Thoughtful packaging:
Using applied consumer neuroscience to see
what the consumer sees


HCD Research, 260 Us 202/31 North, Liberty Court Suite 1000, Flemington, NJ-08822, USA


The use of neuroscience and psychological research methodologies has become very useful in consumer research. Shelf space and packaging real estate are in high demand. And so it is important to be sure that package communications and imagery appropriately and successfully attract consumer attention. With a high failure rate of new market introductions, despite initial successful testing with traditional sensory and consumer tests, product developers are seeking new approaches to aid in product and packaging design. The perceptive-hedonic experience of products and packaging is routinely measured using liking scores and survey questionnaires. However, package appeal can be investigated more deeply by collecting the emotional, cognitive and physiological responses to the package. Understanding the impact of key elements and communications on packages can help in package design, innovation, and optimization. Further, it is imperative to marry the brand perception with packaging experience to ensure the optimal consumer experience, attracting consumers and leading to purchase. Using a psycho-behavioral approach and neuroscientific and psychological methodology, it is possible to better understand consumer expectations (brand perceptions) to create better and more appealing packaging designs. If we start with understanding consumers using a combination of psychological and physiological research with applied consumer neuroscience, then we can create the optimal packaging experience at the shelf.


Neuroscience and psychological research has become a hot topic in consumer research. The high failure rate of new market introductions, despite initial successful testing with traditional sensory and consumer tests as often seen in product development, begs the development of new approaches and methodologies for more accurate and insightful consumer understanding. One of the reasons of the success of adding neuro- and psychological methods is that the measurement of liking alone may fail to predict consumer behavior and product performance in the market. Hedonic and traditional market research methodologies require cognitive information processing and rational reasoning whereas consumer behavior may be more based on unarticulated/unconscious motives and associations. Neuro- and psychological science can help market researchers and product developers better understand these unconscious motivators and reactions. Through measuring the non-conscious consumer response it is possible to make better and more effective packaging designs.


When the product is seen on the shelf, it creates an immediate impression on the consumer. ...