Facial Movement Analysis Reveals How Consumers Respond To Various Protective Packaging
Breakthrough research using facial movement analysis reveals significant differences in how consumers respond emotionally to various protective packaging types and what impact it has on product perception and lifetime customer value.
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.
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The results show that protective packaging has an impact on human emotion, product perception and lifetime customer value.
Participants were asked to select how they felt during three critical parcel interaction points - opening, removing the material/products and discarding the packaging.
That data was then compared to the emotional response they displayed during each interaction point.
Emotions included excitement, neutral, frustration, joy, relief, anger and sadness.
In addition to the excitement and joy experienced in opening the package, frustration was also an emotion that was identified.
Loose-fill peanuts caused the greatest amount of frustration, with approximately 18% showing irritation with the material type.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was 0% frustration experienced with square-pattern bubble cushioning.
Also scoring a low level of frustration were air pillows at 5.25% and paper at 3.7%.
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.
Further, product protection was ranked as the “most important” packaging characteristic by 80% of the respondents, as compared to sustainability and ease of product removal.
“What the study showed is that the type of protective packaging selected to ship product to the customer has far reaching ramifications.”
“It can amplify excitement or create frustration, and have a dramatic impact on whether or not future orders will be placed,” said Dache Davidson, vice president of marketing, Pregis.
“It’s important that companies take time to carefully evaluate their protective packaging choices and consider what impact they will have on future buying patterns”
Each was fitted with a camera/head gear apparatus which measured 40-plus facial movements as the participants interacted with a corrugated box containing a salt shaker, holiday candle, plate, picture frame, dental floss, water glass and light bulb.
Each box used one of the following packaging materials to protect the contents: loose-fill “peanuts,” paper, square-pattern bubble cushioning and air pillows.
Proprietary logarithms were used to decode facial reactions that occurred during “unboxing” into human emotion on a 7-point scale.
Pregis Emotional Response to Packaging Study
In 2016, the Package InSight team worked with Pregis, a trusted leader in protective packaging solutions, on an emotional response study.
The study deployed a facial camera apparatus which measures and codes 40+ facial muscles to determine human emotion on a 7-point scale.
The study evaluated traditional protective package material types (loose-fill “peanuts”, paper, square-pattern bubble cushioning and air pillows). Self-report survey data was also collected and analyzed for correlation between the qualitative and quantitative data.
Key Consumer Insights
- The emotional reading (or value) for packaging peanuts indicated participants were approximately 10 times more likely to be categorized as frustrated than not frustrated.
- Bubble cushioning and air pillow packaging create the least frustration.
- The participants were the least irritated when disposing bubble cushioning materials.
- 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.
Download the White Paper: Emotional Response to Protective Packaging