Abhinav Kumar Singh



Vikram Sharma



Psychology of Packaging Design

Using the Psychology of Packaging Design to Your Advantage!

Think of all the products that you’ve purchased lately at the grocery store, the home and garden store, the pet store—anywhere that you’ve purchased packaged goods. Were those items in plain white packages with simple block lettering? Probably not. The reason is the appeal and psychology of good packaging design. Packaging design actually affects each person’s subconscious mind and influences purchase behavior even when a person may not intend to buy anything. Read on for tips on how to use psychology of packaging design to your advantage.

Can Packaging Design Really Influence Purchase Behavior?

A study conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board found that 72 percent of customers agreed that packaging design influenced their buying behavior. Packaging, after all, is the first contact that a possible buyer will have with a product and the first tactile and intimate contact that an actual buyer has with a product.

A study published in the Psychology and Marketing Journal found that viewing an attractive package leads to more intense brain activity and also triggers specific brain activity related to awards. Unattractive packaging, on the other hand, triggers negative emotions.

The first function of packaging is to protect products while in transit, on display in a retail environment, and in the home. Other functions include attracting customers, priming them for sale, providing information, strengthening the brand’s logo and identity elements, and differentiating the product and brand from those offered by competitors.

The Role of Psychology in Packaging Design

The average grocery store has over 39,000 items stocked on its shelves. Eye-catching packaging design is critical to separating your product from the rest of the massive selection. Design is a key way to influence sales. The fact is that people respond to visual stimuli, which is a core element of marketing and design psychology. Visual stimuli are critical because sometimes purchase decisions are made in a split second.

Think of it this way. A potential consumer who has never heard of a product may pick it based on package design before comparing ingredients, researching manufacturing practices, and evaluating ethical sources. The design will have a significant impact on how the product inside will be perceived.

Thus, a manufacturer will not only need to create a great product that performs well, but it must also package it with the right colors, shapes, and other design elements.

Important Factors in Packaging Design

Packaging design can help a product stand out using these four factors.

  1. Color. The use of color choice in packaging performs three functions. First, it is used to capture a buyer’s attention. Second, color should create desired emotional associations. You must choose colors that will appeal to your target audience and create the desired emotional reaction. A study titled, “The Impact of Color on Marketing” found that about 85 percent of consumers cited color as the main reason that they bought a specific product. Third, color should establish and reinforce a brand’s identity.
  2. Shape, materials, structure, texture. The way that the package is formed in terms of shape, materials, structure, and texture will provide a unique look to a package. Shape can create emotional responses. The use of materials will determine a product’s shape, as well as its functional structure and texture, each of which can create a uniquely appealing and differentiated package. These elements drive how a package will feel in a customer’s hands and can say a lot about product quality.
  3. Images.The images that are chosen in package design can show products in use or in appealing environments and they create automatic feelings and inferences about the product inside.
  4. Typography.A significant amount of work goes into the choice of typography for a brand. For example, think about the significance of the typography used in the FedEx logo or the CocaCola logo. The typographic font should support the message that the brand wants to convey.

For any company of any size, choosing all the right packaging design elements can make a big difference in influencing customers, resulting in an item’s success or failure.

How About Sustainability in Packaging?

TIt can be stated factually that consumer demand for sustainable packaging continues to grow across the U.S. and the world. For example, a 2021 Study titled “The Global Buying Green Report” found that 67 percent of customers felt that they were environmentally aware. The same percent stated that it was important to them that products they purchased were packaged in recyclable material. The study reported that 54 percent of respondents considered packaging sustainability in making purchases.

It is estimated that the sustainable packaging market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent through 2027 and many manufacturers are responding positively to this trend.

Source: Plastic Packaging Technologies