Call-to-action is the terminology we use in marketing when we have such an appealing verbal or visual communication that the consumer actually buys the product.
A simple information such as a price or the word ‘New’ is not enough nowadays as the offer is so wide and the difference between good products so minute.
Consumers understand far better what is different than what is better (as for instance a soup that should taste better or a detergent which is supposed to wash whiter).
I will deal with visual call-to-action in a coming article. This one will deal with the verbal side, be it on packaging or in POS material.
As most design agencies are rather weak on the verbal side and as the clients are not much better, we do not see many excellent call-to-action messages in today’s supermarket.
It is not enough to just find the right words, it is also a matter of making them stand out to achieve maximal effect.
The attentive reader of www.packagingsense.com may have noticed that one of my favourite pack designs is the Maggi Aroma bottle with the original design from the year 1886. I should like to draw the reader’s attention to the front label that starts with a real call-to-action, i.e. “Für jede Küche” (for every kitchen), the word Küche meaning here both meal and kitchen.
In order to increase sales of an industrial product we can either
• find new consumers and/or
• increase the consumption with those consumers already using the product.
To demonstrate this latter point, I have chosen the latest version of the Apéricubes from La vache qui rit. On top, as well as on the side, there is a powerful call-to-action: “y’a Match!” (“there is a Match”), so you buy a pack for an up-coming match. Incidentally, that’s the moment this kind of product is mostly consumed.
Two examples of simple surprising/convincing texts on product trays are the Finnish energy drink Battery’s “keeps you going” and the French Michel & Augustin (a highly creative company) that says “Attention, très très bon!” (watch out, very very good!) on their Petits carrés biscuits tray.
The question each designer and/or brand manager should ask when developing a call-to-action text is “do I just inform” (which has little selling power) or do I communicate, i.e. involve the consumer with a text that makes him or her read and hopefully act, thus buying the product!
There is so much still to be done in this area that the creative person has a fascinating future!