Labelling and packaging are an extension of your brand and your consumer's first encounter with the product. Make sure your product decoration and labelling effort is grabbing your customer's attention in a way that influences the mental process needed to drive purchase intent.

Sensory marketing triggers sales

Sensory marketing or branding is a marketing technique that aims to seduce the consumer by triggering their senses to influence emotions and behaviour. That's why label design is one of the key factors whether a consumer chooses to make a purchase or not.

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First and foremost, you need to have a clear vision of what you want your product label to express. That way, a potential buyer browsing their options can categorize your product quickly.

  • Is it an exclusive product or of a more affordable kind?
  • Does the packaging contain something industrial, or should it be conceived as something organic?
  • Is it vintage or brand-new?
These are all impressions you have the opportunity to control through the label by using the principles behind sensory marketing.

Read more: 5 things to consider before designing your new labels

How label design influence cognitive processes

"Neural Correlates of Impulsive Buying Tendencies during Perception of Product Packaging" is an exciting study, which shows precisely how product decoration either triggers the brains' reward centre or its regions associated with negative emotions. The results show that product decoration can lead to impulsive purchases – even if the customer didn't intend to buy anything at all.

Your product, packaging and label design affects cognitive processes such as:

  • Recognition
  • Perception
  • Attention
  • Learning
  • Higher reasoning

Handcrafted Colour Matching Label by Skanem UKTwo label design elements work particularly well in terms of controlling these processes:

  1. Colour scheme
  2. Texture

They do so as they affect the senses for vision and touch.

Colours evoke an immediate reaction

Colours have a significant impact on behaviour and cognitive processes, but the effect goes beyond that. Research shows that approximately 62-90 per cent of the buyer's decision-making process is based on colour alone.

To date, there are no studies on the exact emotions that different colours tend to evoke.

Nevertheless, the marketing and design industry recognize certain theories about what the different colours express to the buyer about the product and your brand – and how the buyer might feel when using the product:

  1. Do you want your product associated with freshness, energy, youth or new beginnings? Use yellow.
  2. Do you want your product associated with passion, care, strength or maturity? Use red.
  3. Do you want your product associated with warmth, enthusiasm, motivation or youthfulness? Use orange.
  4. Do you want your product associated with something playful, feminine, fascinating, or nurturing? Use pink.
  5. Do you want your product associated with something clean, responsible, financial or clinical? Use blue.
  6. Do you want your product associated with something healthy, growing, revitalizing or organic? Use green.
  7. Do you want your product associated with quality, exclusivity, creativity or ethics? Use purple.

Texture Label UK SkanemLabel textures that lead to must-have buyer's purchase decisions

The two marketing elites, Lawrence Williams and Joshua Ackerman, said it well in their Harvard Business Review article "Please Touch the Merchandise":

"Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions."

So, what does it take to make a consumer want to pick up and touch your product? The colour choice, communication and price may be enough, but what if the texture on the label in itself could encourage physical touch?

If you wanted to improve on a standard label material, we have several strategic ways to tempt your customer – yes, through your labels:

  • With a tactile varnish, you can create a realistic 3D feeling, e.g. the illusion of a raindrop or a grain of sand on your label.
  • With a textured varnish, you can make the label look and feel like, e.g. leather, snakeskin or pineapple. Add a scent to the label, and the brand experience is complete!
  • With the Skanem Soft & Gentle texture, the label is extra soft to the touch, making the product appear gentle, soothing, and smooth.
  • With our Scent Release, you can add a bespoke scent to the label. The fragrance function is a clever way to attract new customers while reminding previous buyers that the product is nearby.

Read more: How mono-materials in labelling contributes to a circular economy

Increased focus on the psychological aspect behind label and packaging design is a growing and exciting topic. While undoubtedly extensive, it's also a field of development that we have been involved in for decades – locally and internationally.

We get genuinely excited every time new and old clients, big or small, want to brainstorm with us to fulfil their label's true potential. After all – our goal is not to merely deliver your labels; we also want to make sure that your labels enable your products to sell – more.

Want to brainstorm design ideas with us? Get in touch here or download the e-book below for a complete guide on emerging packaging and labelling trends.

Packaging and labelling trends uk label manufacturer Skanem UK