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The influence of packaging on the decision to buy

For marketers and brand owners, it is essential to understand how and why people choose one product or brand over another, with packaging often playing a critical role in influencing buying decisions. Phil Barden’s ‘Decoded – The Science Behind Why We By’ is a must-read for shopper and retail marketers who want to understand motivations behind consumers’ choices and how to apply this knowledge in day to day marketing and packaging to great effect, by dramatically improving key factors such as relevance, differentiation and credibility.

Consumers often develop emotional attachments to specific brands and marketers must utilise every possible opportunity to reinforce this bond to drive engagement and uplift sales.  Various marketing studies have found that 30% of consumer purchase choices are based on packaging, as a result packaging is now viewed by the Brands as a strategic, integral part of their product, with pack design often starting in tandem with the product development process.

Packaging aims to tap into the hearts and minds of consumers, reinforcing quality and a customer experience associated with the product in order to deliver long-term brand-consumer relationships. Packaging is now viewed as a significant investment for many Brands, with simplicity, sustainability, story-telling  and longevity critical factors for effective packaging design.

We know consumers respond to visual cues, especially colours and shapes, as a result semiotics has become an increasingly significant part of packaging design. Creative Semiotics (, leaders in the industry,  use semiotic analysis to better position product packaging and guide design strategy with a systematic analysis of relevant cues. Semiotics is now a necessity for any Brands wishing to embed brand cues into their proposition.

Unique packaging design will offer an experience that stands out, will draw a customer’s attention and remain memorable. Starbucks have expertly achieved this through branding all of their products with its easily recognised green mermaid medallion. Innovative packaging will also excite the customer and often encourage an initial purchase. Coca-Cola, though well-known for its slender, classic bottle is also known for its innovative packaging where their cans display ice cube images when the drink has reached optimal temperature. Alcohol manufacturers, such as Absolut and Belvedere have also produced exceptionally creative packaging designs in recent years in order to evoke images of a premium product through their unique, inspiring and stand out designs.

For information on how Amnet can support your packaging initiatives, please contact us at