Iggesund Paperboard and Tobii Pro, a specialist in eye tracking, are to stage a series of seminars around the world that will investigate how neuromarketing can enhance packaging design and development.
Neuromarketing is a field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brain's responses to marketing stimuli. Tobii Pro is a division of Tobii Group and began by developing eye tracking hardware for research in 2001 and then grew into supplying a range of tools from hardware – desktop and wearable –, software and cloud, to the research consultancy Tobii Pro Insight, which focuses on studying visual attention to help businesses understand human behavior in situations such as how consumers perceive packaging.
Iggesund Paperboard is the maker of the Invercote and Incada paperboards. It also works actively to convey knowledge about how to get the most out of its products and packaging. Tobii Pro Insight is a project partner of Iggesund for such matters. This joint project is seen as a step in spreading knowledge about packaging and packaging materials.
It combines measurements of visual impressions with sensory measurements of packaging’s haptics – how it is experienced when it is held by someone. The psychological concept, called ‘the endowment effect’ – where difficulty getting rid of things owned is experienced – can also be applied to something being held in the hand. The more pleasant that experience is, the longer we want to keep on holding it.
Jonas Adler, business development director at Iggesund Paperboard, said: ‘We want to make our customers aware of the possibilities that are available to them at an early stage so they can evaluate various design alternatives. We often hear from customers that one reason they choose Invercote is the experience when they hold a piece of packaging in their hand. We really welcome the opportunities to measure this, because until now the feedback has mostly been word of mouth. Now we can actually measure the haptic differences between materials.’
Ali Farokhian, who heads up Tobii Pro Insight, said: ‘With eye tracking you can measure customers’ visual attention to and experience with your packaging design, you can test before production to ensure you get the wanted result and catch the consumer’s eye in the store. The majority of shoppers’ decisions are made in store therefore capturing the shopper’s attention and interest through effective packaging formats is key in a competitive market landscape.
‘Getting it wrong can be quite expensive – both in the form of direct costs when you have to redo designs and material and of course in the form of lost revenues.’
Farokhian continued: ‘Consumers often function on autopilot, so the key issue is how to arrive at a design that captures attention and interest in a relevant way, persuading the consumer to dare to try something new. In the hunt for the optimal solution, we are offering a powerful tool.’
Clemson University in South Carolina, US, offers an educational program in packaging expertise. The university has built a laboratory there equipped with eye tracking tools from Tobii Pro in the form of a store environment where types of packaging can be tested.
‘The use of eye tracking will result in design that is more consumer oriented,’ explained Andrew Hurley, associate professor at Clemson University. ‘By that I mean packaging that makes it easier for consumers to find the right product faster and enables us to more rapidly and more efficiently find the products that satisfy our needs.’
The Iggesund/Tobii seminars on neuromarketing and its usefulness in developing and evaluating packaging will initially be held in Paris, London, Tokyo and San Francisco.