Marketing: how to win the war of biscuit

27 December 2019

Imagine the boundless possibilities of choice that we find ourselves walking through the biscuit and bakery department of a supermarket, and let’s put ourselves on the side of companies: how can we instinctively attract our attention?

The research “Eating With Your Eyes: How Packaging Visual Cues Affect Content Estimation and Self-control in Virtue and Vice Food” published, among others by Gabriele Pizzi, Scientific Co-Director of the Master in Marketing Management at BBS, analyzes the effectiveness of packaging, the first point of contact between consumer and product, through pictorial signals and graphics printed on the packaging.

Among the aspects analyzed, one concerns the size or the number (or both) of the product images shown on the packaging are able to guide consumers’ perceptions. Is it more useful to depict on the packaging a few real-sized cookies, or many smaller biscuits?

On this problem, two parallel researches have brought to light apparently contradictory results. It would seem that we are more driven to purchase a package that depicts fairly standardized biscuits, but at the same time we are even more attracted by packages that depict smaller biscuits, because unconsciously we think that there is a greater quantity inside.

These are assessments linked to simplification models operated by the brain, which creates expectations by mapping experiences into schemes and shortcuts of which we are not aware, but which must be taken into consideration by those who work in the marketing sector.

“This research – recalls Professor Pizzi – has the merit of conceptualizing the data coming from market surveys. If indeed 70% of consumers decide whether to buy a product after seeing the images and the graphic information of the package it is evident that the visual cues present on the packaging trigger a cognitive re-elaboration by the user. Identifying and knowing the mechanisms underlying these choices is therefore essential for those wishing to undertake or consolidate a career in the world of corporate marketing”.


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