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A surprising amount of people make purchase decisions in "default" mode, a mindset in which there is little notice between different brands. In fact, several studies suggest that almost 2/3rds of purchasing takes place in this mode. Shoppers already have a brand in mind before they enter the store, walk down the aisle, or hop on a website. This behavior amplifies when shoppers experience greater time pressures and are barraged with more options. When there is an abundance of choice, shoppers increasingly turn to known and identifiable brands. 

With 2/3rds of purchasers in the default mode, that leaves only a third of shoppers in what we call the "considering" mode. In this mode, a shopper considers various options prior to deciding which product to buy. There's a variety of reasons why a shopper may be in the considering versus the default mode. Some personalities are simply brand agnostic, focusing on other product attributes outside of the brand. Other times, it could be a new or rare purchase, or perhaps that shopper was removed from their typical, "default" environment. Maybe they're trying out a new purchase method or store, with the novelty opening their eyes to previously unnoticed options. 

The concepts and default and considering modes are important to every brand owner, designer, and packaging producer, and there are several well-known, albeit quickly forgotten takeaways. 

For default shoppers, product packaging should be a source of consistent and reputable communication. The package must:

  • Be easily recognizable

  • Integrate with other forms of brand communications

  • Stand out from competition in all aspects of design, including artwork, shape, texture, and quality

For considering shoppers, the packaging should promote awareness and motivate trial. The package must possess the 3 attributes listed above, but must be focused on the insights and benefits, rather than the brand. Packaging geared for default and considering shoppers can be the same, but often the roles tend to pull the design in different directions.

The design driver is the brand's position. Is it a small brand trying to attract attention or is the brand a dominant player in the category?

About ColorHub:

ColorHub is a B2B digital print sheet feeder for the corrugated packaging, display, and signage markets. In simpler terms, we print high quality graphics onto corrugated (cardboard) sheets that are then sold to corrugated plants to be converted into boxes, displays, and signs for their customers. With state-of-the-art technology, we boast a wickedly efficient print process, allowing artwork to flow directly from a computer to the print press. We eliminate the cost and time associated with print plates and press setup, enabling dramatic speeds and low volumes as well as creative change without changeovers.