What is Product Packaging?
18 Aug 2021
Almost every product that we get from the modern marketplace has packaging, be it food or beverage, technology, cosmetics, medicine, clothes… basically everything.
The primary purpose of packing was aimed for the convenience of transfer or transportation of a good. However, modern marketing challenged it in a new way.
Nowadays, packaging is not about en route protection and safety. It is one of the fundamental elements of branding.
You enter a supermarket, see the billboard ads of a favorite product or your last purchase shipped to your apartment, and their packages bring certain impressions to you.
Packaging creates emotions and brand recognition. For example, Tiffany is used to describing the famous turquoise color. And we all know that it belongs to that small box of a luxury jewelry retailer.
So, packaging has different roles, including protection, safety, increased usability, attractive and functional design, etc.
Let’s see what the primary roles of packing are.
Traditionally the fundamental purpose of packaging was and still is to protect a product from possible damages that can happen during the transportation, handling, and storing processes. A package saves the product from impairment through the logistics operations of the supply chain processes from the manufacturer to the final user.
Humidity, light, heat, and other external and internal factors can damage the product along the way. Packing is used to solve these issues. Sometimes, especially when it comes to online purchases, a huge amount of material is used for packaging to ensure that the product is well-protected.
Another important purpose that packaging holds is ensuring the safety of the product and even customers. The package should contain crucial information about the product, such as packing and expiry dates, a list of ingredients used, country of origin, etc. Moreover, it should also protect the product’s user. For instance, the product inside the package might be composed of toxic substances and it might be essential to have a careful instruction before opening and using it.
In the highly competitive marketplace, product packaging has a significant role in branding and marketing. It has to be unique, eye-catching, memorable, and attractive to stick in customers’ minds and increase their willingness to make a purchase. It would even be reasonable to say that sometimes the packaging is as important as the product itself because it affects the buying decision of the majority of people. Packaging is a tool to convey a message or a story about the brand or share the company’s values. Overall, it is a tool that supports the product to stand out in a customer’s eyes.
Besides the attractiveness and uniqueness of the packaging, consumers also want it to be fit-for-purpose. So, businesses should aim to make it as user-friendly and practical as possible. Although only customers can assess the usability of packaging, specific rules would help to follow. Most importantly, it has to be easy to open and close. Nowadays, with the rise of the movements supporting ecology, some consumers strongly value packages from reused or recycled materials. And generally, there is a current trend of shifting from single-use packages to reusable ones. For example, some customers prefer to take their own bags or containers for grocery shopping.
Sustainability is one of the most popular challenges that the modern economy deals with. One of the core subjects that sustainable development focuses on is the protection of natural resources and the environment. For example, many people pay attention to the packaging materials from a carbon footprint point when making a purchasing decision. Paper bags are preferable to plastic packages. The sales numbers are positively connected with sustainable packaging.
Storage and inventory management
Despite all the roles mentioned above, packaging also indirectly influences effective storage and inventory management. Packages make goods better organized and much more easily managed in a warehouse. Size-effective packages will support improved and effective utilization of a storage area. As a result, logistics works also become efficient, saving crucial resources – time and money.
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Things to consider for packaging
Colors affect buying decisions.
It is not a secret that colors have strong psychological effects on our buying decisions. For many decades already, companies research how visual senses affect customers’ behavior.
Have you noticed that the primary colors in fast-food chain restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC, are yellow and red? That is because food marketing specialists realized that yellow and red are the colors that make people feel passionately hungry.
So, the color you choose for your branding and packaging will definitely affect the buying decision of a customer.
Packaging represents company values.
When choosing a package for a product, the critical thing to consider is to think about the message and feeling that the product should evoke. For example, should the focus be on easy usage or the “wow” factor? Should it convey practicality or luxury? Depending on a company’s intent, the packaging goal will defer.
To sum up
Packaging is not just packaging. Yes, the product is sometimes what really matters, but the packaging is not less important in many cases. And if you, as a business owner, still think that it is all about the product only and not at all about how it is served to customers, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. Packaging has a significant role in a customer’s buying decision, sometimes even on a subconscious level. It also communicates your company values and forms the brand image of your company. And it is not surprising that some argue that packaging is not less important than the product itself. So, do the research and develop your branded packaging to be in line with the company image and values.