Packaging testing

Testing is recommended when introducing new products to the market or changing existing packaging. Analysis of the visual component of the goods sold will provide extremely important information, because the appearance of the product and packaging are one of the key selection criteria.

Having the test results, the company will be able to make the necessary adjustments to the design and obtain packaging that evokes positive emotions among the target audience and encourages consumers to make a purchase.

Need and goals of testing

It's no secret that packaging is not just a container that contains a product. Bags, plastic containers, boxes, other types of containers and labels on them are unique branding tools. They perform a number of important functions.

  • Informing buyers. The packaging must easily convey to the consumer information about the category of the product and its manufacturer.
  • Getting attention. An original and beautiful container will first of all attract the attention of potential buyers.
  • Image creation. A thoughtful design will form a certain attitude towards the brand in the consumer. Through packaging, you can convey to the target audience the idea of, for example, an elite product that is accessible to few, or, conversely, the benefits of acceptable quality at a reasonable price.

A lot depends on the packaging. According to statistics, releasing products to the market without prior preparation or suddenly switching to a new design does not meet the expectations of companies. That is why testing the design and other characteristics of product packaging is an important component of effective marketing.

In what cases is it necessary to test packaging?

Research objectives

You cannot do without comprehensive packaging testing in two cases.

  1. Release of new products to the market. The cost of product promotion directly depends on the choice of design. Well-designed packaging will reduce the cost and scale of marketing campaigns.
  2. The task of the research in this case comes down to analyzing the ability of packaging to push the target audience to make a purchase. In addition, testing will show what emotional impact it has on the attitude of potential consumers towards the product and brand.
  3. Design update. If the product has become of higher quality, has received new characteristics, or the existing packaging has become outdated, has become familiar and no longer stands out from its competitors, testing will help you choose the best option for modification.
    In this case, the research solves two problems. The company receives information about which of the new design options makes the product more attractive, maintaining or improving consumer attitudes towards the brand. In addition, testing helps assess the threat of risk factors that often accompany packaging updates.

What can result from an ill-considered change in packaging

  1. Loss of existing distinctive indicators. The product may become less recognizable. The product category, brand or logo will be muted.
  2. The brand will lose face. If, for example, a proven product is suddenly released in a new form, consumers, suspecting a counterfeit, will treat the product with distrust.
  3. Loss of the appearance familiar to buyers. A sharp change in the established packaging design is highly likely to alienate regular customers. Demand for products may fall.
  4. Merger with existing product range on the market. Many manufacturers apply common trends when designing products in the same category. As a result, products become lumped together in the eyes of consumers. For brands with a high market share, this is a risk.
  5. Destruction of the inherent values of the brand. For example, a product that the target audience perceived as high-quality, traditional and having an impeccable reputation may instantly lose the listed advantages.

The opinion of consumers can be influenced by almost any changes in packaging design, even the color scheme. If the design is in warm colors, adding cool shades will disrupt the perception. You also need to take into account current market trends. For example, consumers who prefer strong cigarettes do not purchase blue packs.

If you still need to change the packaging design, you cannot do without preparing and testing samples. This will make it possible to avoid loss of investment and maintain or even increase sales.

Packaging characteristics taken into account during testing

In the process of testing packaging, specialists pay attention to:

  • visual-emotional, organoleptic perception;
  • general attractiveness;
  • match the desired category;
  • motivating properties;
  • perception of the cost and characteristics of the product by packaging;
  • expectations from products, communications and sales channels;
  • compliance of the design with the parameters and features of the proposed product;
  • other factors influencing purchasing activity.

As part of this research, the data on the packaging, text font, visual elements and color schemes are analyzed. An integrated approach to packaging testing allows you to achieve good results.

Testing methods

In the process of testing new and existing packaging, qualitative and much less quantitative methods are used.

Qualitative methods (stage 1)

These methods are used in the initial stages of packaging testing. Qualitative research involves close communication with representatives of the target audience. Professionals use the most effective method - focus groups.

Several groups of respondents are recruited that meet all the characteristics of the target audience (gender, age, characteristics of product consumption, social characteristics and other parameters). Within the groups, packaging options are shown to consumers and various tests are carried out.

During the group process, buyers freely discuss the proposed solutions and compare them with competitors. The group moderator asks respondents questions regarding important product characteristics. Based on the results of such studies, analysts receive detailed information, thanks to which they can determine the advantages and disadvantages of each packaging option and predict demand.

The technique allows you to quickly obtain key information from the target audience on the presented packaging and, if necessary, make adjustments to them before entering the market.

Quantitative methods (stage 2)

These methods (various types of surveys and hall tests) are suitable for the final stage of the study. But it is worth noting that not all cases require a quantitative part. The purpose of quantitative testing is to select the final packaging option after making adjustments based on the results of the qualitative part.

Some of the most popular methods of collecting data are hall tests and online surveys. In both options, representatives of the target audience are shown virtual retail shelves (recreating the selection process in a store). They display products in different packages separately and with competitors’ trade offers located nearby.

During the demonstrations, consumer surveys are conducted. The technique allows you to determine the attitude towards the new design of a large number of potential clients (a representative sample). As a result of the analysis of the collected data, the overall attractiveness, motivational qualities and features of the impact on the brand image of each packaging option are determined.

Based on the results of a quantitative analysis, specialists determine with high accuracy which packaging option is best suited. The testing customer receives a detailed report with an analysis of the data collected during the study.

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