Fashion + Psychology

How Pretty Packaging Influences Consumer Behaviour

Packaging of products is the main selling point for many competitive companies. If the product is shiny with a bow on top, we run to it like moths to a flame. Personally, I am definitely more enticed by Kylie Jenner’s lip kits rather than M.U.A sold at your local SuperDrug. But, why? Why does something have to look good for us to be interested? The answer: psychology.

How Our Brains Work

Psychical beauty is the initial attraction we have to humans and other things. This is typically because one of the first senses we use is sight. We first notice attractiveness and then we start associating this with other positive traits that they might possess. For instance, if you see a gorgeous pair of shoes, you might debate the other pros about it, such as durability. Yet, if these shoes did not appeal to your eyes, you often would not consider these other important traits. These other traits go hand in hand with branding. A Gucci symbol on a bag immediately tells you this bag is worth a fortune but with the price so high, it must be good quality too, right? Money then becomes affiliated with good characteristics.

A celebrity promotes SugarBear Hair, a vitamin that supposedly promotes hair growth, and we all ingest this without proper research. For many of the following reasons:

  • We trust the celebrity therefore, we value their opinion.
  • We admire the beauty of the celebrity so by using the products they use, we hope to achieve the same beauty.
  • SugarBear Hair appeals to the eye and to the pallet. They appear as blue little teddy bear gummy’s that taste just like sweets.

However, many followers of these celebrities fail to recognise that they are being paid very handsomely and often, have not even tried these products. Promoting a false sense of reality. I remember when I first started getting into makeup, around 15 years old, I would watch YouTube tutorials and save up all my pocket money to buy whatever they promoted. They would describe the packaging so elegantly and it seemed as if they were very well trained in advertising.

The ‘Science’ Behind It

By brands creating pretty things, it stimulates our minds and provides visual pleasure. These pleasures provoke primitive feelings that everyone wants to experience and feel. An anthropologist, Ellen Dissanayake, stated that “Artistic production entails effort, and effort is rarely expended without some adaptive rationale. Art is ubiquitous, and costly.” With this in mind, it shows that we appreciate discipline, flair and spirit. The beauty of things can almost become therapeutic. For instance, doing my makeup in the morning fills me with a sense of calm and prepares me for the day. It is as if I am making myself a pretty little package to be noticed.

Most of our lives we get instilled this idea that money and attractive objects are the best things for us. The famous philosopher, Plato, put it best when he said, “Beautiful objects whisper to us the important truths about the good life.” But, as I grew older, and I had to prioritise my money into more important things like rent. I found I did not have the funds to buy these pretty things I once lusted for. So, I did end up buying products from my local SuperDrug and I realised they worked just as well, sometimes even better than Kylie’s lip kits. Plato was one of the very first philosophers to ask the question, why are we attracted to beautiful things? Which shows that even historically, we have always been fascinated with all things that appeal to the eye.

The way society currently is, pushes us to buy the pretty expensive things because they might add value to our life or at least our social media lives. But, my friends have always told me to get to know someone before I bin them off, so I encourage us to do the same with products.

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