Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Part 1 of 3 

Memory may be responsible for driving more sales than you think. What do you want consumers to remember? 

By Dr. R. Andrew Hurley
Contributing Editor, Packaging World

Our brains employ two major working memory-processing systems that define how we act and react in life. The first system, the visuospatial sketchpad, records the visual stimuli that are all around us. This makes us aware there is an aisle with products and a POP display in front of us, so we don’t run into it. The phonological loop keeps in mind information that is not visual, things like numbers and information we want to be aware of, and repeats this information to keep it active in our working memory. These systems are important; they help us function throughout the day without running into walls, they keep us from forgetting things moment to moment, and they enable us to advance in our life and get things done.

But these systems do have limits. We can’t remember everything and keep all relevant information top of mind. When we become overtaxed with information, we mentally bail; when we are understimulated, we become bored and apathetic. And even if you’re a dedicated and trained shopper, retail is one of the most highly visually stimulating places I can think of. But, don’t fret; your packaging can make an impression as long as you know the rules of the memory game.