Apr 8, 2014

Semiotics 101: how packaging attracts by association

People have better things to do than think about your brand.

Marketing’s job is to change that, but in an over-supplied and ultra-competitive world, this is a constant challenge. The answer lies in… semiotics. In simple terms (saving us all going back to college for 3 years), this means creating signals to trigger the right associations in the consumer’s mind.

These include signals for the category and for rational product benefits, but this only gets you to being recognised and considered. The main drivers are subconscious and emotional, and the differences between true brands and mere products is that they know how to press these much hotter buttons. Watch this video for one of the best demonstrations of an emotional association ever made.

In the supermarket the ‘first moment of truth’ takes place at the shelf, where brands compete with one another to trigger people first, better and harder. Despite not being able to offer us a movie or taste experience (but watch this space), packaging can do an amazing job of sealing the deal, by creating strong associations to something deep in our emotional memory.

In this way packaging puts your brand, if only for a moment, centre stage in the consumer’s life story…