Machine learning constantly improves based on experience. And just like machine learning, our technology and client solutions get better with age, too. The most recent additions to our popular AI Pack Screener include some new and improved tools and functionalities. They promise to produce more accurate results that are flexible to your brand’s needs, so you can have confidence in your packaging design decisions.
Fondly referred to as VIS-AI by us, this tool is an exciting new addition to the AI Pack Screener. It combines artificial intelligence with image recognition technology, which means we can reliably measure your products’ on-shelf visibility and monitor people’s pack viewing patterns.
You’ll probably be used to using eye tracking technology to record what people notice when they look at the shelf. We too continue to utilise eye tracking in our PRS IN VIVO research facilities, a technology we were the first to introduce to consumer research back in 1972.
But whilst eye tracking relies on consumers’ recruitment, VIS-AI now enables our measurement of your packaging’s visual impact to be more agile and suitable for an early stage design screening.
By leveraging a powerful algorithm - co-created with Queen Mary University London and which is exclusive to PRS IN VIVO - VISIBILITY-AI provides you with crucial KPIs that are consistent with PRS IN VIVO Eye Tracking. And it helps brands to maximise their share of attention on shelf and ensure a digestible pack design architecture.
How does an algorithm know which products people are likely to notice?
There’s a limit to how much information our brains can process. So the brain prioritises where it directs its attention based on several visual cues: orientation, color, texture, scale, and shape. Our algorithm predicts what consumers will notice based on these factors in your design.
You might wonder if this is as accurate as tracking people’s real-time viewing. So to compare the VISIBILITY-AI algorithm with eye tracking technology, we ran several parallel tests. And the results showed an extremely high correlation with eye tracking data.
We found our AI model had a 91% correlation for overall shelf viewing, and a 93% correlation for the test product visibility in the shelf context. This means that our AI model can actually be used as a proxy for eye tracking.
And it works for product pages on ecommerce websites just as well as it does in-store.
Product visibility is an important factor for any brand when launching a new product or new pack design. This predictive algorithm provides you with everything you already use with eye tracking - but without the need for consumer involvement.
2. VISCERAL SPRINT
One of our favorite parts of the AI Pack Screener is our expert panel that provides context to your raw data, and recommendations you can trust. But of course you want to know that your consumers will like your product, too. Enter the Visceral Sprint.
This is a fully automated add-on survey that quickly presents designs to consumers and captures shoppers’ visceral reactions. In other words, it captures their honest first impressions of your pack design.
When you add the Visceral Sprint to the AI Pack Screener, the survey is sent out to a handful of consumers. In this, they are presented with your new designs to assess via three exercises:
• Visceral packaging associations
This determines whether your designs intuitively convey the right message to the consumer. Shoppers are presented with the design, and they’re prompted to quickly respond using their keyboard arrows to assign attributes to that design. For example, hit the left arrow if you think it’s ‘modern’, and hit the right arrow if you think it’s ‘old-fashioned’.
• Areas of packaging appeal
This tells us which elements of your pack design are the most or least engaging. Consumers use their mouse to pinpoint the specific areas on your packaging that they like, or don’t like - so you know exactly what common areas to address.
• Flexible consumer probing
Not as invasive as it sounds, this is essentially a completely customisable open-ended question. It lets you explore mentions that are specific to your brand or product. For example, if you want to know whether your product comes across as natural and sustainable, you can hear consumers’ opinions in their own words.
An example of an open-ended question like this would be: What are your impressions of this product? What, if anything, is different about this product relative to others in its category?
The survey then populates automated reporting that provides you with consistent and actionable insights. And the best part? It’s quick, cost-efficient, and provides crucial insight for your decision-making process. Combine it with the insight you gain from our expert panel and you can hear every relevant perspective on your pack design. Which brings us onto our next addition...
3. EXPERT PANEL AUGMENTATION
Our PRS IN VIVO expert panel know what they’re talking about - but you don’t have to take our word for it. This is your brand, your product, and your pack design. And you might want the flexibility to choose whose feedback you value.
You can now choose if you want to construct your own expert panel by inviting outside experts. And to take some of the pressure off choosing, we have a few options available.
Firstly, our partners at Sign Salad are experts in semiotics. A semiotician's perspective can advise you on the visual language present in the signs within your packaging. A representative at Sign Salad can provide a cultural perspective that ensures your brand and product is correctly speaking to the culture it is embedded in.
‘We’ve been partnering with PRS for over 10 years across a range of packaging studies. The rigour they provide in understanding shopper behaviour; effective system 1 pack design and capturing the retail reality is the perfect complement to our robust cultural and semiotic analyses to maximise the impact of their visual design.’ - Dr. Alex Gordon, CEO, Sign Salad
Secondly, you can choose from a range of professional designers to advise on your packaging. Not only do you get an expert opinion from those closest to the craft, but they can then action any suggested design changes by mocking up their ideas, so you can see visual recommendations.
Many of our clients are already enjoying the powerful results that multiple perspectives and flexible solutions provide. If you want to find out what the AI Pack Screener can do for you too, get in touch.