Does Your Advertising Actually Compel Consumers To Buy Your Product?

Focus on Relevance

The New York Times had a fascinating article about the use of masks during the pandemic.  The article pointed to behavioral research findings that people tend to do what they see others doing.   As the article put it…”Seeing what many others are doing lends itself to imitation.  We think that gives us a clue to what is the most valid response, what is the objectively correct thing to do.”  So, we do it.  We mimic each other.  In the absence of other behavioral clues, we copy others.

Think about the implications of that for your advertising.  We often conduct research on the most important product features in a particular category, in other words, what drives purchase.   This is critical to not only product development, but also packaging, advertising, point-of-sale, social media, and internet product descriptions.  Think about housewares advertising and packaging – the vast majority is product centered.  Photos of humans using products are rare.  Thus the central thing we need as consumers – the image of someone like me using the product - is also rare.  Instead, many housewares aisles are a sea of product as hero packaging.

Suppose instead of packaging just listing features, you showed those features in use.  Suppose your social media focused on each aspect of your product in use, demonstrating how your product is effective and easy to use (which should be very easy to communicate via video – if it’s not, you should change the product to make it so!)  Your packaging should do this too.  You can add QR codes that link to the product videos, including people and lifestyle scenarios, bringing the human component right there into the aisle to sell the product. 

None of this should be taken as a need to downplay product features.  According to a recent GWI survey of 2,013 U.S. consumers the #1 thing consumers want from ads is product information (50%). What may surprise you is what ranks #3 – they want to be entertained (39%).  Further, 29% say ads must be relevant to me/my identity.  Product as hero does not entertain or bring that human connection.  Well-conceived ads with people do an excellent job of communicating key product features and attributes in a natural way.

All products have features that are more and less important.  Make sure your communications efforts have the priority order right – most important at the top and most clearly communicated.  We can help you sort through this with advertising and packaging research that can clarify what is important to which consumers.  Such research can also test how effectively your current communications mechanisms convey that information and, even more important, we can test whether new advertising or packaging do a better job than existing marketing materials.  Don’t replace old communications materials with new materials until you know the new materials do a better job!

Call (609.896.1108) or email us ( today to learn more about how research can improve your advertising and packaging!