How packaging creates an expectation about the product

How your packaging looks creates an expectation about the quality of the product. Read on.

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The packaging is the first thing you experience of a product and has a strong influence on the final user experience.

packaging 3 water in a strong cup is perceived to be of better quality

Research showed that water served in a strong cup was perceived as of better quality than water of the same quality served in a weak cup (Williams and Ackerman).

The product was the same but the perception differed due to the packaging method. Lower quality packaging gave participants the idea and expectation that the product inside was also worse.

Wansink did a similar study with brownies in 2006. 

packaging learning 3 - brownies on a chinese plate taste better than on a napkin or white plate

Wansink handed out brownies on a Chinese plate, on a paper plate and on a napkin. The brownies were identical, but the results were completely different.

The participants who received the brownie on a napkin were willing to pay 53 cents, those who received the brownie on the paper plate were willing to pay 76 cents and those who received the brownie on the Chinese plate were willing to pay 1.27 cents.

As you can see, the expectation created by the presentation created the experience of the brownie. The participants perceived the brownie on the Chinese plate as tastier and they were prepared to pay more for it. 

Shutton replicated the research with drinks. He handed out samples in plastic cups, glasses or "branded" glasses and found the same results: drinks served in glasses created more positive expectations. 

Advice: Take into account what expectation you want to create with your packaging. Also examine whether the packaging is capable of activating this expectation fully as creating a good expectation of your product can make the difference between a good and a bad user experience.

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