Small adjustments of the product labels can capture customers’ attention

What makes us pick products off the shelf? This study examines how product labels capture our attention and influence our decision-making.

2019.03.08 | Merete Elmann

Every time we go shopping, we have to choose a product out of a multitude of possible choices. Labels play an important role in our shopping decisions, and they have the potential to influence our decision-making. This study examined whether increasing the visibility of one product label can increase the product’s appeal.

To find out whether a label can influence our decision-making, scientists developed an experiment using the Danish organic logo because most customers in Denmark recognise and trust it. For this experiment, researchers created four different versions of the organic logo, each varying in size and saliency. To avoid product recognition, all the products included in the experiment had artificial brand names and featured new packaging designs. Each participant chose at least 20 products out of different sets, and the scientists recorded the participants’ eye movements while performing the task.

The study found that the visual manipulation of the organic logo size increases the customer’s attention. Even though the scientists expected to see an increase in attention when they modified the logo’s saliency, the results show the visual modification of the saliency alone did not capture the customers’ attention. However, the combined effect of the size and saliency modifications significantly influenced the customers’ decision-making. These effects were consistent across all the product categories.

A small visual adjustment of the organic logo can increase the products’ appeal, and it can influence the customers’ decision-making. This study concludes that policy makers and food marketers can use this knowledge to enhance product labels.

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