Packaging Innovation
packaging design - neurodesign
November 30, 2015

‘Neurodesign’: packaging design teams up with neuroscience

Packaging design is a field full of competition and rising challenges. Packaging designers have been turning to psychology for years to create the most effective packaging designs, but now there’s a new – and even more scientific – packaging design method in town called ‘neurodesign’.

Neurodesign: what’s in a name?

neurodesignNeurodesign is a design concept in which designers and cognitive neuroscientists work side by side, using knowledge on what makes the human brain tick in order to design successful packaging. In the last few years, packaging designers have become increasingly aware that asking the consumer about their opinions regarding a product’s packaging is often misleading. Measuring the reaction of the consumer’s brain, however, speaks volumes about a packaging’s success rate. Neurodesign is focused on designing packaging that incorporate visual, physical and emotional aspects the human brain naturally finds appealing.

3 tips to incorporate neuroscience into packaging design

Neuroscience has established that the more a product’s packaging activates particular parts of the brain, the more likely it is that the product will be purchased. So which neuroscientific insights should a packaging designer incorporate into his or her designs, you ask? The list is endless, to be frank, but here’s an overview of what we believe to be the three most important ones:

1.     One perception influences the other

When a consumer notices a product on the shelves, its characteristics (such as color, shape, scent and texture) kick-start a number of interactions in our brain. More specifically, research has shown that one perception of a product (e.g. color) can affect another perception (e.g. taste). For example, if you were to take two bottles of the same mineral water and stick a blue label on one and a red label on the other, this – in the mind of the consumer – may affect the taste of the water.

2.     Emotional response is key

Whenever we encounter a product, our brain immediately classifies it as either pleasant or unpleasant. When our brain needs to make a decision but is overwhelmed with stimuli that constrict rational thinking (e.g. because there are countless options available), it tends to fall back on this initial emotional response. Consequently, packaging that elicits positive emotional reactions is likely to be successful in gaining the consumer’s attention and even loyalty.

3.     Tactile sensations drive consumer behavior

Neuroscientists have discovered that changing a packaging’s tactile quality influences the consumer’s evaluation of the product it contains, and even the consumer’s decision whether or not to purchase the product. With some products, for example, consumers tend to rate the exact same product as more solid and reliable when packaged in a hard container instead of a soft wrapping.   Inspired by Packaging Digest