Development And Functions Of Package In The Marketing Of Consumers Products
The purpose of this study is to examine the development and functions of packaging in the marketing of consumer products. A questionnaire was distributed to 200 staff of Cadbury Nigeria plc. and 133 questionnaires were returned by the researcher. The research results show that packaging plays an important role in the life of a product; its function and development assist in marketing of the product to the consumer. It also helps in communicating product benefits to the customer. This research work suggests that, unless research acknowledges the important role of packaging within the value chain, it shortchanges packaging’s contribution to profitable consumer-brand relationships and marketing functions of consumer goods. The researcher recommends that Manufacturing firms should periodically evaluate how consumers respond to their product packaging so as to enhance the competitiveness of their products in the market.
1.1 Background of the Study
The concept of packaging describes the overall presentation of a product or services to the consumers and the manufacturers respectively in a form that will protect, preserve, promote, measure and describe the content of the pack. Packaging is the first contact a consumer has with the product, so it is therefore of prime importance that materials are utilized to achieve the basic function of packaging. This study will investigate how companies determine its packaging process and also focus on the reaction of consumers towards packaging, and know what motivate them most in a product. Today, manufacturers and markets have come to the conclusion that the packaging of product needs to be efficiently and effectively conducted so as to generally accept. It is therefore not surprising, the extent to which manufacturers go in ensuring that they appeal to the consumers taste. The essay will go on to know how new product packaging systems are developed. It will enable us to know the importance of both the consumers and the manufacturers. In addition, it will also look at the techniques used by manufacturers in order to see the best standard. However, packaging can also play a major or minor role in the marketing of a product, which is why various markets have called for the inclusion of packaging among the 4 Ps of marketing. More marketers however, treat packaging as an element of product strategy.
According to Rundh (2005:672) package attracts consumer’s attention to particular brand, enhances its image, and influences consumer’s perceptions about product. Also package imparts unique value to products and works as a tool for differentiation, i.e. helps consumers to choose the product from wide range of similar products, stimulates customers buying behavior. Wells, Farley & Armstrong, (2007:680) opined that package performs an important role in marketing communications and could be treated as one of the most important tools of promotion. The primary function of packaging is to protect the product against potential damage while transporting, storing, selling and exploiting a product and to ensure the convenience during performance of these activities. Grundvag&Ostil, (2009:220) indicates the importance of packaging in the case of grocery, when consumers buy unbranded products. Seeing that most consumers tend to touch products before purchasing, they treat product packaging as a tool for protecting consumers from contamination, for allowing them to touch products without restraint, without need to avoid smudging their hands.
They propose to use packaging with a “window”, in order to allow consumers to evaluate product by its appearance at the same time reducing “consumer uncertainty regarding quality by branding the product and labeling it” i.e. to communicate to consumer adequate message about product. It could be stating that in length of time a function of identification and communication became of vital importance especially for consumer products in the group of convenience goods. Packaging as a tool for communication was investigated by Gonzalez et al., (2007:63) Taking into consideration that impulsive buying is proper to many consumers it could be maintained that “packaging may be the only communication between a product and the final consumer in the store”. Consequently the role of package in marketing communications increases: it must attract consumer’s attention and transmit adequate value of product to consumer in the short period right in the place of sale.Packaging can serve an important role in the product consumption experience, but consumer product companies and researchers often focus on packaging’s impact on product promotions, distribution and a range of pre-consumption and cost-based functions. Marketing and packaging literature often stratify the two disciplines in a way that may not accurately reflect the consumer experience. This marketing/packaging dichotomy isolates marketers and design/engineering decisionmakers and may have long-term negative impact on consumer-brand relationships. Packaging research often falls under two categories, each in conceptually isolated disciplines. Industrial technology research, often published in packaging-specific journals tends to focus on how physical package characteristics affect distribution efficiency shrinkage i.e., product theft cost of materials and usage. Azzi et al. propose a package design research framework that assigns consumer experience considerations a relatively minor role as compared to ergonomics, logistics, safety, sustainability and communication. Similarly, marketing-oriented packaging research emphasizes the promotional aspects of packaging, typically focusing on shelf appeal and label design.Packaging and packaging design have become significant factors in the marketing of diverse “consumer goods” and have a main role in communicating product benefits to the customer. Czinkota&Ronkainen (2007) deem that product packaging is connected to other variables in the marketing mix (Rundh 2009, p. 988). Cateora&Ghauri (2000) say that these variables are within the control of the company and they help to adapt to the changes in the business environment (Rundh 2009, p. 988). According to Packaging Federation (2004 a,b), these changes occur in different areas: new technology, materials development, logistics requirements, environmental issues, consumer preferences; all are the key factors for making decisions on marketing strategy (Rundh 2009, p. 988).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Consumer preferences and consumer buying behavior are the major issues that should be taken into account when designing a new package. In spite of factors such as new technology or material development, consumer’s choices and desires are the important elements that drive the marketing process. Consumers are the key actors in planning and implementing packages.Despite the increasing popularity of packaging in the promotion of goods and services, one cannot but agree that there are areas of problems which need to be studied. Though some business organizations are now using packaging to promote their wares yet many business organization in Nigeria concentrate their marketing effort on the traditional elements in the marketing mix in the performance of their Ó marketing activities. The rate at which wares or products are being advertised, one may be forced to ask questions bothering on the use of packaging. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the development and functions of packaging in the marketing of consumer product
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the essay is to examine the development and functions of packaging in the marketing of consumer products.
Other specific objectives include:
- To examine how consumers react to the packaging of products in the market.
- To find out the actual function of packaging in the life of a product to the consumers.
- To examine the effect of packaging in the process of marketing the consumer products.
- To prepare recommendations and suggestions for the improvement of packaging in different companies.
1.3 Research Hypotheses
To aid the completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
- H0: packaging of product in the market does not influence consumer’s choice of product.
H1: packaging of product in the market does influence consumer’s choice of product.
- H02: packaging does not have any importance in the life of the product to the consumer
H2: packaging does have importance in the life of the product to the consumer.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This essay will be of significance to the following:
It will enable various organizations to identify certain weaknesses and also reveal corresponding strengths involved in the process of packaging which may assist companies improve the quality of their packaging in order to derive the best result for packaging their products. It will also guide the companies on how to increase their productivity through proper packaging of products and how problems relating to packaging may be apprehended and arrested so that other organizations, companies and firms may view, emulate and also make provision for similar contingencies that may arise in future.
This essay will also expose individuals to the importance and relevance of packaging in the life of a product.
The essay will equally serve as a reference tool for further researches.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
Packaging plays an integral part in the life of a product; its function and development assist in the marketing of a product to the consumers.
In view of this, the essay focuses on the development and function of packaging in the marketing of consumers’ products.
However, the following are some of the limitations of the essay:
i) Time Constraints:
The essay should have covered a wider scope than the aforementioned scope but due to time constraints, it was limited to the areas mentioned.
ii) Insufficient Fund:
Money plays a vital role in carrying out research work of this nature, so due to poor finance, the researcher was constrained in undertaking an elaborate research.
iii) Inadequate Materials:
The poor supply of substantial and adequate materials needed in carrying out a more detailed research work was another factor that has limited scope of the essay.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Packaging is the technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use.Packaging also refers to the process of designing, evaluating, and producing packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use.
In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. In retailing, products are called merchandise. In manufacturing, products are bought as raw materials and sold as finished goods.
The consumer is the one who pays something to consume goods and services produced. As such, consumers play a vital role in the economic system of a nation. Without consumer demand, producers would lack one of the key motivations to produce: to sell to consumers. The consumer also forms part of the chain of distribution.Recently in marketing instead of marketers generating broad demographic profiles and Fisio-graphic profiles of market segments, marketers have started to engage in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization.
Marketing is a form of communication between you and your customers with the goal of selling your product or service to them. Communicating the value of your product or service is a key aspect of marketing.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.
- Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
- Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was on development and functions of package in the marketing of consumer product.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of packaging in the marketing of consumer product.
The primary contribution of this study is the implication that, unless research acknowledges the important role of packaging in the value chain it shortchanges packaging’s contribution to profitable consumer-brand relationships and marketing functions of consumer goods. As a result, expansion of research into the consumption characteristics of packaging toward identification of specific package quality consumption cues across product categories and by package function. For instance, in the frozen food category the container is often integral to food preparation, suggesting that food safety perceptions and the efficacy (traits indicated by brand trust) of the container in food preparation is important to satisfaction and preference. Also, this data suggest that marketing and packaging research collaboration will result in a more robust understanding of the impact of physical package characteristics on attitudinal and relational outcomes.
Since packaging is a dynamic force and the flag bearer of branded products in our society, influencing consumer buying behavior, manufacturing firms should see it as a competitive tool and not toil with it because it projects the good image, brand and quality of a product while serving as a live wire to sales volume and product protection.
Based on the findings of this research work, the researcher recommends that Manufacturing firms should periodically evaluate how consumers respond to their product packaging so as to enhance the competitiveness of their products in the market. Manufacturers should always ensure that their packaging appeals to their consumers which will increase the sales of their products. Manufacturing firms should ensure that the packaging reflects the quality of their product. Since packaging brings real benefit to every firm that package their products, firms should always include packaging in their product decision so as to create a good image of their product and build brand equality in the minds of their consumers.
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