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Factors Impacting Child and Parent Perceptions of Products

1775 words (7 pages) Essay in Design

18/05/20 Design Reference this

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Assess the ways in which package design can impact on children’s and parents’ perceptions of products. What are the most important considerations for designers of children product packaging?

In recent years, people have paid more attention to product packaging. The product packaging is one of the most important considerations in customer purchase. In various product packaging, the packaging of children’s products is caused by “Entanglement Power” (Power for children to persuaded his parents to buy a product) role (Gelperowic and Beharrell,1994). This means that when children’s products are purchased, they mostly depend on the quality of the package. Thus, the perception of children’s packaging for parents and children has become very important. This essay provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of product packaging appearance on children’s perceptions and the impact of product packaging materials and structural design on parental perceptions. Under these influences, gender difference and the safety of products become the most important consideration in the design of children product packaging.

The design of the product packaging appearance affects the children’s perception. The appearance of the product is mainly composed of colour, shape and packaging pattern. These factors can affect children’s perceptions of the product. First, the colour of the package can change the children’s perception of the product’s attraction. For children, colour can be divided into active and passive colours by psychological division ( Horiguchi and Iwamatsu,2018). Active colour, such as yellow and red, can cause the children’s psychological reaction so that the children produce positive feedback ( ibid ). Passive colours, such as blue and green, can make children feel calm ( ibid ). This means that in the product packaging design if the colour of the package adopts the active colour, it will attract the child’s attention, and let the children have the desire to purchase. Passive colours are often used in children’s daily necessities to give children a feeling of quiet. This shows that the colour of the package can affect the children’s overall perception of the package. Besides, the shape of the package has an impact on the children’s perception because of the symbol. The symbolic meaning to product packaging is that after seeing the shape of a product package, the children will do deep association and replace the product with a symbol. According to Scarpaci’s studies of children and adults in Kenya, the circle often gives the meaning of “human” in early childhood, and it has a friendly feeling about round things. (2019) For similar products of different packaging shapes, the probability of children’s choice of round packaging is also slightly improved. Therefore, children have a close and positive perception of the circular packaging on the psychological level, which will have a visual preference. It can be seen that children have different perceptions of different shapes of packaging. The pattern of the package also has an impact on the children’s perception. For different product packaging, if the same pattern is used, children will associate with each other. Thus, children’s product packaging often uses a series of designs to allow children to deepen their memory of the same product (Arrúa et al. ,2017). Different from adults when children prefer a product, children often follow the product packaging pattern to buy rather than the text above the product packaging. This shows that the pattern of the package has a long-term impact on the children’s perception.

The appearance of the product’s packaging can influence the perceptions of children, but it has different effects on different genders. Therefore, one of the most important considerations when designing children’s packaging is the children’s gender. When male and female children choose products, they prefer different product packaging because of their gender. This is because they are different in the perception of things. Gender differences exist in both spatial processing and visual art. In spatial processing, males pay more attention to metric information, and females pay more attention to information classification (Holden, 2014).In visual art, male cares more about dynamic illustrations while female cares more about brightly unsaturated colours (McWhinnie, 1970 cited in Zhang, 2014). Because of these differences, male and female children consider different factors when choosing the appearance and shape of the package. Male children may be more concerned with whether the product has the pattern they like, and female children may be more concerned about whether the overall packaging colour attracts them. Therefore, when designing children’s packaging, designers should classify products by gender. Different ways are used when designing the packaging of products for children of different genders. When designing product packaging for female children, the overall bright colour design could be carried out, while for male children, patterns should be used to attract them.

The material and structural design of the children’s product packaging affects parents’ perceptions of the product. With the improvement of people’s living standards around the world, the health of children and adolescents is receiving more attention ( Cates et al.,2019). Every parent wants their children to grow up healthily and hopes to give their children the best quality products. The quality of children’s products is often related to the materials they use. In recent years, whether children’s product packaging uses healthy materials has gradually become one of the primary considerations for parents to buy products for their children (Health-O Quality Products Co,2017).The packaging of children’s products uses non-toxic, safe materials and emphasizes this information on the packaging of the products, which will allow more parents to choose to buy. Therefore, the materials used in children’s product packaging largely influence parents’ perceptions of the product. In addition, the structural design of the children’s product packaging also affects parents’ perceptions of the product. In the process of using the product packaging, correct operation is one of the necessary conditions to ensure the safety of the users. However, children often have irrational operations on product packaging. In order to ensure that their children do not have misuse of the packaging, parents often purchase flexible packaging for their children. Research on the market shows that some children’s product packaging that looks complicated in structure is often not purchased by parents, and parents prefer simple children product packaging (Tiwasing and Sahachaisaeree,2010). This is because parents feel that simple packaging is more accessible for children to operate, and elaborate packaging can be dangerous for children’s misuse. Thus, it can be seen that the structure of the package can affect parents’ perception of the rationality of the packaging. 

Parents pay attention to the structure and materials of children’s product packaging and the materials and structure of the product packaging affect the safety of the product. Hence,  safety is one of the most important consideration when designing children’s packaging. Designers should not only consider the cost of product packaging when designing children’s product packaging but should consider the material safety and health of the product. In the Asian market, many feeding bottles and plastic toys for children made of cheap materials have not reached the standard for decolourization and evaporation residue. (Groh et al.,2019) This means that many of the harmful components in these plastics exceed the standard. Long-term use of these products can cause harmful substances to accumulate in children and cause harm to children. Unqualified discolouration index means that the colourant in the plastic will dissolve in the food, and long-term excessive intake the colourant will affect the child’s health. Therefore, the choice of safety materials when designing children’s products is important. Choosing children’s product packaging materials is not only for parents to buy but also for children’s health.

In conclude, children’s perceptions of children’s product packaging are influenced by the appearance of the package, including colour, shape, and  packaging pattern. These factors have different effects on different genders. Therefore, gender differences should be one of the important considerations when designing children’s packaging. Parents’ perceptions of children’s product packaging are influenced by the material and structural design of the package. Materials and structures affect the safety of children’s products, so safety is also an important consideration when designing children’s packaging.

References

  • Arrúa, A, Curutchet, MR, Rey, N, Barreto, P, Golovchenko, N, Sellanes, A, Velazco, G, Winokur, M, Giménez, A & Ares, G 2017, ‘Impact of front-of-pack nutrition information and label design on children’s choice of two snack foods: Comparison of warnings and the traffic-light system’, Appetite, vol. 116, pp. 139–146, viewed 5 August 2019, <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edselp&AN=S0195666316309254&site=eds-live>
  • Cates, C. B. et al. (2019) ‘Parenting and Children’s Health Care’, in Handbook of Parenting. 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017: Routledge, p. 431. doi: 10.4324/9780429401695-15.
  • Groh, K. J. et al. (2019) ‘Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards’, The Science Of The Total Environment, 651(Pt 2), pp. 3253–3268. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.015.
  • Gelperowic Roseline and Beharrell Brian (1994) ‘Healthy Food Products for Children&colon; : Packaging and Mothers′ Purchase Decisions’, British Food Journal, (11), p. 4. doi: 10.1108/00070709410074623.
  • [Health-O Quality Products Co. marketing material] (2017). Marlborough, Wiltshire: Adam Matthew Digital. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsamd&AN=edsamd.E.AMD00069199&site=eds-live (Accessed: 5 August 2019).
  • Holden, M. P., Duff-Canning, S. J. and Hampson, E. (2015) ‘Sex differences in the weighting of metric and categorical information in spatial location memory’, Psychological Research, 79(1), pp. 1–18. doi: 10.1007/s00426-013-0539-z.
  • Horiguchi, S. and Iwamatsu, K. (2018) ‘From Munsell color system to a new color psychology system’, COLOR RESEARCH AND APPLICATION, 43(6), pp. 827–839. doi: 10.1002/col.22286.
  • Scarpaci, J. L. 1. [email protected] co. (2019) ‘Material Culture Research: Field Observations on Linking Brands and Nationalism’, Material Culture, 51(1), pp. 36–56. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aax&AN=136279225&site=eds-live (Accessed: 5 August 2019).
  • Tiwasing, W. and Sahachaisaeree, N. (2010) ‘Conflicting purchasers’ and users’ appeal toward a design goal determining children and parent’ purchasing decision: a case of toy packing design’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, pp. 1357–1361. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.07.287.
  • Zhang, D. (2014) ‘Color Versus Form: Which Matters More in Children’s Preferences of Package Design?’, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, pp. 1–14. doi: 10.1080/08961530.2018.1436482.
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