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Christmas packaging: brand is more important than design

Product packaging can influence the buying decision process. Does Christmas packaging really help to increase sales?


The Department of Packaging in Cracow University of Economics conducted a study on seasonal packaging linked to particular periods of the year, specifically Christmas time. The main purpose of the research was analysing the consumers’ unconscious choices in front of similar products from different brands and with different packs.


In the field of marketing, packaging is how to wrap a product according to customer expectations, desires and needs.

Often it happens that the consumer transfers the image of the package to the product and the brand.

Since 2012 we have witnessed a growth of seasonal packaging, associated with the festivity. Large companies, such as Starbucks and Coca Cola, began to take this opportunity to establish a connection with their consumers.

This research involved the participation of 300 subjects (60% women and 40% men) observed during the purchase of chocolates for Christmas shopping.


In order to measure preferences and distribution of the visual attention of consumers two tools were employed: a questionnaire and the Eye Tracker.

Through the questionnaire, the partecipants rated price, packaging and brand on a scale from "acceptable" to "not acceptable", according to their expectations. 

By means of the Eye Tracker Tobii X2-60, extensively used in Neuromarketing, the researchers measured the partecipants’ eye movements. In order to identify which elements captured their attention, the subjects were placed in front of a shelf while their reaction was being measured. 


The questionnaires’ results reported a positive behaviour towards the standard / traditional packaging compared to Christmas packaging. In particular, over 61% of women and about 77% of men evaluated the traditional packaging "highly acceptable".

Another interesting evidence, detected thanks to the questionnaires, refers to the shape of the pack: women are more attracted to packages that have particular / unusual shapes than men.

According to the consumers, the most important characteristics were the following:

  • The material
  • The size
  • The weight

Regarding colour, a preference for typical Christmas colours emerged: white with gold, white with red shades, red and green with gold.

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Consumers considered most important two elements: logo and product information.

The Eye Tracker’s results showed that seasonal graphic elements (related to Christmas) did not generate much attention.
Among all the tested brands, “Merci” with the standard packaging (without seasonal elements) was the one that captured the highest level of attention.

Moreover, smaller packs (even if strongly related to the Christmas theme) were not noticed by the participants.

According to the results brand recognition and brand loyalty turned out to make the difference, in combination with buying habits.


The integration of eye tracking data and questionnaire data showed a significant preference for simple and traditional packs on the majoriry of participants.

Specifically, consumers prefer larger and more transparent packaging, possibly with seasonal graphic elements presented in an essential way.

The advice is to take advantage of marketing opportunities remaining focused on key aspects, specifically brand recognition, which remains the most important aspect anyway.
Indeed the packaging must convey the image of the brand, before that of anniversaries or festivities.

The use of themed packaging can represent a benefit if one doesn’t lose sight of the product’s identity and of the brand.  



BrainSigns at Focus Live- "The machines that read us inside"

BrainSigns' scientific director Fabio Babiloni, during his speech at Focus Live, talked about the fact that people often act in discordance with their rational mind.

Prof. Babiloni started by highlighting how the internal "conflicts", during our decision-making, are as old as the oldest testimonies we have in writing. In fact, we can find testimony of contradictory moods already in the Iliad and the Odyssey, when talking about the heroes’ characters.

To date, more or less 4 millenniums later (which are a blink of an eye from the evolutionary point of view), our brain, as an "hardware", has more or less remained similar to that of Ulysses and his fellows.

During the conference, by using a model of brain on a natural scale,  BrainSigns’ CSO also explained the structure of the subcortical area, responsible for several motor and decisional mechanism in our daily lives, and the relationships that this area has with the cerebral cortex.

Subsequently, Prof. Fabio Babiloni described why it is necessary to measure the cerebral and emotional activity of people during the purchasing processes and which are the "machines" that can do this. In fact, many of the subcortical structures that take decisions, "do not speak": namely they do not have access to the cortex that coordinates our speeches, and therefore cannot give "answers" to questions about the motivation of our choices. These machines are becoming less and less invasive and increasingly wearable.

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Prof. Babiloni has described some applications of these non-invasive "readings" of brain activity during consumption stimuli, reporting for instance the cases of measurement of brain activity during the testing of the TIM logo or during the evaluation of commercial ads.

The conference, in front of a very attentive audience, ended by discussing how this "reading" of our mental states can improve the use of services, not only for consumption but also in the transport field, in the near future.



CERTAMENTE 2019- Inspiring Neuromarketing Day

CERTAMENTE 2019, the first Italian Neuromarketing conference, addressed at the world of business and communication, in 2019 has come to the 4th edition.

CERTAMENTE is an event organized by BrainSigns, a spin-off of “Sapienza” University of Rome, leader in the neuromarketing techniques and their applications, together with the communication agency based in Turin, Ottosunove.

CERTAMENTE will take place on 14th of February, 2019 at the Unicredit Tower Hall in Milan: the event has a new One-Day formula with an agenda full of innovative contents.

The agenda includes two plenary sessions, three thematic sessions (Brand Power, Product Power, Retail Power) and a closing panel.

The event will provide the participation of experts in several fields: neuroscience, marketing and communication. Numerous companies will also be present.

The participants of the last edition of CERTAMENTE were very enthusiastic, the feedbacks collected were very positive.

Through a survey that we carried out immediately after the closure of CERTAMENTE 2018, it was possible to find that the majority of people found the contents interesting and useful, especially thanks to the interventions of managers, teachers and scholars of the field. In addition, the presentation of concrete case histories was much appreciated.

CERTAMENTE 2018 won the special prize for the best low budget event at the BEA, Best Event Awards, as well as the second prize in the Educational/Training category.

CERTAMENTE will therefore be a unique opportunity to better understand how to strengthen your business through Neuromarketing, an innovative discipline that is growing worldwide.

What are you waiting for to sign up?


BIG DATA TECH 2018 Data for human - Appointment in Milan on 25 October

The 2018 edition of the Big Data Tech was in Milan on October 25 th. 

The event organized by Bnova, now in its fifth edition, is one of the most important events about the latest news in the field of Big Data and Data driven strategy.

In the agenda, you found included a speech by Prof. Fabio Babiloni, scientific director of BrainSigns, titled "Cognitive Neuroscience and Big Data: a possible marriage".

Big data, a huge amount of information now available in every company, is a crucial resource. Strategies based on information derived from Big data have a great impact. Big data, in fact, are capable, if well analyzed, to provide more information expected, with a great impact on business processes and on human behavior patterns.

The relationship big data and neuroscience, can therefore be increasingly useful for the interpretation of customer behavior and in-company processes. As we know, people have difficulty in accessing their inner states. In order to understand effectively the reasons behind the customer behaviour, it is not enough to measure the behaviour and hear opinions, but it is also necessary to take account of the most common emotional and cognitive processes involved. The connection between the science of big data and neuroscience represents a significant turning point in understanding why some behavioural phenomena happen and how they take place.

At the Big Data Tech event there was also space for the subject of “AI, Big Data and Man”: starting from the idea that a good, reliable and fluid collaboration between men and machine is fundamental. The future objective of the Industry 4.0 is that one to develop an effective synergy between man and machine, allowing man to focus on high-value tasks and leaving the machines to manage repetitive and supporting tasks.

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