As a selling tool, packaging design is most effective when a marketer has identified a niche to claim or a specific consumer group to target. Though companies want to sell the most products to the largest number of consumers, defining an audience provides a clear focus for the marketing of the product and its packaging design. A clearly defined target market—one that defines consumers' values, preferences, lifestyles, and habits—provides a framework that helps determine design strategies and appropriate product communications.
Other considerations include the determination of which consumer base would benefit most from the product and who would be most receptive to it. Marketers use the answers to these and other questions as a means of devising packaging design, advertising, and all brand communication to attract the target consumer group. In the competitive retail arena, the packaging design must visually stimulate interest and affect a consumer's purchasing decision—all in the blink of an eye. The goal is for the packaging to have unique features that attract a specific audience (fig. 2.4).