Trends in Packaging Part 2

Changes in Consumer Behavior


A little more than a decade ago, Procter & Gamble first spoke about what they referred to as the “First Moment of Truth.”  This moment, according to P&G, occurred in the first 3-7 seconds after a shopper encounters a product on a store shelf.  It’s in these precious seconds that brands have the best chance of making buyers out of mere browsers by appealing to their emotions, values, and needs.


Prior to The First Moment of Truth, most brands relied heavily on TV, radio and print advertising to influence consumer buying behavior.  Consumers would develop their opinions while viewing these ads, and buying decisions would often be made prior to visiting a retail store.

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However, the research from P&G led to a shift in packaging design, with a greater focus on helping brands stand out amongst the clutter on store shelves.  By the early 2000s, consumers had a much wider variety of media channels, including satellite TV & radio, cable, internet, etc, which combined to cause a steep decline in conventional forms of advertising.  In effect, consumers began to shift their product purchase decisions to the retail environment.


About 5 years ago, Google coined the term “Zero Moment of Truth,” pointing to overwhelming research that the typical consumer now goes online to gather information regarding a potential purchase.  In fact, according to Google, 88% of consumers in the U.S. perform online research prior to buying a product. However, in this scenario, the purchases are often completed online rather than in a physical retail store.


This further shift in consumer behavior means virtual ads and online content often provide the first (and only) brand experience for shoppers.   To serve the needs of this latest generation of consumers, retailers and brand managers are, once again, evolving their approach to the marketplace. 


To be continued….



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