It is pretty clear that the design of the carton is not going to change the flavor of the egg. Whether we use red tin or yellow tin, or no tin at all, does not change the flavor profile of the wine. Except, of course, it does.
It does because people cannot judge the eggs or wine until it is consumed, but they can judge the packaging in the store. And if they choose someone else’s product, you never get a chance. Comedian Jim Gaffigan brilliantly stated that packaging was the clothing of food, “Oh, what are you wearing there, cookie?” and “Candy, let me help you with that wrapper. Let’s get you a little more comfortable…” Branching off of his earlier points on food packaging, Gaffigan addresses the connotations of generic cereal. “It comes in a plastic bag, like it is homeless,” he quips before adding, “We should get you a box to live in. Living in a bag on the bottom shelf, that ain’t right.”
The placebo effect creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s why it is so important to understand the worldview of the person you seek to influence, to connect with, to intrigue. And why the stories we produce matter so much more than we imagine. Whether it is efficient or not, regardless of how riveting the story could be, packaging is the front cover. Until we come up with a better way to communicate what we have done, prepare to be judged in advance.