Let me clear something up really quickly: I do not like your Beats headphones, nor do I think you look cool when you wear them around your neck blasting the musical equivalent of McDonalds. Beats headphones are notoriously overpriced, of mediocre quality for said price, and have been known to break down or easily show wear. Why then, do people keep buying them?
Brand name is the only answer I can think of. People want to belong to a collective, a group of those who are ‘in’ and ‘hip’ or ‘groovy’ or whatever lingo the kids use these days. It’s certainly not a new phenomenon. Buying a Corvette is basically buying for brand and the same is true for many other high-end luxury items. But how does this affect packaging? Let me give you an example:
Experimenters took a two bottles of a middle-range wine, and swapped one of the labels with a much more expensive one. Not only did the wine critics completely fail to notice the ‘expensive’ wine was not actually expensive wine, but they went on to talk about how much better the bottle with the expensive label was than the one with the normal label. What led the experimenters to try this in the first place is based on a story that has become rather infamous in French wine circles and famous in Californian ones.
There is a famous incident in wine-tasting history (memorize this and whip it out at your next wine-tasting party; make sure you twirl your mustache while you say it) called the Judgment of Paris. A wine merchant organized a tasting between the highest quality French wines and the wines from California. Of course he expected the French wines to easily win. Long story short, they didn’t. The California wines won over and over again each time the experiment was repeated through the years. This incident led to a whole range of fun experiments, our one example being particularly valuable to the world of packaging.
This tells us two things. One, wine critics are as crock-full of horse manure as every redneck has ever thought they were. Two, what label or brand is associated with a product severely effects our enjoyment of said product because of the mental associations we have with it. This means that you should really focus less on what is most expensive, and more on what tastes best. The box something comes in may cost you more than what is inside it, especially if a popular rap artist put his name on it.
Learn more about packaging at www.pearsonpkg.com.