Product Display Psychology: What Catches and Keeps Customers’ Attention, and Why?

Use the Principles of Product Display Psychology to Your Benefit

What makes a brand stand out? What makes consumers look closer at one product versus another? And what ultimately contributes to a consumer’s final purchasing decision? All of these are age-old questions of product marketing that brands have myriad approaches to understanding and solving. While ingredients, ethics, and brand loyalty all play essential roles, brands may be overlooking a more subliminal contributor — product display psychology.

Your physical brand elements like packaging and displays can affect consumers’ emotional responses to your brand significantly. Consumers tend to find themselves drawn to specific product colors, tones, and the feelings they evoke, matching current trends, the specific time in the consumer’s life, and even going as deep as to connect to how a consumer views the world around them.

Digging deeper into how consumers feel in their day-to-day lives, how they interact with the world, and their aspirations can help brands to make better, more valuable connections with consumers and ultimately build up loyalty. Learn how to create real, lasting connections with your customers with these psychology-based tips.

Simplify Choices

Especially post-pandemic, customers can feel particularly overwhelmed by in-person retail settings. Decision fatigue is an integral consideration for brands in a post-pandemic environment. Current consumer behavior indicates that shoppers are looking for the easiest way to make their everyday decisions like what to wear, use, or eat.

Visual cues and prominent displays of the most pertinent product information empower customers to make easier purchasing choices. Time-strapped customers are looking to streamline their in-store and online purchasing experiences by identifying and verifying the products that fit their needs quickly. Making sure your packaging and displays communicate clearly and exude your products’ essence will encourage target customers to pick up your product over others.

Enhance Experiences

Use emotional color associations and responses to convey trust, excitement, and other emotions. For instance, blue elicits either a calm or sad feeling, while yellow is considered a louder and happier color choice. Specific tones may also change the perceived context of any color. Additionally, keeping brand coloration consistent promotes a sense of trust and familiarity when consumers spot your products.

Sight isn’t the only sense that affects consumers’ psychological associations with a given product. Engage all five of consumers’ senses with more immersive options like smart packaging, which uses technology to provide more interactive experiences for consumers. For example, a QR code on an in-store display can connect potential customers to more product information, video tutorials, and even games associated with your product.

In the same vein, creating memorable unboxing experiences for e-commerce consumers can engage them more deeply in the process of ordering and receiving your product. Using custom-curated packaging shapes, sizes, colors, and box fill are all elements that can improve e-commerce experiences. Additionally, having the right protective elements in place will ensure the product doesn’t arrive damaged, preserving consumer trust.

Consider Implicit Associations

It has been shown that consumers make specific product assumptions based on packaging and display elements like color, size, shape, texture, and images used. This is a huge factor in why certain types of products tend to use packaging of a similar type. Snack food brands, for example, are known to use bright reds and yellows to convey fun and pleasure in their packaging, while health food brands use green to signify themselves as good, natural food choices from afar.

Additionally, a larger package or display can make a product feel like a great deal, while consumers tend to associate a smaller product package with higher quality and exclusivity. Brands can leverage information like this from psychological studies to better target their desired market, capture the attention of the right consumers, and, again, build connections that go deeper than surface level.

Keep in mind that implicit associations rely heavily on context, so the same design choice can mean something completely different to consumers when paired with the full package. Also, beware of making assumptions based on your own thoughts of what a specific color, shape, or texture evokes. It is important to back up your packaging decisions with verified psychological research in order to best leverage this aspect of product display psychology.

Highlight Brand Values

The specific look and feel you choose for your branding and how it is used in product packaging and displays can make the connections a consumer forms with your brand more palpable. When making these choices, keeping in mind the implicit associations that consumers make with specific design choices can help you to design packaging that radiates your brand’s tone and values before a customer is even within reading distance.

Keeping in line with our previous advice, you can communicate your product’s purpose and tone in every element of your branding by eliciting specific emotions with your design decisions. For example, a company that sells cosmetic face masks aimed at helping people relax and indulge in self-care may choose calming and healing packaging colors, graphics, and fonts to make the experience of purchasing the product reflect that. In contrast, a toy brand may use a more colorful, busy design to elicit excitement.

Going a step further, you can use similar principles of product display psychology to convey deeper concepts like your brand’s values. For example, putting in place clearly visible recycling symbols on e-commerce packaging communicates that your brand cares about the environment. Transparent elements in packaging can align your branding with openness and honesty. Also, tech-integration like smart packaging will make your brand appear forward-thinking.

Jamestown Understands How Product Display Psychology Deepens Customer Connections

Contact Jamestown for packaging products that create deeper connections between your company and customers.

Jamestown Container Companies has been helping companies navigate their packaging and shipping challenges with innovative solutions since 1956. We're a family owned and operated organization, and we're dedicated to being a partner to all of our customers from initial concept to the moment their products reach their final destination.