How to pull off a third moment of truth


More e-commerce and a greater focus on hygiene means people are dealing with more packaging to dispose of, sparking environmental concerns – an exclusive WARC Guide article shows how brands can help their customers to be greener and increase the chance of future purchase.

This is according to The importance of investing in sustainable packaging designs, by Ipsos’ Alex Baverstock and Ian Payne, part of the WARC Guide to effective packaging.

Packaging is an extremely important moment in the purchase journey, and as a result brands have invested heavily in the assets that make up the packaging, “to make them distinctive and instantly recognisable to potential customers so they are more likely to be selected in store”.

P&G famously refers to its importance as the ‘First Moment of Truth’: when the buyer chose your product over that of competitors. Basically, making any changes in this department carries significant risks.

But as attitudes shift, with awareness of individual environmental impact growing, people are discovering another moment of truth: after they have used the product, they must dispose of the packaging.

“Ipsos’ research for Earth Day 2020 showed that globally, ‘dealing with the amount of waste we generate’ is a top environmental concern for around one-third of people (32%), just behind ‘global warming/climate change’ and on a par with ‘air pollution’.”

Further research from Ipsos shows that ‘avoiding products that have a lot of packaging’ is one of the key actions that the majority of people (57%) say they are likely to do to limit their own contribution to climate change.

“If the finished packaging has a large number of components and materials, if it has a high use of plastic, and/or it is not obviously able to be recycled, this might well impact on whether that product will be purchased again.

“While this presents significant challenges for manufacturers and retailers, it also presents opportunity: there is much greater ‘permission’ to more radically reinvent packaging solutions, and the very act of doing so can prompt greater interaction between consumers and brands.”

This article first appeared in

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