us the possibility to evaluate the design’s ability to create attention, interest and want – factors that will effect your product’s ability to end up in the shopping cart.