Why should i endorse packaging and labeling
Why should you endorse packaging? Demand of some products these days is a function of packaging. Some products are highly demanded by consumers, not because of their qualities, but due to their attractive packages. This articles will therefore discuss what packaging is, reasons for packaging, functions of packaging and other features of packaging. In addition, we shall be examining what a label is, its characteristics and various forms of labelling, functions of labels, arguments for and against labelling and legal implications of labelling.
Packaging: The technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sell, and use.
Labeling: Display of information about a product on its container, packaging, or the product itself.
What is Packaging?
Packaging has been variously defined in both technical and marketing literature. One of the most quoted definitions is, packaging is the art, science and technology of preparing goods for transport and sale. It has been defined as the activities of designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.
Packaging is regarded as all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product. Packaging might include three levels of materials such as primary packaging, secondary packaging and shipping packaging. Also, packaging has been defined as the general group of activities in product planning that involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product. It creates convenience and promotional value. The package is the buyer’s first encounter with the product and is capable of turning the buyer on or off.
An understanding of the packaging industry is necessary to fully appreciate the packaging revolution that has occurred in the consumer and industrial goods sectors. The packaging industry consists primarily of two distinct segments – firms which manufacture the packaging materials and the marketing research agencies which conduct specialized packaging research, generally for packaging development and adoption. Newer materials are constantly emerging in the packaging field and in many cases, which have eliminated or threatened the older materials, such as wood and steel, because of the relative cost advantage or better performance characteristics. The important packaging materials today are:
- Metals – Aluminum, Tinplate andsteel
- Plastics – PVC, HDPE,
- Wood – Wood and cellulosefilm
- Paper – Paper, board, corrugated board,
- Glass – Clear, tinted,
- Laminated – Aluminum, foils, plastic film,
Reasons for Packaging
You need to know that there are various reasons for packaging. Some of them are the following:
- Packaging is used to protect the contents of the product from spoilage or wastage. Packages ensure that consumers receive the products in good condition and then derive the best benefit from them. This protective package is referred to as the primary.
- Packaging may implement a company’s marketing program. Packaging helps to identify a product and thus may prevent substitution of competitive goods. A package may be the only significant way in which a firm can differentiate its product. In the case of convenience goods or industrial operating supplies, for example, most buyers feel that one well-known brand is about as good as another. Retailers recognize that effective protection and promotion features in a package can cut their costs and increase sales.
- Packages can also be used as a form of promotion. The primary package can be so designed as to attract customers to the product. Some of the packages can be used after the main content has been used up. Designs, sites and colours of packages can also be employed as means of promoting the product at their points of sale.
- Management may package its product in such a way as to increase profit possibilities. A package may be so attractive that customers will pay more attention to get the special package even though the increase in price exceeds the additional cost of the package. Also, an increase in ease of handling or a reduction in damage losses will cut marketing costs, again increasing.
This is the one which is the oldest and most basic. The primary function is to protect the products from environmental and physical hazards to which the product can be exposed, in transit from the manufacturer’s plant to the retailer’s shelves and while on display on the shelves. The specific types of hazards against which protection has to be sought would obviously vary from product to product. It is however possible to identify the principal hazards which are almost universal. These are:
- Breakage/damage due to rough mechanical or manual handling during
- Extremes of climatic conditions which can lead to melting, freezing, etc.
- Contamination either bacterial or non-bacterial, such as by dirt or chemical
- Absorption of moisture or odors of foreign
- Loss of liquid or vapor
The package is increasingly being used as a marketing tool, especially in certain types of consumer products such as perfumes or several other gift articles. The importance is also substantially due to the changed structure of retail business, especially the emergence of self-service stores. In the case of consumer products, the package serves as a silent salesman. This is true irrespective of whether the product is a luxury, semi-luxury or an ordinary everyday use product. The following characteristics have been identified to help a package perform the self- selling tasks:
- The package must attract
- The package must tell the product
- The package must build
- The package must look clean and
- The package must be convenient to
- The package must reflect good
Packaging, however, is of greater importance in the case of certain specific types of articles. Industry-wide studies in several countries showed that packaging costs in the cosmetics industry far outrun those of other industries. This excessively high incidence is not due to the packaging which is required for the protective function, but for making the product attractive, a status symbol and ego-satisfying. Other products, such as chocolates in gift packs also are instances where packaging performs a basic marketing function by making the products more appealing.
Consumer research on packaging has basically concentrated on two aspects which are presumed to have an influence on consumer purchase decisions. The first one is colour and the second is the package or container design. Almost all researchers have come to the conclusion that each colour has its own distinct characteristics and, therefore, has to be used in the package so that there is no mismatch between what is expected of the package and the colour used in the packaging. One additional problem in this area is that nationals in different countries display divergent colour preferences, due to their diverse socio-cultural- religious backgrounds. Similarly, research has been carried out on the desirable properties of a container. Slender, cute- containers are often used for beauty-care products for the feminine sex, as these are expected to create an appropriate image of the product. Graphics and logo-types are also important in designing and conveying the total product image. There are several accepted promotional packaging techniques. Some of these are:
- Money-off Pack: A ‘flush’ in distinctive colour is superimposed on the package, announcing the specific price discount being offered. This is the most widely used
- Coupon-pack: A coupon, either as a part of the package or placed separately in the package, of a certain value can be redeemed after the purchase of the
- Pack-in-premium: A premium, i.e. the gift, is packed within the original product, e.g. a handkerchief.
- Premium-package: A specially made package having either a re-use or prestige value. Instant coffee packed in drinking glasses having closures is an example of the first type. The set of audio cassettes of Tagore songs released by the gramophone company of India in 1986 which was presented in a specially designed wooden box is an example of the second type.
This is the third function of a package. It must be able to perform the task for which it is designed. This aspect becomes crucial in certain types of packaging. For example, an aerosol spray is not only a package but also an engineering device. If the package does not function, the product itself becomes totally useless.
The package must be designed in a way which is convenient to use. The important point to be appreciated however is that it should be convenient, not only to the end-users, but also to the distribution channel members, such as wholesalers and retailers. From their standpoint, the convenience will relate to handling and stocking of packages. The specific attributes they would seek in a package in this context are:
The package must be convenient to stock.
- The package must be convenient to
- The package does not wasteshelf-space.
- The package retains its looks during theshelf-life.
- The master packages/cartons are easy to dispose
Because of the increasing concern with solid-waste disposal, the last factor has assumed importance in developed countries. However, from the standpoint of domestic or institutional end-users, convenience would refer to the use of the package, such as opening and closure of the package, the repetitive use value, disposability, etc.
The package finally must be cost-effective. Packaging cost as a percentage of product cost varies dramatically from one industry to another. It is important to appreciate that while analyzing packaging costs, it is not enough to consider only the cost of package. This is only one, though the most important, element of the total costs associated with packaging. Cost in this chain consists of:
- Package costs incurred in inward delivery to the factory when the product is purchased from
- Storage and handling costs of the empty
- Storage costs of the filled
- Transport cost for distributing filled
- Insurance cost for the transit period,
The Growth of Packaging Usage
You should be aware that there are several factors responsible for the growth of packaging usage globally. Among them are:
- Self-service: An increasing number of products are sold on a self- service basis in supermarkets and discount houses. It has been reported that in an average supermarket, which stocks 15,000 items, the typical shopper passes by some 300 items per minute. Given that 53% of all purchases are made on impulse, the effective package operates as a five-second commercial. The package must perform many of the sales tasks. It must attract attention, describe the product’s features, create consumer confidence, and make a favourable overall impression.
- Consumer Affluence: Rising consumer affluence means consumers are willing to pay a little more for the convenience, appearance, dependability and prestige of better
- Company and Brand Image: Companies are recognizing the power of well-designed packages to contribute to instant recognition of the company or brand. The Campbell Soap Company estimates that the average shopper sees its familiar red and white can 76 times a year, creating the equivalent of US$26 million worth of
- Innovation Opportunity: Innovative packaging can bring large benefits to consumers and profits to producers. For example, toothpaste pump dispensers have captured 12% of the toothpaste market because, for many consumers, they are more convenient and less messy.
Label is one of the legal requirements in identifying one company’s product(s) from other companies’ products. It describes the product, its elements and other details about the product. Therefore, a label may be a simple tag attached to a product or an elaborately designed graphic that is part of the package. Sometimes, label carries only the brand name or a great deal of information. However, labels perform several functions on a product.
- A label identifies the product or brand.
- A label grades the product, such as A, B, C, and so
- A label describes the product, such as manufacturer, place, year of production, contents, usage and
- A label promotes the product through attractive designs andgraphics
The label is the part of a product that carries verbal information about the product or the seller. A label may be part of a package, or it may be a tag attached directly to the product. Labelling is a subset of packaging. Labels may range from simple tags attached to products to complex graphics that are part of the package. It should be noted that there is a close relationship between labelling and packaging, and between labelling and branding.
You need to realize that brand labelling creates very little stir among critics. While it is an accessible form of labelling, the severe limitation is that it does not supply sufficient information to a buyer. The real fight centers on grade versus descriptive labelling, and whether grade labelling should be mandatory. The proponents of grade labelling argue that it is simple, definite and easy to use. They also point out that if grade labels were used, prices would be more related to quality. They equally argue that grade labelling might increase competition, because consumers would be able to judge products on the basis of both price and known quality. The cost of grade labelling is very low, so it would not place a greater burden on the manufacturer. However, those who object to grade labelling point out that it is not possible to grade differences in favour and taste, or in style and fashion. A very low score on one grading characteristic can be offset by very high scores on other factors. For example, regarding Coke and Pepsi, some people claim that Coca-Cola is of high quality but has high gas content, while Pepsi Cola is of low quality but has less gas content.
Companies selling products that score high within a given grade would be hurt by grade labelling. It would not be possible for these companies to justify a higher price than that charged for another. Some people also argue that grades are an inaccurate guide for consumer buying, because the characteristics selected for grading, weights assigned to them and the means of measuring them are all established on an arbitrary basis. Labels eventually become outmoded and need freshening; hence, marketing.