Good Design Matters. Properly positioned and executed packaging sells more products, that much is obvious. But what makes a package a good design that stands out? Eye-popping graphics? An unusually shaped container? Strong colors? Pleasing aesthetics? Certain subtle psychological stimuli?

What makes a package good is surprisingly difficult to pin down. Henri Matisse said that “each element in a picture should be visible, and play its allotted part, of first or secondary importance. Whatever is useless in a picture is for that reason harmful. A work demands harmony of the whole; any unnecessary details, in the eye of the spectator, will usurp the place of another, essential one.”

Effective packaging, too, is an arrangement of essential elements. Like a good painting, only what is needed is included. People are attracted, charmed, or entranced; they become emotionally involved because a clearly presented design can tap into what they believe about their world.

Role of Emotion. Underlying these processes is a philosophy that demonstrates how we create packaging that sells: Capture the consumer’s attention by capturing their emotion and you will capture their sale.

Is it always really that simple? Not entirely, obviously. But consider these points. First, people everywhere respond when something touches them on an emotional level. Compelling packaging that reaches consumers emotionally causes them to interact with that product. Secondly, consumers commonly associate packaging—the “clothing”— with the product. It is what they see on the shelf and what they buy. So, the “clothing” had better be a good fit. Finally, consumer research shows that more than 80% of grocery purchases are made on impulse. You want to be sure your packaging is working its hardest at the point of sale. Other factors, such as pricing, displays, couponing, and advertising, impact sales. But increasingly, a sale is predicated on the 2.5 seconds when the consumer pauses to consider the product. That is when the package has to work.

Power of Storytelling. In a mind-numbing information age people crave images with emotional and cultural content—things with which they can connect. And people everywhere still respond to a story well told. Classical stories from the brothers Grimm or ancient Greece, as well as folk tales and myths from all parts of the world tap into the power of the unconscious. We are unconsciously pulled to interact with images and words that stir our emotions. Cultural anthropologists tell us that we form opinions and draw judgments using our feelings more than we will ever admit.

Today, with most consumers making the decision to purchase a product at the point of sale, the ability of a brand or package to emotionally connect with a shopper matters enormously. The guise a brand or product takes on can literally make or break a product.

We provide consumers with clearly told stories of substance and believability with which they can connect. Mark Oliver, Inc. is made up of people with rich experience in packaging, advertising and marketing, as well as psychology, mythology and art. Using these tools and others, we engage in a multi-disciplinary approach for every project. We shape each of our clients’ product images to meet the expectations of the target consumer by tapping into the emotions which speak to them. Our packaging provides consumers with visually-based “stories” that help them to make their purchasing decisions. The result? Packaging that provides each and every client with a unique market-place edge and solid sales.