New packaging shines in final hurdle--consumer testing (sidebar)

With a new package design ready to roll out, General Electric took a final step that some marketers overlook. It tested the design on consumers.

GE built a simulated store shelf set at its Cleveland offices, plotting its products alongside competitors. It invited about 100 consumers to view the new packaging and retail display system. The results:

• Consumers assigned a “very high” rating to the value of key communication components on the packaging.

• 88% found the system easy to shop.

• 78% expressed satisfaction with he amount of information provided.

• 77% said the packaging makes it easy for them to find the product they want.

• 76% said the packaging makes GE’s product line more organized.

• 70% approved of the variety of products offered.

Robert Stuart, general manager of consumer lighting for GE Consumer & Industrial, wouldn’t discuss sales figures but says the new packaging has been “positively received” by consumers.

GE began introducing the new packaging in retail stores in the first quarter of 2004 and expects to change all of its SKUs by early 2005.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: Consumers help GE see the light

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