When designing a product, most believe that shoppers will make a rational informed decision. In reality, most decisions are made instinctively and reactively.

Consumer eye tracking studies according to Forbes, have shown that consumers read on average seven words in a shopping trip and buy instinctively by shape, colour and location. Best product packaging designs are aimed at the primal brain which decides before the logical brain.

According to Simon Preece, director at Elmwood design consultancy, “Instinctive reactions can be designed into packaging through the application of Biomotive Triggers. These are sensory cues that affect our subconscious, generating emotion and action before the conscious part of our brain can respond.” By understanding the triggers, brands can connect with the consumer and ultimately sell more products.

Effective packaging must make it easy to understand at a glance, what I am, who I am and why I am relevant to you. And, of course, the product needs to deliver to ensure a repeat purchase.

We have put together five key points to make your brand packaging deliver results:

1. Stand Out

Make your brand stand out in the crowd. This can be done with colour, patterns, imagery or shapes. However, as mentioned in point 5 below, it is important to use design elements that create memorable visual assets. In a visually crowded shelf environment, you don’t want to just be adding to the noise.

2. Keep it simple

Don’t overcrowd your packaging with busy graphics or imagery. We rarely find a moment of visual calm in such a visually agitated world. Less is more couldn’t be more true in this case.

3. Keep it even more simple

Imagine you have a 5 year old and sent them into the store to find your product. How would you explain it to them? If you said the yellow box with the brown monkey and chocolate cereal, they would most likely return with Coco Pops. The more recognisable the product, the less thinking that the consumer needs to do to repeat purchase your product.

4. Make it emotional

It all comes back to primal instinct. When someone looks at you, you’re compelled to look back and this is also applicable and evident in good packaging. Next time you’re in a supermarket, notice how many images of people on packaging looking past you or to the side.

5. Create iconic visual assets

Coca Cola, Nestle, Oreo, Pringles. When these brands are even just read inside your head, do you see their logos, colours or packaging assets? By building recognisable visual cues for a brand, it allows the consumer to connect with your brand faster, easier and ultimately lead to a purchase.

Mela Creative has been working with FMCG packaging for over 25years and can help you to stand out from the crowd.