The Big Picture launches DesignCounts


Digital quant pack test using behavioural principles to make design work harder

Specialist design research agency The Big Picture has launched DesignCounts, an innovative quant methodology to validate and optimise new pack designs. The solution is rooted in the same principles that established The Big Picture as a global authority in qual design research. With this market-leading pack verification tool, DesignCounts now gives brand and insight teams a clearer picture of how new packaging will perform in reality, ensuring greater confidence to make critical decisions for launch.

Rather than relying on generic norms or assessing new designs in a vacuum solely against the current pack, DesignCounts uses advanced software and survey design to add multiple competitor benchmarks to every study. This enables brand teams to assess KPIs against their real market context, providing a robust foundation for strategic decision-making.

Lucia Guareschi, Research Manager at Barilla says: “We trust the team at The Big Picture to deliver great research every time with DesignCounts. Their understanding of design means we get penetrating insights, accompanied by clear and well-informed recommendations which always focus on the impact of the different design routes, meaning we can action their suggestions confidently.”

Behavioural Economics and Gamification techniques

Core to this approach is PatternID – the agency’s proprietary tool to assess saliency at shelf, developed with leading Behavioural Economist Nick Southgate. Consumers are challenged to use their pattern recognition skills to assess which designs have the best standout on-shelf.

DesignCounts also uses a range of gamification techniques to help replicate the system 1 decision-making of real life, guaranteeing insights that span both the immediate impressions communicated at shelf, as well as the more considered messages consumers consciously engage with on pack.

The ‘best practice’ approach includes additional qual interviews to further explore design communication with consumers, providing rich insight that has been a particular hit with clients. Fusing qual and quant narratives into an integrated story has facilitated faster, better-informed decision-making for clients in the face of strategic challenges.

Jo Soanes, Senior Insight Manager at Britvic says: “The blend of implicit and explicit questions in DesignCounts really made us consider different aspects of how the packs were viewed by shoppers. In particular, the difference between how the design works when quickly glanced on-shelf, versus the more considered view when ‘in the hand’. This balanced view was essential for giving us a full understanding of our proposed new design and guidance on how to progress.”

Laura Pereira, Head of Quant Research at The Big Picture says: “We have seen a fantastic reponse to DesignCounts from our clients over the last year, so much so that we are continually growing our team to meet demand, and are very excited to see the ongoing positive impact this approach has on our clients’ brands.”

Get in touch if you’d like to hear more about DesignCounts, or if you think you have a brief that is well suited to this approach.