All posts in Packaging

New Packaging for Campbell’s Soup Impacts User Experience & Hopefully Sales

I am fascinated by Neuromarketing, because I like psychology, I like user experience and human factors research, and I like selling stuff and making money. A lot of people have a bad impression of neuromarketing because they worry about Evil Marketers tapping into our brains to get information about how to influence us… and that may be an aspect for some companies that spend money on this research. But trying to understand what customers want and need and how to appeal to their sense of style, tastes or desires is also what we do in user experience testing, so I look at it more positively than negatively.

This week I saw a great example of neuromarketing and wanted to share it with you. I think this is just so neat, that the Campbell’s company put the time and effort in, but I like this example most for the enhanced user experience. Check out this new label…


The Wall Street Journal says that the research was conducted over a two year period, to figure out how to get consumers to buy more soup. From the PSFK blog:

For the past two years, researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design.  They combined these biometric tools with a different type of deep interview to more accurately gauge which consumer communications worked better.

These labels are not just pretty to look at – they will actually make locating the right soup for your needs much easier… right now the logo on red really does draw your eye to it much more than is helpful – it’s distracting compared the often lighter-colored soups. Color-coding the cans will also be helpful – so though this was done to make soup a more appealing purchase decision, it also makes buying it quickly easier, so the user experience has been improved also. I can’t wait till these cans hit the shelves.

neuro-logoIf you want to learn more about neuromarketing (as a layman), my two favorite resources are Roger Dooley’s blog and the book Buyology. Roger Dooley is a fantastic guy to talk to – I’m lucky to have him as a friend on Twitter, and his blog is so educational and interesting. What I love about his posts is that he uses lots of examples and then explains why and how the example is effective or not, all without overloading you with information or too-complex details for those of us not immersed in this field of study everyday. I read everything he ever writes and highly recommend it: Neuromarketing, Where Brain Science and Marketing Meet. Read Roger’s take on the new packaging in Your Brain on Soup.

Buyology, by Martin Lindstrom, is a book, a site, and an experience. You can view chapter summary information, buy it at numerous places, or read many news articles about the book and Lindstrom’s take on what makes people buy something. Visit the site – there is a lot of information to explore!

People are Powering Brand Identity Changes

I’m excited to see some brand redesigns that have recently occurred, to two long-standing brands we are all so used to we probably don’t even think about them much, for bananas and ketchup.

web2Heinz_Ketchu_469643gm-aHeinz has updated, with brilliant results, the lowly ketchup packet and if you think about it, you’ll see how people and their needs factored into this design. The old ketchup packets can be messy, inconvenient (if eating while driving, and unfortunately, we have to do that sometimes) and they don’t even hold much. The new condiment packaging is more like a small tub, so you can peel back the cover to dip your fries or whatever in it, OR you can rip off the top and squeeze out the contents. The beautiful part of the design is that it resembles a tiny bottle of ketchup… this was inspired creative thinking, to solve real complaints by customers for over 30 years, and I really love it! Yahoo has an excellent piece on this from the company’s perspective about how and why they made this change and what took them so long… they’ve apparently been working on a new design for years.


Chiquita Bananas have also been modernized, with a playful, icon set of stickers that will introduce a whole new cast of characters to banana lovers. Stickers, games and a Facebook community give people something to play with and talk about… there are even skateboard graphics! Everyone knows bananas are healthy to eat, but with all of these little images and fun ways to participate with the brand itself socially, now I believe they’ll be more fun. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this positively impact Chiquita’s bottom line. The graphics are kid-friendly, but not kid-like, if that makes sense… they will appeal to adults too, especially those who Tweet and hang out at Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and the like, where we talk in OMG’s and LOL’s. The images are quirky, fun and cool. There’s a wonderful article with a lot of details about the design here… check it out! Their website also rocks – very interactive and playful… corporate businesses could stand to take some lessons from it about how to present information in small chunks and make exploring a site fun and compelling.

The thing that cannot be denied is that people are increasingly affecting what brands do, where they participate online, and what they offer. And that’s a great thing! We’ve had focus groups and marketing analysis for years, but those efforts to get into customer’s heads by nature, can only represent a small sampling. With the advent of social conversations, sentiment analysis, and being able to directly ask anyone listening online what they think about your brand, or what they need, the opportunities for hitting the target when changing a product or service are better than ever. I have noticed, in the last six months, nearly every single proposal we do has SOME element of social marketing or social presence in it, because it’s needed (we think) or wanted (by the prospect.) Despite the economic troubles nearly everyone has faced, it’s a really fun time to be in the business of branding, marketing and selling!