A leading global provider of packaged foods needed to determine if new packages would improve sales. Previous package-testing research of the traditional kind was inconclusive. We needed more penetrating research that would answer WHY questions. We needed to determine why some packaging was successful, and another packaging was not. We also needed to prove to the client that our conclusion was not opinion but was backed up by hard data based on their consumers’ biological reactions to their packaging. We needed to prove to our clients that we could deliver the information they needed and develop a method of testing that would satisfy them.
The greatest challenge, as one of our team, put it, was "We had to produce deeper insights into why consumers were not attracted to the new package designs with only a limited budget." We needed to do more work and determine why the packaging was not attracting consumers and do it with the least amount of money we possibly could.
Step one was to fully understand why the new packaging was not appealing to the consumers. What exactly did the consumers see visually that was causing them to reject the product? Additionally, we needed to find a way to test consumers without relying solely on what they had to say, as this had provided inconclusive answers in the past.
We needed to determine if our client's new packaging would improve sales and why their previous packaging had failed and proved this with scientific evidence eschewing anecdotal data for quantitative analysis and hard numbers. This type of information on packaging is difficult to quantify, so we had to design a test to give us the data we needed.
We chose to use biometrics in the form of neural-wave and GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) measurement. In this way, we didn't have to rely simply on what the consumers have to say about the packaging; we could analyze their reaction in real-time and accurately, even when their bodies disagreed with what they had to say. No matter what they said, their bodies always told the truth.
Impact for Client
The client was properly warned that launching the new packages would lose $19 million in the first year, and the biometric method gave us clear answers as to why. The data that we could give them saved them a disaster in public relations and a fortune in money. We were able to take quantitative data and biological analysis that led to actionable activities to improve their design. We were able to work closely with the client, partner with them, and understand exactly where their pain points were, and in the end, give them evidence that their new packaging would not work.
The client was pleased and said, “Matters has opened our eyes to a new approach to consumer input in our package design process. Their approach to neuroscience methods has allowed us to have more confidence that the consumer reaction we see is a true reaction of their subconscious, rather than a rationalized, linear reaction that is not reflective of behavior in the marketplace. The ability to see neural lifts correlated with purchase gives us a real-world understanding of the effect proposed package designs would have on our business. In addition, the Matters team has been extraordinarily generous and hands-on, building the expertise of our team in the field of neuroscience research; their time spent training and coaching us on how to interpret the results has led to increased excitement and actionability coming out of the work."