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How to Level the Playing Field When You’re Competing Against Giants

Your company has perfected the product based on both recipes and consumer research. You have likely spent considerable money promoting the brand against fierce competitors. But how does it do in the ‘moment of truth’? The ‘moment of truth’ comes after all the development, perfection and finally getting distribution. It will come down to just you and your competitors right at the shelf level: at the point of purchase. It’s a four second consumer decision at best.

How Difficult is the Moment of Truth?
Research tells us, the average shopper is exposed to between 30,000 and 100,000 distinct items in a shopping trip, depending on the store’s size. That means with shoppers buying 40-60 items, they have eliminated an astonishing 99.9% of choices.

You have but seconds to make that shelf impression and get on the .1% of selected products. Just look at the math: Shoppers are exposed to somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 items, a minute or 25-50 per second, based on the average trip of 30 minutes. You don’t have a lot of time to go from seen to sold.

If the shopper has a list (but most don’t) the list generally will have a generic name, not a brand name. For example, the list might say ice cream, not a specific brand of ice cream. That’s good news for smaller players because that means the shopper can and will be influenced at the shelf level.

But you do not have the luxury of time. According to research conducted by P&G, it takes a consumer between 3 and 4 seconds to make a brand selection from a number of competing products in a category. It only takes a second of looking at a product category for consumers to identify which brands they would consider purchasing. Once the consumer touches the product, there is a high likelihood this will be the one to be purchased.

What role does packaging play? A vital one: Unseen is Unsold

Consumer research on the effects of packaging on buying behaviours conducted by PRS, Wharton and INSEAD found that increases in shelf visibility were the single largest drivers of sales increases at the moment of truth. Their research also found that, if a new design system can drive a higher percentage of shoppers to engage with a brand at shelf, it is highly likely to drive purchase.

For packaged goods companies who have been battling the same competitors for years, or are up against a big brand, new packaging systems can have an even more profound impact in the moment of truth. The same research found reexamination (getting shoppers to take a second look at a brand, as measured via eye-tracking) is an even more powerful predictor of purchase. New packaging that gets shoppers to take a second look actually translates into reconsidering a brand (giving it a second chance) and bringing it into their consideration set.

Do you look like your competitors? Do you stand out on the shelf? Could your brand use a “second chance?” Does your package have a premium ‘feel’ to it? Or does it have the appearance of a discount brand? Perhaps your packaging has a ‘me-too’ feel because you believe your company cannot afford custom moulding to help in your efforts to stand out. You would not be alone in this misperception.

But it is a wrong one. We service clients running as little as one million units a year and have managed to create custom moulds for them so their packaging is unique in their categories.

You can incorporate safety features or impressive In Mould Labeling. Anything packaging technology can deliver, we can deliver to you.

At the shelf level it’s just you, your competitors and customers making a split-second purchase decision.

Think custom to get more customers. Yes, you can level the playing field with the giants. Connect with us today: www.fourmark.com