Apple's Guide To Packaging Psychology
8 psychological triggers driving this ritual.
Hey there 👋 - Abhi here!
Happy Thursday to the 21,277 marketers reading this newsletter.
In today's edition, we will break down the Apple's packaging psychology, and how you can leverage the same tactics in your work.
Estimated Reading Time = 4 minutes
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Now to today's piece 🤝
Apple's Packaging Psychology
For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks:
The company - Apple. Well, you knew that.
The result - An iconic unpacking experience...
I'm talking about that stack of Apple cases in your closet.
Unfortunately, I'm guilty of that too. And that got me thinking:
Why does it happen? What's the psychology behind it?
Well, here are the 8 psychological triggers driving this memorable ritual:
1/ The Mere Exposure Effect
No matter who you are. Or where you live.
The Apple unpacking experience is always the same.
And as humans, we are creatures of habit.
The more we see or experience it happens, the more we crave it...
2/ Selling The Dream Outcome
When you're walking through a store like BestBuy, Apple's packages stand out.
At least to me.
And I think it'd be the same for someone who didn't know about them either.
Not cause of how much they show. But how little.
No clutter. No tech specs. Only the most desirable outcomes...
In this case, it's some high-resolution images:
3/ The 3D Effect
The images on Apple's packages are slightly embossed or raised.
But that edit goes beyond aesthetics...
- increase product interactivity
- can be 6X more cost-effective
4/ The Curiosity Gap
It's the gap between what we know and what we want to know.
In Apple's unpacking process, this refers to the act of pulling off the lid.
That element of friction adds to the suspense and builds up anticipation...
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5/ The Effect Paradox
That friction has 1 more consequence - added satisfaction.
Research has repeatedly shown us that the more effort we put into obtaining things, the more value we assign to them.
For Apple, more friction = more value.
6/ The Memory Recall Effect
When you finally pull off that lid, you'll hear that iconic *whoosh* sound.
This whooshing sound:
- adds to the theatric experience
- establishes a strong sensory cue
- and has now become iconic of Apple
Sonic marketing can be powerful. Especially when you pair it up with another sensation.
7/ The Status Quo Bias
People hate change. And doesn't Apple know it:
Every time you open an Apple package, every item is exactly where it should be - accurate to a millimeter.
Apple's precisely designed pulp inlays - whatever that means - keep each element in its place. Talk about attention to detail...
8/ The Fresh Start Effect
Unpeeling that plastic wrap is the most satisfying aspect of it all.
But it goes beyond sheer satisfaction:
- it creates a feeling of newness
- builds anticipation, and
- floods us with dopamine
It's the power of a fresh start...
In fact, I spoke about this psychological phenomenon last week, in case you missed it!
Now that's enough about Apple, let's summarize our insights...
3 Psychological Insights To Enhance Your Packaging
Whether you're an e-commerce business or NOT...
1. First Impressions Matter
Keep your packaging consistent.
Match the aesthetic with what your brand stands for.
And make sure not to overwhelm your readers...
For instance, if you got a shampoo company, avoid a massive blurb of text.
I've seen too many brands make that mistake - it just pushes me away.
But if you think the copy is essential, at least make it skimmable.
2. Make It More Interactive
A sensory experience can be powerful.
But a multi-sensory experience will be memorable.
It compels your audience to interact with your product.
So target one, or a combination, of our five senses.
But make sure not to overdo it, either.
Too much sensation (strong smells or loud sounds, for instance) can turn customers away. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?
3. Easy Ain't Always Better
Many fail to get this. And I can see why. But get it ingrained in your head.
Sometimes people associate more effort with more value.
Two psychological phenomena that support this hot take:
- The Effect Paradox
- The IKEA Effect: I wrote that piece back in the day, before a lot of you joined ;)
That's all for this Thursday. 1 marketing breakdown & 3 tactics to get you started.
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See you again next week,
Abhishek "I Will Never Throw My Apple Packages" Shah
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