Study of possibilities for cereal packaging redesigning

Project description

A client producing breakfast cereals was thinking about redesigning the packaging for his product line. The client did not understand how to change the design and whether a redesign was necessary at all, so he decided to use the services of our company.

From our experience, many manufacturers do not pay proper attention to the packaging design of their products. Of course, everyone understands that packaging is important for attracting consumers, but not everyone thinks about the associations it evokes. 

Good design solutions are based on the use of features of the perception of the product, the ability to form the necessary associations, to actualize the right images in the mind and imagination, to cause certain emotions. This requires special preliminary research.

Main goals of the project

In order to fulfill the client’s wishes, we identified the following main objectives of the project:

  • Understand whether the customer’s existing packaging design is bad and needs to be changed – It is quite possible that the problem lies not in the packaging design, but in something else. Moreover, the existing design may be a significant intangible asset of the customer – then changing it may lead to a drop in demand for the product.
  • Find out if there is a unity of perception of design – Unity of perception gives new brand products a significant advantage, because they are associated by consumers with something they are already familiar with. If unity exists, you can’t change the design too drastically, lest you break that unity.
  • Determine how to change the packaging design – The redesign should evoke the right positive associations with consumers and make the packaging convenient for them.

Methodology used

The peculiarity of this project was that, contrary to common practice, we conducted a quantitative study first and only then a qualitative one. We went in the opposite direction, because based on the results of the quantitative study, we might have realized that a qualitative one was not necessary (if it turned out that the existing design seemed good).

When conducting a quantitative study, we interviewed 603 consumers of breakfast cereals aged 18-64 living in different regions of Belarus. Half of the respondents were consumers of the client’s breakfast cereals, while the other half consumed breakfast cereals of competing brands. Using a set of characteristics combined into factors, we were able to measure consumers’ perceptions of the packaging of the client and competing brands.

At the qualitative research stage, we chose the in-depth interview method. This technique, unlike focus groups, allows us to avoid group pressure and extract the images and opinions we need from the subconscious, which is what we need to create a new unique design.

What made our research unique was that during the in-depth interview phase we interviewed both parents and their children. What’s more, we asked them to draw the packaging design as they saw it. This allowed us to free the subconscious of the target consumers and get design narratives that would be original, evoke the right associations and emotions, and at the same time match the product.

Main results of the project

From the results of the quantitative study, it was concluded that a packaging redesign was critically necessary. Consumers did not perceive the existing design as attractive. We also did not find unity in the perception of the design.

Based on the results of qualitative research, we developed recommendations for the client in what direction the design should be changed, so it would be convenient, well perceived at the associative level and would meet the expectations of the target audience.