Upmarket packaging can attract increased ROI, new study finds

A recent micro-experiment Celloglas conducted with The Retail Institute saw brands, agencies and print industry professionals put themselves in the shoes of the consumer to consider the impact of packaging interior and if it could be connected to product quality perception.

Conducting a micro-experiment at the back end of last year, Celloglas and The Retail institute set out to test a researched theory and early top level findings indicated a significant impact of perceived quality of packaging finish on perceived value of the product, which is shown to have a great potential impact on ROI.

The findings supported existing research claiming that:

  • Customers have a greater quality perception of a product when they perceive the packaging to be of superior standard
  • Attractive packaging adds value to the shopping experience and influences how a consumer feels about the products they see
  • Attractive packaging that looks expensive and well designed implies to the consumer that the product is valuable

Of particular interest to Celloglas and The Retail Institute was exploring the research claim that optimised packaging designs yield an average 2.5x return on investment – a much higher return than many forms of brand promotion including advertising and social media. Nielson also predict an average 5.5% average forecasted sales impact via optimal packaging design.

The method

Good, better, best: more expensive packaging denotes a higher price

 Three packages that looked identical on the outside but had different finishes on the inside  (shiny gold, matt black and plain) were presented to The Retail Institute delegates. The three packs contained identical product inside (a perfume bottle) all marked at different price points. Participants were asked to randomly open a pack and answer a short questionnaire about the perception of the product quality and hedonic experience.

The shiny gold pack was  the favourite as a gift item and perceived to fit the needs of the luxury and gifting category illustrating that the eye is drawn to this kind of finish due to the perception of luxury and glamour. It proved to be superior on Hedonic perception, but it was closely followed by the matt black packaging, which also performed well, and was considered to be good quality and attractive, scoring well on offering an alternative route to sophistication.

The differences recorded between the gold and plain packaging demonstrates that packaging can provide ROI – as the gold was marked up by 50% extra retail cost than the plain pack.

Olga Munroe, head of The Retail Institute, said: ‘We enjoy working with our members and exploring variety of topics around products and packaging developments. This mini-experiment conducted alongside Celloglas, was designed to provoke some thinking around how packaging impacts consumer perceptions around product and brand value. With consumer expectations evolving so dynamically, it’s important for companies to understand the subtle but impactful cues that their packaging communicates. Different textures, weight or colour of packaging, send very clear messages to the buyers. It’s important for brands to understand what these messages are, so that they can support the product rather than conflict with it’s core message.’

Richard Pinkney, director at Celloglas, said: “We were not surprised to find that the quality of packaging has an impact on what consumers are prepared to pay for a product as we work with some of Britain’s most luxurious brands to help them deliver strong ROI on packaging. However the interesting thing for us was that on a few questions the matt black packaging wasn’t far behind the shiny gold – particularly on the scale of the packaging looking sophisticated where there was only .3 difference (4.2 vs 4.5) , illustrating the rising consumer trend of appreciating more matt and muted colours, and also associating those with quality. Again this was no surprise to us as some of Britain’s leading luxury brands take this approach but we think these findings may surprise some in the industry”.

As a result of this activity Celloglas is launching new versions of their Mirri Wow Packs for 2018.

Mirri brand development manager, Mark Askham said: “Building on the well performing luxury gold shiny finish, we have already rolled out rose gold and striking red interiors for the Mirri Wow Pack this year, used predominantly for e-commerce purposes. For 2018 we are to launch a new pack reflecting the 2018 Pantone spring colour for the year alongside our 2018 trend book colours.

“As a further development on the back of our experiment findings we are also launching a new range of Mirri Wow Packs with some gorgeous matt finishes, using Mirri Silk. Using Mirri H Colours as a base, silks are created through the additional lamination of a matt OPP film that mutes the brightness and gives a silky, textured appearance to the finished sheet. We know matt can hold its own in the style stakes and is often used in fashion to depict sophistication so it makes sense to offer this moving forward. Ultimately the Mirri Wow Packs can be created to bespoke requirements but we thought by offering these additional variations as standard options it may encourage brands to be a bit experimental and to try something new out”.

The Mirri Wow Pack was launched in 2017 and sees everyday packaging boxes lined with Mirri metallic board, complementing the product that sits inside. The box also features a tear-off section and a quick seal adhesive strip, allowing the customer to easily re-package their returns. The Mirri Wow Pack can be made in a variety of styles and sizes to tailor to your needs. The pack can also be made to the majority of the FEFCO box designs.