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Emotional Response to Protective Packaging

This study clearly illustrates that packaging has an impact on consumer perception and human emotion, even more telling is the impact that damage can have on lifetime customer value. By Packaging InSight on behalf of Pregis



The type of protective packaging selected for parcel delivery has a significant impact on the consumer experience.

A breakthrough independent study conducted by Packaging Insight, used a facial camera apparatus to capture emotional response when parcels were opened.

One hundred twenty-three participants evaluated traditional protective package material types (loose-fill “peanuts”, paper, square-pattern bubble cushioning and air pillows).

Peanuts caused the greatest amount of consumer frustration with approximately 18% of the participants showing irritation with the material type.

In addition to emotion tracking, survey questions explored the impact of receiving damaged items.

An overwhelming 73% of participants indicated that they would be unlikely to purchase from the company again after receiving a damaged item. This compelling statistic highlights the importance of product protection. In fact, product protection was ranked as the “most important” characteristic of the packaging materials used to ship items to their final destination (as compared to sustainability and ease of product removal) by 80% of participants.

Protective materials within parcel packaging should be a deliberate consideration for all brands delivered to the home. The study illustrates that packaging has an impact on consumer perception and human emotion.

Bottom line, materials matter.

Brands delivered via parcel post are subjected to similar preconceived notions and shelf appeal like those sold in the retail outlets. For retail – it’s shelf impact; for home delivery, it’s what’s in the box. The study indicates that packaging materials connect with consumers and influence behaviors and actions.

Package InSight is a high technology startup focused on analyzing and developing consumer-driven packaging.

As an Executive Member of the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, Package InSight leverages 7+ years of nonconscious consumer research specific to retail packaging and point of purchase marketing.


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