Product marketers call it the “first moment of truth.” A shopper that’s ready-to-buy has entered a store and is laser-focused on a particular product category. The “moment” takes place as their eyes peruse a shelf full of products. Which item will they pick up and examine further? The answer can be found in the consumer’s subconscious, and the role that labelling plays is of paramount importance in this hypothetical situation.
Here are some statistics that should grab your attention (which is what you want your packaging to do!):
• 70% of purchasing decisions are made in-store
• 10% of shoppers will switch brands in-store
• 20% of shoppers will buy impulsively in categories they had no intention of purchasing in-store
In the competitive personal care products market, the look and feel of an item in a shopper’s hands can make or break a sale. Labels play a pivotal role in determining whether or not a shopper chooses a certain brand. In my experience, I’ve found that many personal care product brand owners treat product labelling as an afterthought. If they were reminded of the aforementioned figures on buying tendencies, I imagine they may give pause and reconsider their product’s label.
The way a product is packaged and labelled is often a customer’s introduction to a brand. It tells a story and conveys brand identity all at once. In fact, a well-designed personal care product label does a number of things.
It informs the prospective customer about what your product is and how it benefits them. It makes no sense to have a label that simply says “Superior Skin Therapy” if it doesn’t also tell the reader WHY you’re making that claim. Tell them what your product does to justify the marketing jargon – otherwise they’re left wondering and may turn to a competitive product that explains itself better. That product may be inferior, but information wins the day.
It shows the prospective customer what your product looks like, hopefully in a flattering way. How you do this depends on the product itself – a beauty or personal care product could show the contents in normal use. Not all products lend themselves to a visual representation, but an image is always worth considering if it makes sense.
It attracts attention away from competitive products. An eye-catching label will always fare better than a drab uninteresting one. Yes, this is a major part of the design task and everybody is fighting for the same space, but don’t get carried away with trying to be too radical. One thing to keep in mind is that a professionally-designed label will usually just look better than something amateurish – after all, poor design is a visual distraction and only encourages viewers to focus on the wrong things.