Adieu to the 10-sec test man

Prabuddha Dasgupta was an advocate of the "10-sec test". This is a concept he deployed to conduct a series of brand/product experiments during his days at Unilever. "It’s not a memory test, it’s about what registers in the minds of people," he used to say. Every packaging item gets only one shot to make a first impression, and less than 10 seconds to impress someone. 

02 Nov 2018 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Prabuddha Dasgupta (6 April 1952 to 30 October 2018)

He was a guest speaker at Indian Institute of Packaging and Manipal Institute of Technology. Plus an industry expert and packaging consultant. Whenever we met, he was hungry for "news". He wanted to know the latest information and happenings. Last time, when we met in Bengaluru in the EFI HQ, he said, "please share analytical articles on global and national trends. My brain cells need periodic reviews of the industry."

I asked him what was his mantra during the thirty years as a food packaging expert and as a group leader at HUL. He spoke about how the human brain processed images 60,000 times faster than it processed words. That’s why companies include a glyph or visual in their logo. Which is why, he trained everyone about colours. He felt, colour in a country like India plays a huge role in brand recognition. A signature colour can increase brand recognition by 80% (like the Parachute blue or Bank of Baroda orange).

His forte was packaging. He "picked up" printing by working on offset printed and gravure printing presses for a decade in various capacities. His strong points were: materials (his gyaan sessions about board, films, inks, adhesives is legendary) and design deficiency. 

He devoured consumer insights and loved to visit retail stores and bazaars to see how the packaging performed. He said, "India needs a revolution, whereby the packaging machine interface of printed packaging material is improved. For this, everything must be 100%. Be it: trouble-shooting, quality assurance, recycling and green packaging."

In the next five years, Dasgupta saw few key label issues that will confront product manufacturers. These are: reduction in label unit cost, use of thinner label stock, reduction in label material waste, and greater use of the sustainable material. He said, "The segment will also see implementation of anti-counterfeiting and temper-evident measures, and improved tracking of the supply chain."

His last words that I recall, "Our industry is great but we spend too little of our energy and time in ascertaining the views about printed packaging from a buyers perspective. We are busy inflicting our theories on them".

Adieu to the 10-sec test man.


EFI Advisory Council meet in Bengaluru

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