You’ve heard it before: in a crowded marketplace, great design makes a product stand out. Design is what draws people in. It’s what grabs the consumer’s attention, creates desire, and inspires action.

Robert Brunner & Stewart Emery wrote that “A great product embodies an idea that people can understand and learn about – an idea that grows in their minds, one they emotionally engage with.” Great design is not just about aesthetic beauty. It needs to have purpose and emotion – something to resonate with the consumer on a human level.

The next time you are about to purchase a product, think about how it makes you feel.

The next time you are about to purchase a product, think about how it makes you feel.

A consumer often chooses a certain product because they have an emotional connection to the brand. Many factors play into that connection, but a key factor often underestimated is the product’s design and packaging. It’s what Louis Cheskin called Sensation Transference. In his book “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell explains the concept as the transfer of “sensations or impressions that [consumers] have about the packaging of the product to the product itself.”[1] Sensation transference, although subconscious, is directed by the product’s design – specifically, dominance, balance, repetition and contrast, better known as the principles of design. When that design hits the consumer’s emotional & purposeful sweet spot – that’s when it triggers action.

The next time you are about to purchase a product, think about how it makes you feel. Do you feel more powerful and confident when you hold this product? Do you feel more organized and clean? Then, consider how the principles of design are used to create that feeling in the packaging. Products that make you feel powerful may use a dominant and balanced typeface. Products that make you feel clean or organized may contrast dynamic logos with a simple background.

These subconscious reactions are the result of painstaking, careful attention to detail by a designer. And in the end, it’s what sets apart a great design & a great product from the average.

[1] Source: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/08/13/malcolm-gladwell-on-the-power-of-marketing/