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How Coca-Cola Used Clever Bottle Design To Outsell Competitors

How Coca-Cola Used Clever Bottle Design To Outsell Competitors

Packaging design matters. It’s not just that people want to buy a sleek, cool package. It’s that factors such as the size and shape of a product can influence how much consumers want it, according to University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock.

“Subtle changes in the placement or packaging of products can have big effects on people’s desire to buy them,” Beilock tells NPR. In one study, the scientist asked volunteers to move one of two objects on a table, whichever one they preferred. The study’s subjects were more likely to grab a spatula or a spoon placed with the handle pointed toward them than one that was placed with the handle facing away. More than 60% of the time, people liked the object that was easier to grab.

This has real-world consequences when it comes to product design. A easier-to-grab package practically jumps off the shelf into your hands. Per NPR:

In 2008, Coke redesigned its two-liter bottle a few years ago to make it curvier and thus, ‘easier to hold and pour,’ in the words of a Coca-Cola representative. And suddenly, Beilock reports, Coke was selling a lot more of its two-liter sodas than archrival Pepsi.

Does this mean Coke knew all about the way the body influences the mind? Beilock says: ‘My guess is [in tests] people preferred that bottle.’

Based on her research, she believes that the enticing shape of a soda bottle ‘might push you to buy it even knowing it’s not the right decision.’

The lesson here for any designer who wants his or her product to fly off the shelves? If you want it to sell, make it more convenient to hold.

[via NPR]SF