Packaging & Naturalness: When and Why Not To Pack Your Merchandise


Neuromarketing Precept:

Displaying merchandise unpackaged will increase perceptions of the product’s naturalness, which in flip will increase buy intention for classes through which naturalness is vital to consumers.

Consumers more and more think about the naturalness of merchandise. Sometimes, pure merchandise are most well-liked in classes through which naturalness is taken into account vital. However what does naturalness must do with the bundle of the product? Rather a lot, because it seems. Let’s take a look at the pictures beneath. Which of the merchandise do you think about to be most pure?

Supermarkets show packaged and unpackaged variations of merchandise throughout plenty of classes in-store and on-line. Eating places additionally show merchandise with and with out packaging. Starbucks, for instance, instructs its workers to take away bakery objects from their particular person packages earlier than putting them unpackaged in a show case, solely to re-package them for the shopper upon buy. The query is: what impact does this have on client desire, and buy probability?


On this weblog, we are going to focus on how packaging meals has an impact on perceived naturalness  (i.e., originating from vegetation, animals, or people) and thereby on buy intentions. Let’s dive in…

Packed vs. Unpacked

A number of research have researched the impact of packaging on client conduct. On the one hand, customers are likely to keep away from contamination. Consumers, on this regard, appear to keep away from merchandise they consider have been involved with unsavory objects (Morales & Fitzsimons, 2007) or individuals (Argo et al., 2006). 


Alternatively, in some instances, packaging can contrastingly result in unfavorable responses. The explanation for that is that packaging can perform as a bodily and symbolic barrier. Because the bodily proximity of a product to its origin positively impacts perceived naturalness, unpackaged items would possibly elicit emotions of closeness to nature. 


A Symbolic Barrier

When dividing areas, visible boundaries may function symbolic boundaries. Geographical divisions, similar to state borders, act as symbolic obstacles that visually distinguish two places into separate classes, or states. As such, the danger related to a risk in a distinct state shall be decrease as in comparison with an equally distant risk throughout the identical state (Mishra & Mishra, 2010).


Throughout the area of promoting, when customers have issues about danger, the inclusion of a body surrounding a brand symbolically safeguards the model and enhances the intention to make a purchase order in comparison with the absence of a body (Fajardo et al., 2016).


Equally, packaging may function a visible and symbolic barrier. For instance, the wrappers surrounding particular person goodies inside a field serve not solely as a tangible barrier that separates the goodies but in addition perform as a symbolic barrier to consumption. These wrappers draw consideration to the act of consuming and promote cautious consideration, rising the extent of deliberation concerned within the resolution (Cheema & Soman, 2008). 


Packaging & Naturalness 

Usually, consumers worth merchandise which might be bodily or psychologically linked to their origin. It’s for that matter that consumers desire merchandise with low serial numbers, as these things appear temporally extra proximal to the origin (Smith et al., 2006). As well as, consumers sometimes desire merchandise which might be manufactured on the unique manufacturing facility as in comparison with every other manufacturing facility, as a result of the unique one is nearer to the model’s origin (Newman & Dhar, 2014). 


As packaging could function a symbolic barrier separating the product from its origin, packaging can truly lower the acquisition probability of a specific product. In a sequence of 5 experiments, Szocs, Williamson and Mills (2022) present that packaging certainly capabilities as a symbolic barrier, lowering the perceived naturalness of the product. Consequently, for product classes through which naturalness is vital to consumers, a bundle decreases the probability of buy. 


Pure merchandise contained in packaging result in much less clicks and likes in adverts, much less optimistic product evaluations and a decreased buy probability. The important thing take-away right here is that, if inside your product’s class, naturalness is vital, attempt to show your product unpackaged. 


What if no bundle is not any choice?

In fact, no bundle isn’t at all times an choice. Some merchandise merely want a bundle to be able to be transported. Wine and not using a bottle isn’t actually an choice, proper? 


No worries, the researchers additionally discovered three ways which you should utilize to attenuate the destructive results of packaging. 


First, the usage of sustainable packaging and highlighting sustainability via bundle claims can attenuate the destructive results of packaging. Second, explicitly highlighting the psychological connection to nature via signage or product data helps to maintain the affiliation with naturalness. And third, highlighting the bodily connection to nature via signage or product data additionally eliminates the destructive impact.


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