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Beauty packaging amongst the least satisfactory, survey reveals

By Simon Pitman , 06-Feb-2013

A new study carried out by MeadWestvaco shows that beauty packaging is frequently singled out as being one of the specific areas where consumers are frequently dissatisfied.

The consumers satisfaction study, ‘Packaging Matters’, surveyed 3,000 US consumers, taking into account the way in which product satisfaction of packaging according to themes such as consumer purchase, transportation and use and dispose of products across a total of ten different categories.

The survey results revealed that fewer than 20 percent of US consumers are ‘very satisfied’ with product packaging, with both beauty care packaging and carry-out food containers being singled out as the two categories where consumers were least satisfied.

"Packaging does not delight consumers"

“The research further proves that packaging is one of the most powerful tools in the marketing communications mix, but as it stands now, packaging does not delight consumers,” said Brian Richard, director, Consumer & Customer Insights, MWV.

“Brands should view the current gap in satisfaction as an opportunity to make improvements to their packaging by focusing on what matters most to consumers.”

The survey found that the biggest gaps in satisfaction levels related to the structural features of the packaging, in relation to their perceived performance.

In terms of importance, 74 percent of consumers said they want packaging that protects from breaking or spilling, while 72 percent said they want it to maintain product integrity and 66 percent said it was important to get the entire product out of the package.

Shelf appeal does not rank as important

Interestingly, of all the aspects that rated high on the list of things consumers were not happy about, the shelf appeal of package design did not rate as a major concern.

In fact, of the 15 packaging attributes, the survey showed that only a small number of consumers said that they ranked shelf appeal, or the product’s ‘attractiveness’ and distinctiveness’ as being very important features to their satisfaction.

Indeed, the survey showed that 6 percent of consumers rated attractiveness as important, while 10 percent said attractiveness was a significant purchasing concern.

Satisfaction drops once the product is taken home

What was also revealed is the fact that consumers are generally pleased by the shopping experience, they find that the satisfaction level for the transport and storage of products, as well as the product’s use and re-use, diminishes rapidly.

“Packaging satisfaction decreases significantly after consumers leave the store, at all touch points along the product lifecycle, such as transporting, storing and using the product. This is a huge missed opportunity for brands,” said Steve Kazanjian, vice president, Global Creative, MWV.   

“Structural features of the packaging should be viewed as the most critical area for brands to make improvements to drive consumer satisfaction.”

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