Motivating Presentation

Written by Bill Tanzer


Summertime and the skies are blazing. Normally, the shining sun causes many to head for the outdoors, whether to consciously or not soak up some Vitamin D and get fresh air. But when the heat waves take over, crowds crawl back inside for much needed air conditioning. Some days are perfect for backyard barbecues and some days are just scorchers, but you might not know until you take a step outside. (If you forgot to check the weather forecast that is. I personally like my WeatherBug app.)

Yeah, I like getting sun as much as the next person, but not really interested in being baked to a crisp. Is anyone motivated to run a marathon when it’s 115 degrees outside? I’m not motivated to take a walk down the block, can’t imagine going for a jog. Similarly, many people won’t make plans for outdoor parties when the clouds are dark and overcast. Even if not a single drop falls, you’ll see less families and pedestrians at the park when the skies are grey. Why? Do you want to take a chance that it will rain on your parade?

Basically, we tend to make many decisions based on appearances. How many candidates get far in job interviews if they show up unshaven, unclean and disorderly? The interviewer most likely writes that person off as a slob even before they have a chance to speak. If the resume was submitted on a crumbled up envelope, that candidate doesn’t even get an interview, period. No matter how brilliant the person may be.

This premise is the same for packaging. Whatever the contents, the box or bag has an immediate impact on the buyer. Appearances matter.

The University of Southern California conducted a packaging study, with results published in October 2010 in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The university’s research shows that consumers will consciously choose a product based on its aesthetic design, even if the product is higher priced and lesser known than other brands. Why? Because “beautiful packaging” ignites a response in an individual, similar to the emotions felt when receiving a reward or getting paid.

Remember, this study was conducted and published well after the economy was already in the tank. And still, consumers are willing to pay more for products that are packaged better than their competitors. A purchase placed in an aesthetic, customized shopping bag reinforces the decision to buy even more.

July 25, 2011

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