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Consumer perceptions of product packaging

Olga Ampuero (Department of Graphic Expression in Engineering, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Natalia Vila (Department of Marketing, School of Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 February 2006




This paper seeks to discuss the need to understand consumer perceptions in order to correctly design product packing and to achieve the desired position in the minds of consumers.


Data collection was divided into two phases. The first, (based on designers' opinions), to determine the key graphic variables in the design of packaging. The second, (based on consumers' opinions), to associate each packaging with a positioning strategy. The seven product‐positioning strategies selected were represented from the consumers' standpoint using multidimensional scaling. Four maps were obtained related to: alternative packaging colours; alternative packaging typography; alternative packaging graphical forms; alternative packaging images


Each positioning strategy appears associated with particular packaging dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

Consumers have exhibited harmonious perceptions towards products‐packaging strategies, so one can conclude that a general feeling as to what a particular packaging exactly means exists. So the general opinion should guide packaging designers to appropriately meet consumers' expectations.


A range of simulated packaging was prepared for the 46 consumers that took part in the two‐phase experiment: One of the seven positioning strategies was explained. For example: “Product ‘A’ is positioned as reasonably priced. People say the price is OK”; Case to be solved: “From this selection, choose the packaging that seems most suitable for product ‘A’, taking its characteristics into account”. The simulated packaging alternatives were shown and the subject chose the options that seemed most suitable (colour, typography, forms and images). The sequence was repeated for the remaining six positioning typologies.



Ampuero, O. and Vila, N. (2006), "Consumer perceptions of product packaging", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 100-112.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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