The Art of Choosing … Applies to Pack Designs TOO! – PRS IN VIVO – A BVA GROUP COMPANY

The Art of Choosing … Applies to Pack Designs TOO!

In our US headquarter offices, we have portraits of some of the leading thinkers in the behavioral sciences, including Sheena Iyengar, who is a Columbia Professor, and a world class expert on the behavioral science of choice.  She is the author of a book called “The Art of Choosing” and she has a fascinating TedTalk you can view here.

Artwork by Liz Swezey

In the book, Sheena describes the theories behind choice architecture and a phenomena in which too much choice often results in choice paralysis.  She gives an example of consumers confronted with too many choices (her case was the jams category in a grocery store) will often default to a known option or not choose at all.  Too many options become the “tyranny of choice” rather a welcome consideration set of alternatives from which we can make a decision.  Our System 1 brains need a short cut in order to make a selection . . . and a choice.

We have seen this phenomena play itself out amongst clients too, especially making the mission-critical decision around packaging designs.

It is expensive and time consuming to launch a new pack.

You engage experts in pack design and structure, and you place big bets on costs to manufacture, logistics to get the product in the store, and the hope that the pack will elevate the potential of the product being chosen at the shelf.

If you are lucky you have talented design partners who will give you many choices that you can advance to qualitative and quantitative screening and validation.  But making the final design selection can become really expensive, very quickly, not to mention time-consuming, if you can’t narrow your choices.

We have seen our clients struggle with the embarrassment of riches:  many choices for new pack designs and very little science for early screening.

In fact, clients historically have come to us (sometimes sheepishly) and said:  “You guys are the experts!  What do you think? We simply can’t decide and we can’t afford to test every option.”

We ARE proud of being experts, both in the legacy of the tens of thousands of packs and shelf designs we have actually tested, but also because of the behavioral framework we have developed to understand (and predict) consumer choice.  But we knew being effective in early-stage screening of pack design, meant combining art and science to facilitate prediction and choice.

Our development of the AI Pack Screener helps clients overcome the tyranny of choice at this critical stage.  It combines expert human analysis, and an AI-based machine learning algorithm,  that mines data from our extensive database, to give a predictive score on which pack designs are best to advance to further validation.  And it is quick (often in just several days) and extremely cost-effective, enabling more time and effort to be committed to deeper validation of the best pack design choices.

It is part of our suite of agile solutions we are calling Accelerated Behavioral Insights, designed to provide scientific predictions that drive better outcomes in shopper and product experiences.

It’s funny.  We have noticed clients and marketers have the same unconscious biases and behavioral influencers all humans do.  The principles of behavioral science apply equally, when it comes to consumers choosing a product to purchase, and marketers choosing a path to successfully selling their products, and driving brand growth.

With the AI Screener we are looking forward to providing clients with a behaviorally based, cost-effective tool to approach the “art of choosing” in early stage pack design with confidence and assurance.

Let us know if you would like to know more about AI Pack Screener and how it can help you with the “art (and science) of choosing” when it comes to pack designs.

Agathe Caron is the Knowledge & Innovation Manager at PRS IN VIVO. She is leading the initiative to develop new tools that leverage a proprietary behavioral framework, AI, and human expertise.