How Great Product Packaging Can Grab Consumers Attention at the Store

By Ian Segail | Blog | 7 Jan 2020 |

How do great packaging designers create a pack that snags attention at the shelf. This article will explain how to use packaging design to really grab consumer attention...

When traffic comes to a standstill

Have you ever been on the highway, driving with your family home after a filling Sunday family lunch when all of a sudden the traffic comes to a complete stop?

Everything was going swimmingly until you’re at a standstill because of a car accident ahead.

As you get closer, you see the flashing police car lights and lights from ambulances, and tow trucks. Then you get that in fact the actual accident is on the other side of the road. So how does that impact your flow of traffic at all… and yet it does.


We can't help ourselves

We just can't help ourselves! Yes, people can’t help but slow down and look out the window. Even if it’s just a fender-bender, they can’t help themselves from rubbernecking.

At Jam & Co we believe your packs on the shelf should be designed to create the same effect. You want people to stop your target consumer in their tracks and have them rubberneck...Simply because your pack design is so eye catching it forces the consumer to pay attention.

Once you’ve got your target consumer’s eyes on your product, now you pack needs to encourage them to engage with it.

3 ways to snag attention at the shelf

1. Use a Unique Angle to grab consumer attention

When planning your pack design, the goal should be to create a design not found anywhere else. If a shelf is filled with other brands who have "gotten there before you" then how will you ever create cut through? Journalists talk about having an angle. It's the unique angle of the story that provides a particular perspective. It's being able to present the information in a different or more interesting way that helps to shape the story. What elements should you keep and what elements should be left out? How does the journalist tell the same story with a unique slant or perspective even when every other news outlet is running the same story? Does your pack create intrigue? Does it catch your target audience’s eye? What is your unique angle?


2. Rage against beige! Be an oddity to grab consumer attention

In a crowded market, on a shelf which is jam-packed with a sea of “me too” products, if you’re not achieving your shelf KPI’s… and if you are serious about increasing shelf revenue and product sell-through, then maybe creating an oddity is the way to go. Now we're not suggesting "weird" — just different. Seth Godin's Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable was first published in 2003. The purple cow metaphor was a means simplifying the concept of standing out by being an oddity. Godin says being remarkable is to be "Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting."

A purple cow definitely stands out in a world of brown, and black and white cows. Whilst the "purple cow" will garner attention, it may not deliver sales. As Brand marketers we want sales. It's not just enough to have a product that jumps out at you off the shelf. As Godin explained in a Guardian article, "Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable," To create a packaging design that's remarkable it has to be remarkable in a way that's meaningful to your target audience. In other words, be odd yes, but do so in a useful way.

So, yes, you do have to be different--but in a useful way. As Godin remarked, "Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won't accomplish as much. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.... No use being remarkable at something that people don't care about."

3. Create Punchy to grab consumer attention

Why do so many top podcasters, take the funniest or most insightful moment from the episode and use it in the opening? So that listeners think, “Ok, this sounds interesting. I’ll go listen to the whole thing.” Think about movie trailers. Some comedies show all the funny bits in the trailer in an effort to sell you on going to see the entire movie.

Ever notice how some movies or TV drama's will, instead of showing the events chronologically, they’ll start with a climax or crisis and then work their way back to explain how they came to that powerful moment.

Punchy is a great way to snag attention.

Here are some great ways to create "PUNCHY"

    1. Employ One Voice-The voice is the personality of your brand. As a brand you have to be very clear about your tone of voice across all your touch-points and be consistent in sticking to it. It's this consistency which appeals to your target consumer.
    3. Make it Personal - We have written so much on "making it personal". The pack must communicate specifically to your target consumer. It must answer their questions and appeal to their values. Personalised packaging builds the customer relationship between consumer and producer. And… thanks to both personalisation software and printing methodology in the last couple of years, it’s become more affordable for businesses of all types.
    5. State an Opinion - Why is this pack taking a stance against its competitors on the shelf? What is so radically different about it? State an opinion and you'll grab your audience's attention.
    7. Create emotional connection. Not this old chestnut again? - According to the research over 50% of a purchase experience is based on emotions. Our emotions drive our buying behaviour far more than technical features, transactional attributes or functional factors. You need to ensure emotional connectivity is built into the creation of the packaging design. SEE the article here.
    9. Stay ahead of the category trend. You can see 12 emerging packaging design trends for 2019 that are already beginning to taking shape by reading these two blog posts.
    11. Apply the CURVE model for creating punchy packaging. Whilst this model is typically used for content creation, the principles apply to create great packaging designs. A punchy pack design should include at least 3 of the elements in the CURVE model.

  • Curiosity
  • Urgency
  • Relevance
  • Value
  • Emotion
packaging design

Snagging the consumer attention at the shelf.

In a blog post written by Lokomotion, An Australian video production and TV advertising company, the author writes,marketing is a tax you pay for being unremarkable The fact is, the more your product looks alike and indistinguishable, the harder you, as a marketer has to work to sell it. Companies spend hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of dollars on marketing “carbon copy” type products. A point well made in the Lokomotion post (paraphrased) “Often the only difference between the products and the way they are packaged and presented on the shelf, is the marketing itself” Trying to market your way out of a “me-too” shelf position is an expensive and often impossible task.


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