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Applying AI: Determining Packaging’s Impact on Sales

Using AI to Determine Packaging's Impact on Sales

When we look at the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) landscape, we see nothing short of incessant shelf warfare. And few weapons are as critical to victory as package design. What catches whose eye? Is the reaction positive, negative, indifferent? 

In the olden days, we’d wander alongside a typical shopper in real retail aisles, in real time, and try to tease out answers. Along with these shop-alongs were consumer purchase diaries and facility interviews and questionnaires and similar so on and so on.

For any experienced marketer, It’s obvious and frustrating that these just can’t be too reliable. Especially when one-tenth of one percent in market share can be the difference between taking the hill and taking heavy brand casualties. 

One yearns for more precision.  

Lock and load our partner’s proprietary AI methodology: BioNimbus, weaponized in this case in the form of virtual reality (VR). 

Don your VR headgear.

How AI Gets Inside Your Subjects’ Heads. Literally.

Just as gamers navigate from choice to choice while playing, VR subjects wander in the virtual environment. One of our successes, for example, took them to the cereal aisle, with its cartoon characters, famous athletes, organic or not, less sugar/carbs/protein or not, NEW! or not, different color palettes for the same package. The variants are infinite.  

Our VR headgear tracked their actions, both voluntary and involuntary.  We saw them linger over certain packages, over certain parts of the package, and for how long. We saw them take some packages off the shelf, turn them over for more information, return them to the shelf–or buy them.

Borrowing from the gamer model again, our VR tactics can include incentives for “shoppers” to try or buy, to earn points to redeem for prizes or discounts later–many ways to measure product appeal by subjects’ agreement or refusal to accept incentives.

Compared to old-school methods that often drive (or bore) away participants, VR is a virtual walk in an incredibly data-rich park. Fun for the subject, potentially brand-making-or-breaking for the marketer.

So you say, “OK, so far, most learned AI practitioner, convince me more?” 

Well, why don’t we look at results? They’re beyond proofs of concept. They’re proof of AI in practice. 

In the supermarket exercise, we tracked  every virtual package removed, studied, or ignored, every eyeball flick and linger, every brainwave and skin response stimulated.  

The learning?

Masses of incontrovertible data showed that consumers preferred the packaging they already had. In fact the potential losses in revenue were quantifiable. A projected $19 million loss in revenue, not to mention brand value and market share, was sufficient to rethink the packaging redesign.  Talk about saving boatloads of money on new packaging–that could have hurt, not enhanced, the brand and the bottom line! 

Virtually Limitless

Our BioNimbus toolbox is packed and ready to go. It offers marketers virtually limitless customization options. We can tee up an auto dealership or any physical space that you can study for brand messaging, impact of interior/exterior architecture, lighting, background music, sales force wardrobe … or a cell phone or tablet, a web page, a golf cart, an exotic fish, a face or body, an ad, a poster, a car, an interior of a home or office — whatever you want. 

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