Designing Better Packaging with Voice of Customer (VOC) Research

Client Name: PSF

Project Type: Voice of Customer (VOC) Research, Brand Messaging

Project Duration: 1.5 months

With the launch of its latest 2-in-1 headlamp, PSF wanted to redesign its packaging to appeal to buyers and give them an alternative to the “old” way of illumination. (e.g., holding a flashlight in your hands or between your teeth)

To do this, they had to understand who their customers were and why they bought specific headlamps and flashlights.

This is where things stood before starting the VOC research:

  • Products were sold online and in retail stores
  • PSF didn’t get much traction from in-store sales
  • Market research was minimal
  • The current packaging was confusing and unclear

To remedy this and add clarity to PSF’s product packaging, they wanted to break out the project into two phases:

  • Phase 1: Voice of Customer research and messaging exploration
  • Phase 2: Packaging copywriting

A separate design agency contracted me to work on both phases of this project and present my findings.

Research methods to answer the big question

PSF wanted to answer this question:

“How can our packaging speak to the exact value [we] bring and the challenges it solves that our competitors do not?”

My approach was to conduct VOC research to get into the minds of potential customers through:

  • social listening
  • review mining and;
  • analyzing interviews conducted by a partner agency

These were places where people spoke openly about their challenges with flashlights and headlamps, how they used them, and the ideal features they wanted.

What the research revealed

The people who purchased headlamps and flashlights were as diverse as their use cases. However, three groups emerged based on the VOC research:

  • DIYers
  • Pro Technicians
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts

While there was some overlap between these groups, the differences were very apparent. It was important to highlight what they cared about and how they had been disappointed by similar products in the past.

For each audience, the degree of this frustration varied, ranging from general annoyance with poorly made flashlights to pouring money into expensive headlamps that broke shortly after purchase.

Presenting the findings

The final presentation included all the Voice of Customer insights gathered, a competitive analysis, and messaging recommendations. Each customer category was punctuated with quotes so the PSF team could have greater context for the VOC data.

Based on the research, PSF’s packaging needed to prove six things to buyers before they felt comfortable purchasing their products over more established brands.

After reviewing the research findings, PSF decided to proceed with Phase 2 of this project, during which I used the insights from the case study to write copy for the new packaging design.