Packaging is vital to a product's commercial success. For example, the maker of a popular drink introduced a "new, im...

Kath on September 28, 2019

Meaning of the stimulus

Does the stimulus mean changing the content of the product is not sufficient to improve sale unless the package is also changed? I don't understand the expectation in the answer choice D. Could you explain it to me? Thank you!

3 Replies

Irina on September 29, 2019


The stimulus tells us that packaging is vital to commercial success. Even thought the company improved their product, the packaging remained almost the same, thus the customers expected a new version to be similar to the old one. This is an awkward phrasing, but in saying that "..made consumers expect that the new product would share certain features of the old, an expectation not satisfied by the new product," the argument simply means that customers expected a new product to taste stimulate to the old one because of almost identical packaging, when in reality a new product was quite different from an old one. The stimulus thus argues that poor performance is explained by the packaging creating certain consumer expectations (consumers think it is no different than the old version) that are not reflective of the true nature of the product. The correct answer choice (D) makes a proper inference from the facts in the stimulus stating that to succeed, a packaging should not create expectations/ should not lead customers to believe that a product possesses certain characteristics when it does not.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Kath on September 29, 2019

@Irina Great explanation! Just to clarify, the customer expects from the package which is the same as the old one that content of the new product is the same as the old product, while actually, the new product tastes different. Thus, the new product does not meet the customer's expectation, which leads to the bad sale. Is it right?

Irina on September 30, 2019


You got it!