Packaging and storytelling: the multisensory approach

Most studies on packaging as a means of communication mostly focus on the visual aspects of the package: colors, images, graphics, shapes and text.

However, more recent researches have shown that our perception of the product is basically multisensory. This new type of approach to packaging creation allows a deeper connection with the customer. If it is designed taking into account the sharing of multiple senses in the shopping experience, the package manages to capture the consumer on a more intensely emotional level.

Visual communication

Semiotics is an effective means of communication. By applying this assumption to packaging, the designer must therefore be able to convey a message to the user by designing the package as if it were a real device.

It is only when the package is properly designed that users are able to decode the message in a unique and easy way. The elements that influence the reading of a message are in fact different therefore, for the communication to be effective, source and destination must have as many elements in common. And the best way to convey a message is to tell a story that is engaging and memorable: verbal and non-verbal expressions will be required to do so.

The right image is undoubtedly the most immediate and lasting communication tool. A photo or illustration can immediately tell the value, origin and quality of a given product, and are also remembered better and more easily than any text. But semiotics alone may not be enough to get everyone a univocal message, and it is at this point that the other senses intervene.

Multisensory communication

Given that the idea that the senses work autonomously is fundamentally wrong, the packaging design must include more elements. A brand must become a sensory experience that goes beyond sight to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

In the case of food packaging, for example, if taste and smell are excluded in the very first phase of purchase, it is possible to involve tactile and auditory elements. When multiple senses work together, the message conveyed remains more strongly impressed in the consumer. The packaging must therefore communicate not only through sight, but also with materials and sound.

What does the expression “sensory packaging” means

A brand must therefore be holistic with respect to design. When multiple senses combine to define the characteristics of a product, the message we want to send becomes clearer too.

However, developing a “sensorial packaging” does not mean involving all the senses, but only the most significant ones for the purpose of selling. Let’s take the example of a pair of sunglasses: it is undeniable that the design of the product plays a fundamental role, but if we associate the smell of an exotic fruit with it, the glasses will immediately recall something pleasant and fun like a holiday. in a distant place.

Identifying the sensory attributes relevant to a given product therefore helps to connect more easily with the consumer and to give him a shopping experience that is as positive and relaxed as possible.

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