packaging research

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packaging research

While the old adage says you should never judge a book by its cover, there’s overwhelming evidence to suggest that when it comes to retail, the package is of crucial importance.


An expertly designed package can give you a distinct advantage when it comes to securing sales, and can also improve the likelihood that retailers will choose to stock your product in the first place.


This is one of PLAY’s key areas of expertise, and is an area we have seen many other agencies get wrong. Over the years we have developed and refined our own proprietary method, complete with benchmarks.


We have successfully employed this approach with many leading brands, both here in Australia and abroad. As well as utilising a range of innovative research methods, we also have an in-house packaging studio, and a dedicated online community of enthusiastic shoppers providing feedback on products.

why PLAY with us?

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When you choose PLAY for your packaging design, you can rest assured you’re in good, expert hands.

We have written many articles and guides on the topic, which can be found in several notable industry publications.

We have also presented at the Australian Institute of Packaging and are currently writing an Australia-specific book on how to achieve packaging re-design success and maximise ‘the power of packaging’.


To understand the likely success or failure of a packaging design, it’s important to place a potential consumer in a realistic environment and observe their behaviour.

It’s why PLAY created our in-house photographic studio, where we have digitally re-created thousands of Australian products to create realistic 3D in-store walk-throughs and shelf-purchase exercises.

This helps us understand what a change in packaging is likely to have, and how any new packaging should be further optimised to achieve success.


In a retail environment, particularly in a supermarket context, you typically have just a split second to convince a customer to buy your product over another.

To help us accurately understand what motivates customers to make certain decisions, we use digital eye tracking technology.

This helps us understand shelf and range navigation, and the impact any new packaging is likely to have on your overall packaging hierarchy.


To help ensure your packaging design is on the right path from the very beginning, we can also integrate qualitative packaging exploration.

This involves probing further into specific elements of your packaging design to isolate what is working, and what isn’t, and help you optimise each element for consumer preferences.

We can also use qualitative screening to fine-tune your ideas; ensuring you only progress with those that are likely to succeed.

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“PLAY’s no-nonsense approach and ability to quickly get to the heart of the problem makes them the perfect partner for us. They tackle the business issue with methodologies that are spot on for our timeframes and budgets. Recommendations are relevant, actionable and delivered in a way that makes them extremely easy to digest.”

Ned Tesic, Head of Marketing,
Sydney Markets

“PLAY have shown a strong understanding of research approaches, consumer brands and the FMCG categories we operate in. They have successfully turned around fast research projects as required but they have also challenged us and worked in partnership on a number of more strategic challenges.”

Mark Whitby, Regional Consumer Market Insight Manager,

“PLAY’s ability to simplify what is sometimes a complex innovation research process worked perfectly. They approached the challenge efficiently, and quickly identified how the new packaging would deliver against our brand’s KPIs, and where there were opportunities to optimise the new designs further.”

Michael Sergeant, Group Marketing Manager,
Campari Asia Pacific

"PLAY is my go-to market research agency because of their can-do attitude, their willingness to try something new, their continual strive for the best technology and products as well as their sharp, concise, insightful reporting. They are fun to work and play with."

Alison Turner, Quantitative Research Manager,

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