When we observe shoppers in the aisle, we often see a “disconnect” between shoppers’ priorities and what these people encounter at the shelf (a plethora of features/benefits, flavors and sub-branding). That’s why we find many successful innovations “break through the clutter” by linking more closely to the shopper’s mindset-and by speaking directly to specific usage occasions (e.g. on-the-go packs, packs designed for school lunches, etc.)
Often, we’ve found that the “right answer” is typically at least 50 percent visual continuity from current (to leverage brand equity), varying one primary design element (such as color or structure) combined with a very clear emphasis on the new product’s point of difference.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s critical to test new products without the benefit of extended concept statements or commercials. For the shopper, the package is the concept statement-it is all that he or she is likely to encounter at retail. If the package leaves key questions unanswered, this must be corrected in advance, before it’s too late.