How can neuromarketing – using combinations of biometric measuring techniques to analyse consumer reactions – be a tool that makes packaging development more efficient?
“With eye tracking you can measure customers’ visual attention to and experience with your packaging design, you can test before production to ensure you get the wanted result and catch the consumer’s eye in the store. The majority of shoppers’ decisions are made in store therefore capturing the shopper’s attention and interest through effective packaging formats is key in a competitive market landscape,” explains Ali Farokhian, who heads up the research consultancy team Tobii Pro Insight at Tobii. “Getting it wrong can be quite expensive – both in the form of direct costs when you have to redo designs and material and of course in the form of lost revenues.”
Iggesund Paperboard is the maker of the high-quality paperboards Invercote and Incada, two of the strongest brands on the European paperboard market. Tobii Pro is a division of Tobii Group and began by developing eye tracking hardware for research in 2001 and then grew into supplying a range of tools from hardware – desktop and wearable-, software and cloud, to the research consultancy Tobii Pro Insight, which is Iggesund’s project partner. They focus on studying visual attention to help businesses understand human behaviour in situations such as how consumers perceive packaging.
“Consumers often function on autopilot, so the key issue is how to arrive at a design that captures attention and interest in a relevant way, persuading the consumer to dare to try something new. In the hunt for the optimal solution, we are offering a powerful tool,” Ali continues.
Iggesund not only supplies paperboard but also works actively to convey knowledge about how to get the most out of it. This joint project is one step in spreading knowledge about packaging and packaging materials.
“We want to make our customers aware of the possibilities that are available to them at an early stage so they can evaluate various design alternatives,” says Jonas Adler, Director Business Development at Iggesund Paperboard.
Combining measurements of visual impressions with sensory measurements of packaging’s haptics – how it is experienced when it is held by someone – is ingenious. The psychological concept called “the endowment effect” – that we have difficulty getting rid of things we own – can also be applied to something we are holding in our hand. The more pleasant that experience is, the longer we want to keep on holding it.
“We often hear from customers that one reason they choose Invercote is the experience when they hold a piece of packaging in their hand,” continues Jonas Adler. “We really welcome the opportunities to measure this, because until now the feedback has mostly been word of mouth. Now we can actually measure the haptic differences between materials.”
Clemson University in South Carolina, USA, offers a highly ranked educational programme in packaging expertise. The university have built a laboratory there equipped with eye tracking tools from Tobii Pro, a store environment where types of packaging can be tested.
“The use of eye tracking will result in design that is more consumer oriented,” explains Andrew Hurley, Associate Professor at Clemson University. “By that I mean packaging that makes it easier for consumers to find the right product faster and enables us to more rapidly and more efficiently find the products that satisfy our needs.”
Iggesund Paperboard and Tobii Pro will be hosting exclusive seminars to explore neuromarketing targeted at both companies’ customers. The seminars on neuromarketing and its usefulness in developing and evaluating packaging will initially be held in Paris, London, Tokyo and San Francisco.