Influencing Consumers’ Perception of your Big-Ticket Item: How your product can visually communicate quality

When people shop for equipment like washing machines, refrigerators, lawn mowers, and other major purchases, quality is one of their main priorities. Who wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on something that is going to stop working in a couple of years?

Manufacturers of these big-ticket items do everything they can to convey the quality of their products. From structural design to packaging and showcasing, experts do everything possible to convey durability, reliability, and, of course, quality to the consumer.

This is important because the manufacturer can’t be at the store to physically talk to the consumer about the product. In fact, often times a sales person can’t be there, either. The image of quality falls mostly on the appearance and presentation of your product on the sales floor.

While much of a product’s appearance relies on design choices made before the product is built, there are also ways to communicate quality once the product is on display.

How the Product Communicates with the Consumer
According to a number of studies (including, “How Consumers Perceive Product Appearance: 
The Identification of Three Product Appearance Attributes” by Janneke Blijlevens, Marielle E. H. Creusen, and Jan P. L. Schoormans in International Journal of Design), four types of information are communicated through appearance:

  • Aesthetic
  • Symbolic
  • Functional
  • Ergonomic

All of them have an impact on how a person perceives the quality of a product.

Aesthetic
This is one of the more obvious attributes. We know that if a product looks like garbage, no one will buy it, and this is especially true for an expensive item. Products that look clean and distinctive from other products aesthetically convey a lot of quality. A distinctive look will vary by product. In some cases, like with a washing machine, a modern look will resonate with quality. With some furniture, though, a person may prefer  it looks like it stood the test of time.

The difficulty with aesthetics is that so much of it depends on personal preferences. Color is a great example of this. Some people may value a black refrigerator more highly than a stainless steel, and vice versa.

Manufacturers may not have much control over how products look on the floor, but retailers benefit just as much by keeping equipment and machines clean, and adjacent areas decluttered. If models come in more than one color, try to display at least two popular ones.

Pay attention to the price tags, too. Stickers can look sloppy and start to peel. Hanging tags should be kept clean and visible.

Symbolic
This kind of information has to do with brand name, brand image, price, and the like. Other than making your brand name clearly visible, there isn’t a lot you can do at this level.

One suggestion to bring more visibility to your brand name is to utilize the price tag. Some big items have vinyl holders for tags; embossing your brand name on the vinyl can bring both symbolic and aesthetic significance.

Functional
What is this product able to do? What is the load capacity of the washing machine? How many miles to the gallon does that car get? How durable is it? Will this product do everything I need and things I didn’t even think I needed?  Highlight how functional your product is on any literature the consumer can easily see. You could showcase an especially attractive feature with a static sticker so browsers know right away how you stand out.

Ergonomic
How easy is your product to use? Are all the controls clearly labeled and easy to manipulate? How effortless is it to turn on? Displaying the product so consumers can touch and clearly see its ergonomic value will help relay its quality.

Ergonomic qualities can also be expressed via QR codes. Linking to a short video to show ergonomic and functional characteristics can really engage the consumer, especially when a salesperson isn’t available. While it’s common to find a QR code on a box, how many are located on a display? QR codes can be placed on a product with a static sticker, listed on the price tag, or placed on a sticker on a tag holder.

Speaking of QR codes, if you link them to product reviews or testimonials, you’re tapping into one of the most popular ways that consumers make buying decisions.

Overall, a book is judged by its cover when it comes to big-ticket items. Quality is one of the main determining factors for people buying big. By leveraging not just design techniques, but also showroom tweaks, you can drive the appeal of your product for the quality-conscientious buyer.

Thinking about the embossed price tag sleeve?  Vinyl Art creates custom products for nearly every vinyl application. We can make price tag holders with or without embossing. We are known for our capacity to do a custom job when our competitors can’t. Call (800-569-1304) or email us (sales@vinylart.com) to discuss your needs. Our experts would be proud to take care of you today.