Campbell’s Soup spent two years doing biometric studies of consumers’ reactions to gauge their physical responses to Campbell’s packaging. They monitored “skin moisture, heart rate, depth and pace of breathing, and posture.” Then they redesigned their labels to maximize emotional response.

Testing package design can be a dicey business because focus group researchers too often let consumer subjects play art director instead of paying attention to the way they’re affected by a particular design. But this biometric technique at least seems to monitor how consumers feel about what they’re buying (or not buying) instead of asking them to decide if a logo should be red or orange.

A really smart man (the designer/consultant Dave Goodman) once told me a story about the best way to test packaging. Let’s say you’re deciding between two concepts for a milk carton. You fill both cartons with the same milk. You pour the consumer a glass from each carton. And you ask her which one tastes fresher.

Now that’s great reasearch,

Here’s the whole Campbell’s article in the Wall Street Journal.