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STUDENTS’ CORNER - 87

One more aspect of packaging has to be looked into: how it is used as marketing tool by the trade.

Packaging which after all connects so many stakeholders like the manufacturers, the agents, the seller and the consumer must prove an effective tool of communication among the stakeholders, particularly for the manufacturer.

 Packaging in the self-servicing market

 When you go to the supermarket or mall, you are on your own to choose and purchase a product of your choice. There will not be any retailer by your side to help you. Possibly, there may be some mall or supermarket employee standing by your side; but he is there to give you physical support like taking off a product from the top slot of the shelf or just taking care of your trolley; he will not give you any information about the product other than what is there on the wrapper of the product.  In such a self-servicing context, packaging has a very critical role to play in influencing you to be attracted towards that.

To attract the customer to the product the packaging remains a tool of irresistible pull. Even a cursory glance at the products lined on the shelf must be sufficient to catch the eye of the customer. Pulling a customer towards a product is primary task of the packaging and extensive researches are said to have been conducted on the design of the packaging, on the colour scheme, the legend, the words that describe the product and its chosen effect, the size of the packaging, so on.

Some product manufacturers seem to think that quality is after all very important and not the design and other things that go with the packaging. Obviously, they are not well-informed of the influence the packaging has on the customer, present and prospective. Packaging has an undeniable role to play in the sale of the product. Catchiness binds.

Packaging has a vital part in marketing mix. Let us consider it in terms of the popular 4Ps of Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  First of all, your product may be the best, indeed; but it must be seen by the customer. The very appeal to the eye it has for the customer tells a lot about the manufacturer; he has taken care of every aspect of his product beginning from the very visual appeal to the design of the packaging that gives you immediately the sense of concern of the manufacturer for the satisfaction of the customer. It displays the price of the product also in an attractive form, possibly in a different colour to be easily visible. Any customer who intends to go in for a purchase moves to the price part of the product. Of course, market dynamics coupled with the company’s strategy for marketing decides the price of the product. For place, it occupies a prominent place in the shelf of the mall, neatly placed in order. If all the three Ps are effectively managed, the last one of promotion happens almost as a consequence. Promotion includes making the customer decide to purchase outright or remember it when he proposes for a change in his choice of the product.

We have seen the fundamental facts of self-servicing and packaging.

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