When creating a marketing plan for their products, businesses must commit lots of effort, resources, and time into formulating campaigns and strategies. Generally, in this process managers and owners will follow the tried and tested the concept of developing a marketing mix, which is comprised of 7Ps:
- Product; descriptions, unique selling points, and how it meets the needs or wants of consumers
- Place; physical and online distribution channels
- Price; how much will your product cost the consumer? Is it a good value for money?
- Promotion; Which advertising, marketing, and sales techniques will be implemented? Examples range from traditional advertising such as billboards, magazines, radio, and TV, to digital methods more commonly used today which includes advertising on social media, email marketing, and websites
- Physical evidence; evidence and proof a product is legitimate, real, and does what it says. This is provided by things such as brochures, invoices, receipts, packaging, and tracking information
- People; choosing the right employees to be involved with product design, manufacturing, marketing, and sales
- Processes; the analysis, evaluation, and improvement of all the processes required to deliver a product to the consumer, these include distribution methods, managing customers relationships, and payment systems.
Although all of the Ps in the marketing mix are important and necessary parts of a marketing plan, there is one aspect that often doesn’t get enough attention and that is the packaging.
Due to the many different types of products available to consumers nowadays, multiple different materials can be used such as cardboard, glass, metal, paper, plastic, and wood.
People have been packaging products for thousands of years, however, over the last century packaging has developed considerably and has become an area businesses must focus some effort and resources on if they want to sell enough products and be profitable. There are many reasons why product packaging is an essential component of the marketing mix, which you can read more about below.
Build Brand Recognition
Along with other marketing methods, product packaging is one of the most important ways to promote your brand and make it familiar to consumers. Attractive and clear labeling on a product, whether it be printing your brand on to bottles or sticking branded labels on boxes and cases, is essential for building brand recognition and boosting sales. For branded product packaging to be successful the design must contain certain elements including brand colors, a key visual or image, a logo, tagline, and typography.
It Informs Consumers
In addition to attracting new customers to a product and helping to build brand awareness and recognition, product packaging also serves to inform existing and potential customers about your product. Information often provided by product labeling and packaging include:
- The amounts of ingredients and materials used in the manufacturing process
- Directions or instructions on how to use a product
- A product description stating what it is, where it is made, its price, and contact details of the manufacturer
- Nutritional information on food and drink products detailing the recommended serving size, total calories, and nutritional value of each ingredient
- The benefits of using the product; what is its unique selling point?
As well as informing consumers and promoting a brand, accurate, clear, and honest product labeling is a legal requirement in most countries.
Furthermore, providing informative packaging that is concise, easy to read, and understand will help potential customers to make a purchasing decision as they will have a clear idea of what a product does and, how it is can be helpful and useful.
Packaging Attracts Customers
When consumers are shopping a product must stand out so they are more likely to notice it and then either click on the product page or pick it up to get more information to help make a purchasing decision.
Before the design of product packaging begins, businesses should first do some research into market trends and design features that have worked previously. Some design elements commonly researched are colors, images, and typography.
Usually, most brands find themselves in a market competing with many other brands for the attention of potential buyers. It is vital to differentiate your brand and product from those of your competitors, especially since most retailers group products of the same type on product pages online or shelves in the stores.
To ensure products can be easily identified and remembered compared to competing products, businesses must use eye-catching and well-designed packaging. Ideally, product labeling and packaging should employ colors, fonts, and designs that make it easy for consumers to identify a product in a crowded marketplace.
Packaging Can Convey Brand Identity
The packaging of a product can say a lot about the values of a brand and the quality of a product, for example, packaging made from higher quality materials that are more durable and visually pleasing often leads to consumers building a perception that the product has more value. Brands can also convey messages and values related to sustainability by using eco-friendly packaging materials such as bioplastics, cardboard, and paper.
The design and look of product packaging play the biggest part in getting a message across; attractive product labels and designs with the right colors and fonts can help to signify what the brand stands for.
Packaging Is Functional
Probably the most obvious reasons for using product packaging are to provide a container for a product and to protect it. Packaging is responsible for protecting goods and products on their journey from the manufacturer to the retailer. During transportation, there is always a risk that cases and packages may get knocked around so packaging needs to be consistently durable, sturdy, and secure.
Lots of packaging provides a functional and user-friendly way to use a product, for example, cereal boxes and jars. Consumers will often be looking for packaging that is easy to open and close, recycle or store. Recently, there has been a growing trend towards packaging that can be reused or recycled, and eco-friendly packaging solutions are increasing in popularity.
Product packaging is sometimes isn’t given the attention it deserves when businesses are creating their marketing mix, however, it is still one of the most important components of a marketing plan due to its effects on brand awareness and the great deal of information it can provide to potential customers.