Marketing Aptitude: Packaging

Packaging is the technology of enclosing or protecting goods for distribution, storage, sale and use. Its main objective is to provide convenience in handling, ensure freshness and to prevent adulteration. It also refers to the process of designing, evaluating, and producing packages for goods. Packaging can also be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale and end use.  Many authors define the term ‘Packaging” in the following manner:

  • William J. Stanton: “Packaging may be defined as the general group of activities in product planning which involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.”
  • Vernon L. Fladager in his article “Packaging as a Marketing Tool” explains its importance in the following lines: “Under the modern marketing concept, in which all aspects of a business are correlated from a market point of view to enhance their ability to win profitable customers, packaging decisions almost always have complex ramifications. Any such decision may simultaneously affect production, distribution, research and development, sales, advertising, public relations, personnel, accounting and finance.”
  • Philip Kotler: “Packaging is an activity which is concerned with the production, economy, convenience and promotional considerations.”
  • Mason and Rath: “Packaging is the use of containers and wrapping material plus decoration and labelling to protect the product to help and promote its role and to make it convenient for the consumer to use the product.”

Functions of Packaging

The primary function of any package is to protect its contents in transit, in storage and in use. Some of the functions of packaging are as follows:

  • To assemble and arrange the contents in the desired form.
  • To protect the contents from production time to the final use.
  • To identify the contents, the brand and the marker.
  • To provide a suitable product mix including sizes, weights, prices, grades and packages.
  • To facilitate retailer’s functions, so that he can store and sell the goods easily.
  • To facilitate transporting, storing and warehouse handling.
  • To enable the display of contents on packages.
  • To encourage the customers for repurchases.
  • To help in complying with legal requirements.
  • To provide opportunity and space for advertising.

According to Philip Kotler, “Protection, Convenience and Economy were the three important traditional purposes attached to package.” These three traditional functions have been explained as under:

  • Protection: This is the basic function of packaging. Product need protection till it is finally consumed. Thus, packaging gives protection from various kinds of damage like moisture gain or loss, chemical change (e.g. metal corrosion), damage by mechanical handling, products (e.g. powder, oil, petroleum products die lost if remain exposed), Pilferage, contamination by dirt or dust ( g. clothing), insect attack ( e.g. moths in warn garments), etc.
  • Convenience: Packaging provides convenience in distribution and storage of goods by storage convenience in warehouse, shop or house. The properly packed goods require less space and easier in handling.
  • Economy: A good package of product brings various types of economies such as loss in quantity is prevented avoiding monetary loss, provides opportunities for reuse and creates opportunities to communicate with consumers.

Reasons for growth of Packaging

In the present scenario, promotional function is also the one of the function of packaging, which provides growth in the packaging sector. The factors responsible for giving promotional dimension to packaging are as follows:

  • Self-Service: The package itself is capable of performing many of the sales tasks. It attracts attention, describes the producer’s features, gives the consumer confidence and makes a favorable overall impression.
  • Consumer need: The consumer wants goods to be properly packed so that they can be easily carried, used and protected from spoilage. Thus, the prestige of a product is maintained with the help of proper packaging.
  • Company image: The good packaging is capable to project various qualities of the product and also create distinctive image of the company.
  • Integrated Marketing: In the present marketing situation, brand names occupy a dominant role in marketing. These are popularized through advertisement. Though, the reminding of brand names and making a brand acceptable to customers is achieved through proper packaging. Thus, packaging must support and reinforce the brand identity the company is seeking to build.
  • Innovation: Packaging is capable of bringing large scale gains to manufacturers through innovational efforts.

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