Package to sell
A lot of research has been conducted by scholars of buyer behaviour on the appearance of products and their impact on buyers; and it has been proved time and again that the appearance matters a lot. Good packaging can be influential in the decision to purchase a product. The appearance of product is the first step in the purchasing process. Careful design of packaging, including aesthetics, colour schemes, shape and form, often leads to a desire to learn more about the product inside. The choice of a culturally acceptable colour scheme that targets potential customers is also an important aspect of packaging. Aesthetics of designing in packaging is generating lot of importance in marketing. Marketers use packaging designs and aesthetics to differentiate their products. Coca-Cola developed an innovative way to embellish its sponsorship of the Olympic Games by leveraging on packaging; specially designed cans and bottles of Coca-Cola gave the company a window to tie the brand’s identity together with the ideals of wholesomeness and the positive aura of the Summer Olympic Games in August 2008 in Beijing, China.
Another brand, Evian has an extremely loyal consumer base. The bottled-water brand positions itself as the first mineral water from the French Alps, a place suggestive of all things clean and pure. Evian was the first one to package water in plastic bottles (1969) and it instantly clicked; customers to buy the bottle and use it flexibly. The brand’s packaging graphics prominently feature the Alps; along with text reinforcing the purity message has outstood the brand for decades. It is rated one among the world’s top 25 brands. That’s what packaging does; it has the fortitude of both making of brand and breaking of brand.
Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also involves the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transportation, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells.
In pharma business, packaging matters mostly. “In the pharma industry packaging does constitute a significant part of the cost and to that extent makes a major difference. However, there is a renewed focus seen in the industry and people are looking for optimum solutions,” comments Debdeep Bhattacharya, Director, Ess Dee Aluminum. For many years pharma companies were making efforts to save costs in packaging, but with the changes in market scenario in pharma business, companies are looking forward to changing their packaging philosophies by making optimum usage of packaging which of course augments the value of the product. Pharma marketers have realized that compromising on the packaging costs is not going to lead them further. Various sensory characteristics such as color, taste, shape, texture either in isolation or in combination with each other cause array of sensory experiences which range from repulsive to extremely invigorating. Also, human beings, belonging to different age groups, different religions and socio-cultural backgrounds and different genders, perceive and respond to these experiences in different ways.
Packaging becomes the most important technique of delivering the goods, and its cost represents the significantly total cost of the product. Packaging conveys utilities which the marketers want to communicate to attract the consumers. Marketers through packaging send out important information about the product, price, manufacturer and the consumption precautions; if shabbily designed packaging harms the product’s future and affects the life cycle.
Glaxo Smith Kline’s famous brand Boost the health food drink is a leading brand of HFD in India which bags about 23% of the market share. The brand owes its success to its shrink sleeve packaging style. Boost’s packaging style and design won it the famous ‘World Star Award’ in 1999. The product is packed in sporty, convenient plastic bottle structure with attractive graphics. Brand connectivity becomes very easy because of product packaging and design. The product can be easily distinguished on the shelves due to its dazzling design.
Johnson & Johnson established in 1886, a company which is well-known for its ethical practices, has some winner brands which have created solid platform of the company’s product portfolio. The company’s brands are still going strong in the market because of its innovative approach to redefining the image of certain products through marketing drives that are closely integrated with packaging and product design. Band-Aid was created nearly 90 years ago; its Baby Powder has been sold for well over a century. The more recent but well established painkiller, Tylenol, was launched as a consumer product in 1960. These brands have maintained a youthful look by using packaging array of designs and aesthetics for ages.
A recent study proved that consumers who are more aware on environmental issues are three times more prone to support their purchasing decisions on a company’s or brands environmental and social track record. The study further points out that the well-informed and socially conscious consumers are also twice as likely to say it’s worth paying more for products and their packages which are environment-friendly. Packaging can be used as a vehicle to teach consumers about environmental issues and eco-friendly packaging materials and sourcing, an important step in gaining and reinforcing consumer trust and loyalty. Terms like recyclable, biodegradable, and recycled content have greater influence on customers. However, newer, more expressive sustainability claims and third-party certifications has increasingly become more important in packaging aesthetics. The packaging should be manufactured from the right materials, ensuring that the product inside is not damaged.
Sudafed is one of the leading brands of Pfizer, Australia. It is a double action congestion & sinus pain reliefproduct. Recently Pfizer to convey its quality packaging leadership went in for direct metallising process which is biodegradable, making it more recyclable than traditional film or foil laminated packs. The new packaging process also completely eliminates VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) for a very positive environmental outcome all round. Pfizer not only used the metalizing packaging for giving a new aesthetic look to Sudafed but also showed the world its thoughtfulness in environmental friendliness by doing so.
Several marketing practitioners have opined that packaging plays a better role than advertising does because it can set a brand apart from its competitors. It promotes and strengthens the purchase decision not only at the point of purchase, but also every time the product is used. A well designed and planned packaging using good colour combination with graphics, typography can influence the customer’s perceived value of a product instantly. Logos and symbols are often applied to packaging, especially by companies that regard their products as a ‘brand’. Branded products often have an advantage over non-branded products.
P&G’s innovative approach in maintaining a supple and elastic marketing mix is most admired. The company is famous for using artistic and a flexible packaging for their brands. P & G is very innovative in their packaging of brands. Their Olay product line is getting bigger day by day. The packaging impact is supported of course by the company’s trendy advertisements. This product of P &G showcases the company’s packaging philosophy, which stresses a balance of design aesthetics, functionality and cost effectiveness. Packages for Olay Quench Body Lotion, a product introduced in North America in early 2005, include a trottle and a pump-dispenser bottle. All the packages feature an exclusive sloped shoulder the bottle with periwinkle color. The Olay Quench package design is very distinctive, but it also uses available technology which has helped in pricing the product effectively.
This is how, packaging helps in brand positioning. Effective packaging communicates why to buy the product. It also communicates the usability of the product, while creating a shelf impact; it punctuates the brand’s value statement. It conveys what problem the product is going to solve. A well designed package fits into place instantly when it is picked up, since the feel of the package is the first experience of the product with the customer. The structural design of the package is certainly accountable for the first critical introduction of a product. Packaging optimizes the experience of a product if it is used intelligently by the marketers to enhance the marketing mix.
Companies do not exist in vacuum. They are responsible for the social well being. The customers today expect and perceive brand value beyond consumption. Packaging thus plays the role of silent salesman to sustain and strengthen brand’s credibility.