Effect Of Packaging On Consumer Behaviour (A Case Study Of Nigerian Breweries Plc.)
The purpose of this study is to access critically the effect of packaging on consumer behaviour using Nigerian Breweries Plc as a case study. Packaging is a means of projecting a product in the most favourable way, thus, packaging is more than just a container, it also conveys a message to customers about the nature of the product. The research design used was the survey research. The methods of’ data collection was both primary and secondary data. The secondary data consisted of journals and text books while the primary method of data collection consisted of the questionnaire administration of which 50 questionnaires were distributed and analyzed. The results of the tested hypotheses showed that packaging is an integral part of a product and it also plays a vital role in the effectiveness of the marketing programme and the product profitability.
1.1 Background to the Study
In the Nigerian business environment, most manufactured or processed products are sold in packages. Few actual products seen, but the rest are packages of different sizes, colours and types. Packaging can be defined as the activities in product planning that involves the can be shapes, general designing of a container or a wrapper for a product.
On the other hand, consumer behaviour can be defined as the way a consumer perceive, thinks or reacts towards purchases of goods or services, influenced by some factors that cannot be controlled by the market, but must be taken into account for consideration in marketing planning process. These factors include cultural, social, personnel and psychological factors. The common packaging materials in Nigeria are cartons, plastics cans, bags, bottles, glass, etc. Each of these materials has remarkably appreciated in use because of the various roles they play in products promotion.
Packaging has two major functions, which are containment and promotion functions. Containment is essential in efficient physical distribution, while the promotional aspect of packaging aims to stimulate demand. Packaging is usually more critical element in convenience goods than for shopping or special goods.The importance of packaging varies with differences in buying behaviour of customers.
Self-service enhances the use of packaged products requirements e.g. frequent reseal and re-use, may make the package a major sales influencing factor. For some products such as cosmetics, larger beer, soft drinks, etc, packaging among others, may be more important than any other factor, due to high level of competition they (the products) face,in some cases, promotional tools e.g. electronic media (TV) may strongly influence package decision. As to this packaging has assumed a crucial role in stimulating purchases and most manufacturers have realized the importance of packaging as it affects consumer behaviour, that is the response of consumers to the package. The role of packaging as a promotional tool or communication means, is a vital part in a firm’s product development strategy, as this research is set out to view.
There are many factors that account for the growing recognition of packaging, as an independent and potent selling tool.
a) Self Service:
Most products are sold on this basis due to the increase in supermarkets and departmental shops. the packaging must now perform many sales tasks It must attract attention, describe the products features; give the consumer confidence and make a favourable impression.
b) Collective Markets:
In Nigeria today, most of our goals are brought through this collective market, and they are designed and well positioned to be seen by the customers.
e) Consumer Affluence:
The rise in consumer affluence means that they are willing to pay a little more for the convenience appearance, dependability and prestige of better packaging.
d) Company and Brand Image:
Many companies are recognizing the power of well-developed packaging in contributing to instant consumer recognition of the company or brand. Packaging is a tool not only for creating products category identification, but also in carrying out the brands positioning concept in terms of quality, cost and other functions. Here, using a distinctive pack and brand name, the manufacturer is able to differentiate its product at the point of sales, as well as designing, advertising and promotional strategies to create consumer pretence for the products.
One of the important roles played is that it enables marketers convey their products attributes to the target market, in order to assume the role of coordinating and determining the influences that other companies functions have upon packaging. The satisfaction to be derived from a product is dependent upon its packaging and consumers are therefore receptive to both technical and aesthetic improvement in package design.
“With the increasing pressure on both consumer products, marketing executives, package design is certainly more than just a nice look, but will have to bow more to the ever changing market and economic influence”.
In trying to explain marketing mix, many authors have made diverse views as to where packaging belongs. Some classified it as part of the product, while others place it among promotion in defining the four “Ps”(4ps). Under the selling concept, a company makes a product and then uses various methods to persuade a customer’s demand to fit its supply. But in marketing concept, just the opposite occurs. The company finds out what the customer wants and then tries todevelop a product that will satisfy the want profitably.
As to this, this research work will examine the effects of packaging on consumer behaviour, its contribution to the manufacturing company, its benefit to the middlemen and its role as a promotional or communication tool.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In our ever growing economy, the overwhelming drive is only matched with lack of managerial expertise. In most companies and individuals, the question often arises as whether packaging is for containment or promotional purposes and the reaction of the consumers or buyers to the package.
In this project, it is viewed that most organization are faced with one problem or the other, when applying the marketing mix. They need to identify and eliminate these problems if they are to improve on their position in their respective industries, thus the problem that can be associated or related with packaging as it affects the behaviour of customers through promotion are as follows:
- Whether a properly designed package that is attractive, can create an impulse purchase?
- Whether a change in a package design will affect the consumer’s choice of product?
1.3 Research Questions
- Can a properly designed packaged product that is attractive create an impulse purchase?
- Can a change in a package design affect the consumer’s choice of product?
- Should the design of packaging be a blend of functional value such as providing convenience?
- Can the company’s image be projected through its packaging policy as a reminder of the company’s products?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
In research, hypotheses are tentative statements that Et]-cmade which may be true or untrue otherwise proved. For the purpose of this research study, it is very important to test such statements, in order to provide sound and authentic basis for our investigation and findings.
In this regard, the following hypotheses shall be tested;
- Ho: That a, properly packaged product cannot create an impulse buying.
Hi: That a properly packaged product can create an impulse buying.
- Ho: That a change in package design cannot affect a consumer’schoice of product. .
Hi: That a change in package design can affect a consumer’s choice of product.
- Ho: That packaging design should not be a blend of functional value.
H1: That packaging design should be a blend of functional value.
- Ho: That the company’s image cannot be projected through its packaging policy.
Hi: That the company’s image can be projected through its packaging policy.
1.5 Objective of the Study
In marketing a product or service, a number of functional activities have to be coordinated to achieve the required marketing objectives, which could increase sales profits.
This research work tends to study the importance of packaging as it affects consumer behaviour and as a means of promotion or communication in the sales of goods in a manufacturing firm. The reason for this is that packaging has been looked upon by most people as the container or wrapper used in holding the contents of product all this will be looked into.
The main purposes of this study are as follows:
- To ascertain whether a properly packaged product that is attractive can create an impulse buying.
- To determine how a change in a package design can affect a consumer’s choice of product. .
- To identify how a package designs can be a blend of functional value.
- To ascertain whether a company’s image an be projected through its packaging policy.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work tends to study the importance or effects of packaging on consumer behaviour and the use of packaging as a promotional tool for consumer products as it relates to impulse buying, projecting of company’s image and its position as a silent sales person.
The study did not deal with the use of packaging or effects of packaging on industrial products, but chose to study packaging in Nigerian Breweries Plc, but references will be made to other firms within and outside the industry including some packaging industries.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The effect of packaging on the behaviour of consumers to purchasing a product is a part of marketing tools that al\gays involves properly designed package, durability and promotions. All these have not received enough investigation and which at times involves decision problems on the type of package to use for a product.
I believe that packaging is important, as a promotional mix, and the response of customers to the package, need careful analysis; such analysis reveals the importance of packaging as a form of promotion such as self-advertising, point of purchase display, product publicity and durability.
The overall design of a package, should assist a shopper identify the brand among many other competing products and the new promotion strategy introduced by some manufacturing firms by redesigning packages, especially the light weight non returnable, aluminum can and plastic bottle e.g, the one used by beverage companies like coca -cola and 7up bottling companies, the introduction of canned alcoholic drinks (canned beer) by Nigerian Breweries Plc etc hay-c contributed and motivated my choosing this topic as research study .
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Gathering all needed data in most study is usually a limitation to the study. During the course of the study, the researcher will likely encounter many obstacles and these may act as limiting factors to the study:
Some foreseeable limitations are:
- Availability of adequate information. The company- Linder study may not be willing to give certain information, which is considered vital.
- Poor responses in returning the questionnaires are envisaged.
- Shortage of books on the topic is also envisaged.
Apart from these problems, the findings and recommendations of this research will be based on the answers given in the questionnaires, observations and oral interviews.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
This can be defined as the general activities involved in product planning to design wrapper for a product. Packaging has two major functions which are containment and promotion functions. Containment is essential in efficient physical distribution while the promotional aspect of packaging aims to stimulate demand.
It can be defined as the way a consumer perceive, thinks or reacts towards purchases of goods and services, influenced by some factors that cannot be controlled by the market.
It helps the manufacturer to differentiate his products at the point of sales, as well as designing, advertising and promotional strategies to create consumer awareness.
It is the set of controllable variables and their levels that the firm uses to influence the target markets. These are the 4p’s, such as product, price, promotion and place.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
5.0 Summary of Major Findings
Consumer’s nowadays live in an era of abundance and thus, the many, intentions of modern life is associated with the problem of choice. To the manufacturer, it suggests the need for a positive approach in making things easy for the purchaser by proving easy recognition, clear benefits and an attraction in the packaging. The manufacturer also exploits his opportunities but by doing so, he satisfies a need.
Thus, packaging has become an integral part of the product because the consumer is made to bear a substantial percentage of the packaging cost as well as a means of projecting in the most favourable way, the image of the company.
However, packaging is often vital to the effectiveness of the marketing program and the products profitability as in branding and labeling. In a vital number of consumer goods such as cosmetics or perfume, the package is critically important to the buyer’s recognition of the product.
Packaging also plays an important role in the marketing mix and hence, the importance of package development function depends on many things.
Also, the packaging design provides a unique promotional opportunity so that the advertising messages on the pack may be recognized by the purchaser at home, even after the Product has been used.
Almost any product has to be packaged to make the trip to the ultimate consumer, but packaging is handling convenience, thus, it is a marketing necessity, therefore, the public does not want just the product. They also need explanation, assurance, encouragement, confidence and apat-on-the-back.
Consumer’s expectations are created in a large part through the total products strategy, the product is the nucleus around which expectations are created but packaging which houses branding trade mark and informative labeling also creates expectations. All these things are closely related to the entire product planning and development activities. Some goods for instance toiletries and perfumes are purchased much more for the package than for the products itself.
Though, Nigerian Breweries Plc attributes the market success of ,its products to the management’s close attention to advertising and packaging, it is in the view of the researcher that most of the firms in Nigeria have not actually realized the response or the behaviour of the consumer to their packaging decision,- which they think is the most important. The usual excuse of these firms is that a lot of money must not be spent canvassing for sales because they already have other things that they cannot meet for their consumers.
In terms of competition, and attractive shape, a bright and effective design is necessary to help draw customers to the product, because information can be conveyed to the consumers through the package used. Food processing companies as well as manufacturing companies use the package to inform the users of the preparation, dosage, after effects etc of their products. This shows that packaging is useful to both manufacturers and consumers alike.
Many people believe that consumers want products and have little interest in their packaging per-se, but in many instances, however, the satisfaction to be derived from a product is dependent upon its packaging. Consumers are therefore responsive to both technical and aesthetic improvement in package design.
In marketing the customer becomes the focus of the firm’s operations and key task understandingthe customer and Identifying the needs that the marketing company tends to meet, the problem it tends to solve and the benefit it aims to derive after.
However, in concluding this study, it is appropriate to state that the entire four hypotheses formulated and tested were accepted at five percent significance and thus shows that:
Properly designed package which has alternatives, creates an impulse buying. A change in packaging design may affect consumer’s choice of a product.
The design of packaging should be a blend of functional values such as providing convenience when in use.
The company’s image is projected through its packaging policy by serving as a constant reminder of the company’s product.
Based on the above conclusion, companies should embark on continuous appraisal on packaging of their products to develop packaging that will always reflect products quality and consumers acceptance.
In the future, we may anticipate greater use of packaging as a competitive weapon in Nigerian business environment. Packaging materials like: can containers, followed in ascending order by aluminum, glass and polythene, despite their high cost, increased usage due to the added convenience which they offer consumers.
In addition, packaged goods are more convenient, cleaner and les susceptible to loses from evaporation, spoiling and pilferage. It also helps to identify a product and this may prevent substitution of competitive goods.
Results of the hypotheses tested in the course of this study, has given the researcher a conceptual knowledge to make recommendations which could help the industrial consumers of packaging – (Nigerian Breweries Plc in particular) in identifying the marketing challenges facing them in Nigerian marketing environment.
On a general note, it is wise to state that industrial sellers should be more concerned with their customers and how best they can satisfy their requirements.
To this end, the researcher puts forward the following recommendations:
- Consumer behaviour or response to packaging should be considered in designing the package. This is because this research finding has proved that consumers value the degree to which a company is known in the market more than the goods and their prices.
- The packaging should be designed to give the functional values such as durability and aesthetic satisfactions; also, it should provide convenience when in use.
- When choosing the type of package to be used, during the appraisal of the design proposals, the attributes as laid down in the brief must be thoroughly assessed.
- Since a properly designed package is reused or can be used for any other purpose, e.g. as a constant reminder of a company’s product, it is recommended that it should incorporate all those things that will project the company’s image.
- The packaging companies have much influence on the package design of the manufacturing companies. So, it is recommended that manufacturers of consumer goods avoid such firms handling the packaging materials for competing brands of their products.
- To reduce the cost of packaging, it is recommended that there should be increase in the use of laminates and material combinations. Other ways of reducing packaging cost includes engineering, the package construction should use less material, so that cost of the package that will be included in the product price will be minimal.
- The advertising agencies should be invited to participate during the brief, since most of the packages would be displayed conspicuously in the adverts.
- Frequent changing of product package will do more harm than good, in adverts avoiding this situation; consumers must be well informed of any changes in package design, so that they will not think that it is a new product or a fake product made by another company.
- It is also recommended that companies in Nigeria should make packaging an extension of the firm’s total strategy. Thus, the firm should clearly define its packaging objectives and design and carry out its packaging policies consistently with the rest of the marketing strategies.
- More research work should be conducted to study how packaging fits into today’s more complex marketing environment.
5.3 Suggestions for Further Studies
The following suggestions are made for further studies:
- Packaging is vital in promoting marketing efforts. In order to ensure effective packaging, it is important to include branding and labeling. This will help increase product awareness.
- This study will be important to students studying marketing in the higher institutions and other related courses.
- It will also be significant to those interested in marketing goods/services.
- The research study is intended to enhance the activities ofmarketers towards ensuring good quality products.
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