Important to get perfume pack right as it can influence olfactory perception

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Important to get perfume pack right as it can influence olfactory perception

Related tags: Odor, Olfaction

Packaging plays an important role for the perfume industry, as visual communication applied to packaging design may increase its influence over the consumer, even to the point where it affects olfactory perception.

This is an element that the perfume sector can relate to the spirits market, according to Jeremy Lindley, Global Design Director at beverage firm Diageo, who was speaking at the Luxe Pack Monaco event on the cross influences in wines, spirits, and perfume packaging.

Lindley mentions that the pack itself can actually alter the consumer’s perception of the product inside.

Countless studies have been carried out looking into the effect of packaging on buying behaviour, and how it can actually set up and alter an expectation for a product, whether a brand intends it to or not.

“The appearance of the pack often has an impact. This has been shown in studies into flavour and taste, and shows how the way something is presented to you can affect your perception of the product,”​ he says.

Although taste perceptions are slightly different to smell, research in the field of neuroscience has also shown positive results that point to a cross-modal association among the different senses, and investigations have been done on visual influences on olfactory perceptions too.

Despite perceptions being particular to each individual, studies have shown that there is a trend of certain associations between colours and smells and that the better designers can understand the perception of consumers, the better and more efficiently they can design.

First sign of quality

The importance of packaging in the luxury sector is also a priority as packaging is the first sign of quality for many products, meaning it is important for fragrance firms to get the image right in order to correctly portray their brand.

 “A lot of people look to the pack as a first sign of quality. They will expect a good looking pack to have a good product in,” ​continues Lindley.

“It is important for the brand and its image to have striking packaging as the bottle of these products is often going to be displayed, whether a perfume bottle on a dressing table or a bottle behind a bar or in a cabinet.”

Packaging is also a brand's first contact with the consumer, so it needs to be immediately recognizable and to portray the brand's image correctly, in order to affect purchasing behaviour.

“Your initial reaction to a product is through the eye,”​ says Lindley. “You want a consumer to be intrigued by the packaging and then try the product just from seeing it on the shelf. You want to get that ‘I want it’ phase.”

Often the first impression of a product and its value are based on the quality of the design and manufacturing of pack components, so the pack can ultimately help contribute to the purchasing decision.

It can also play a role in encouraging consumers to buy the product again in future, if the pack is functional and has positive reinforcement associated with it.

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