OnePulse Platform
by: Lois Fearne
Mar 31, 2023
6 min read

Judging a Product by its Packaging

We’ve all heard the saying, “never judge a book by its cover,” but when it comes to products on shelves, let’s be honest – we judge them by their packaging. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “never judge a book by its cover,” but when it comes to products on shelves, let’s be honest – we judge them by their packaging. 

A recent Pulse found that over half (52%) of British consumers say the packaging of products plays a crucial role in their purchasing decision. Some (11%) go as far as to say that the packaging is more important to them than the brand itself. And it makes sense when you think of it. Your packaging is often the first point of contact with your potential customer, and you know what they say, “first impressions count”, so you have to be on your A game. 

In this blog, we’ve walk though a step-by-step process for testing packaging designs on OnePulse and left you some questions to get you started. Let’s dive in!

Let’s start with the benefits…

Sure, when it comes to testing, minimising risks and saving costs are the most apparent benefits, but there are other advantages too, such as…

  • Design testing helps you identify areas of improvement
    Just because you think your packaging is super slick and extraordinary, it doesn’t necessarily mean your target audience feels the same (harsh, but sadly true!). By paying attention to what they’re saying, you can tweak your packaging into the absolute best of the best on those jam-packed shelves.

  • It waves goodbye to bias
    Using our community opinions eliminates the bias of your opinion and emotions. Wave goodbye to business politics, and hello to factual data to back up your ideas.

  • It allows you to understand consumers really well
    Our community is seriously honest – you can count on them to give you their raw, unfiltered opinions. Once you’ve got those results in hand, you can sort through them by different demographics to get a handle on how your packaging is really perceived.

  • It provides you with actual data to back you up.
    Packaging testing is rarely a one-person job, and we know it can take a lot of work to get everyone on board with your ideas. With solid data on how your packaging is doing with your target audience, you can make a killer case to your bosses and get everyone on board with your super cool, totally awesome packaging idea! 

5 steps to packaging testing

To see packaging testing in action on OnePulse, we’ll use an example of a British cider brand that’s launching a limited edition fruit twist cider this summer in 4 major UK supermarkets this summer, and OnePulse helped them to identify the packaging design that would resonate with their customers the most and drive sales.

Step 1. Set a goal
To make sure you get the most out of your packaging testing, it’s essential to start by setting a clear goal. Take a moment to think about what you want to discover so you can tailor your Pulse to get the insights you need to make an informed decision. And, of course, it will make analysing the results much more effortless.

Example: The goal is to identify which of the two creative packaging options resonates the most with the target audience of cider drinkers that shop at 4 specific supermarkets.

Step 2: Identify the metric/s
The metric or criteria you want the Pulsers to evaluate your packaging creative is critical. The questions you ask must align with your goal to obtain actionable insights.

Example: The goal is to determine which of the two cider packaging designs resonates best with their target audience and will likely lead to more sales, so the metrics we will use to help meet this goal are the following:

  • Appeal: How well does the packaging resonate with the target audience?
  • Purchase intent: How likely is the target market to purchase the product based on the packaging?
  • Uniqueness: How distinctive and differentiated is the packaging from other products in the market?

By focusing on specific metrics, you avoid going off tangent and instead get valuable insights into how your target audience perceives your packaging and make informed decisions that can help your product stand out from the competition.

Step 3: Define your audience
Targeting the wrong people during your research could be a recipe for disaster once your product hits the market. But don’t sweat it; we’ve got your back! Use our 60+ demographics points to ensure you’re talking to the right people.

Example: The Pulses will target those over 18 who drink cider and shop at either Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, or Morrisons.

Step 4. Ask the right questions
To ensure your packaging test is a hit, it’s essential to keep your original goal and metrics in mind when asking your questions. We’ve left a couple of examples of Pulses to give you an idea of the questions you could ask based on your metrics.

Appeal Pulse
Purchase intent Pulse
Uniqueness Pulse

💡Pro Tips when Pulsing your packaging

  • Give context and explain why you’re Pulsing the community (trust us, they love it when brands do this!). Here’s a template to get you started: “Hey! We want your thoughts on [INSERT] launching [INSERT PLACE/TIME]. No right or wrong answers, so be honest!”

  • Use Likert scale questions. They’re perfect for assessing Pulser’s sentiments and perceptions towards your product, enabling you to understand how they truly feel about it. To learn more about Likert scales, tap here!

  • Limit the amount of open-text questions. Quantifying open text Pulse results into numerical categories is a bit trickier, so it is something to remember when testing your packaging designs
  • You can get comparative feedback by pitting two concepts against each other in the same Pulse. If you want more detail, run monadic Pulses side by side.

Step 5: Analyse the data
To ensure we got a good read, we asked another group of Pulsers – people in the same audience – the same questions. Then, we gathered all those Pulse responses and combed through the data until we found the clear winner!

💡Pro Tip:
Want to fine-tune the winning design? You can easily re-target the same audience who helped you before to get the insights you need for further improvements!

As you can see, gathering valuable feedback on your packaging from our community is pretty easy. If you have any questions or want us to review your Pulse before sending it out, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager.

Why wait to hear what your customer is thinking?