Interesting article in Fast Company today concerning the impact that packaging has on perception.
Funded by Stanford and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the study that appears in August’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, asked 63 low-income children, ages 3 to 5, to taste identical McDonald’s foods that were in marked (name-branded) and unmarked wrappers.
The results? The food in the unmarked packaging was always pronounced less tasty than the food in McDonald’s branded packaging, even thought the two foods were identical.
About 77 percent of the children said that the McDonalds labeled fries tasted better than the plain wrapped fries and 54 percent expressed a preference for McDonald’s-wrapped carrots – well over double the percentage of those who liked the unmarked sample.
The results weren’t all that striking with regard to hamburgers however, with only 7 more kids choosing McDonald’s-wrapped burgers than the unmarked ones.
An author of the study, Dr. Tom Robinson opined that the children’s perceptions about the food were "physically altered by the branding."
Can any public sector lessons be drawn from this ? What is our ‘packaging’ like ? How do we physically present ourselves and our products? Do customers find that a certain type of front office ‘packaging’ inspires confidence? that a certain style of literature presentation is favoured over another because it conveys authority or inclusiveness?
Who is giving cogent, corporate thought to our ‘packaging’ and the effects that it has on the customers perceptions?
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