Product packs and packages protect the contents but also contribute significantly to consumer perceptions of the brand and product through color and design. If advertising budgets are low, the pack plays a major sales role at the point-of-sale by communicating its product contents and brand image to consumers.
A theory of consumer interaction with packaging is proposed that consists of four stages: 1. Impact (noticeability at point-of-sale). 2. Imprint (message or image communicated). 3. Ident (communication fit with consumer needs). 4. Intent (sum of the first three in terms of intention to buy).
This theory forms the basis of an integrated approach for assessing packaging—combining qualitative research, perceptual mapping, and sensory scaling techniques. Sensory techniques are used to diagnose specific pack design elements and their contribution to the overall message or image. Direction can be given for optimization of the pack design, even in situations where there is a need to harmonize designs across more than one geographical market.
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