How often do we find ourselves in a supermarket faced with a choice of brands, only to be influenced by packaging? According to printing and packaging giants, Colourtone Aries, packaging, originally designed to protect products, has evolved significantly to become a critical element in the marketing mix.
Colourtone Aries sales and marketing team leader, Ryan Bywater says, “When E Jerome McCarthy proposed his 4 Ps of marketing back in 1960, little did he know that his classification of product, price, promotion and place, as the four key elements in the marketing mix, would be widely accepted, and expanded on, for more than half a century. In recent marketing history an added component to the mix, namely packaging, has been adopted as a critical persuader of consumer purchasing decisions. Today, product and packaging designs are treated with equal importance.”
Brands seek to provide the consumer with a holistic buying experience. The process of convincing to purchase is a complex one, with a range of factors influencing the decision. In this process, packaging is a key element. Purchasing sunglasses is incomplete without a branded sunglass case; a sought after whisky comes with a perfectly designed bottle and tin or box and branded clothing stores will not let you leave the store without a shopping bag, expertly displaying the intrinsic and extrinsic style and elegance of the brand.
With the emphasis not only on product, but also on packaging, graphic designers are pushing the boundaries of design to captivate the imagination of the consumer. Printing and packaging companies have responded to this demand, equally pushing the limits of technology to offer effective solutions to complex packaging requirements.
Bywater continues, “Driving the success of packaging is flexibility and cost effectiveness. Focus still remains largely on the product itself, but packaging has an influencing role in buying decisions. Our clients, however, still require packaging solutions that do not add pressure on actual sales prices. The onus falls on printing and packaging companies to ensure that the brand’s value is extended beyond the product itself. Packaging is the consumer’s first contact with the product and it has to deliver a promise of a total purchasing experience. There is no doubt that the role of packaging is receiving more and more focus from marketers and designers.”
Consumers have grown accustomed to judging a product by the quality of its packaging. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining a packaging solution. Each of these factors has a significant influence on the product:
- Packaging purpose. Key to the solution is the purpose of the packaging. Products need to be packaged, protected, transported and stored. A number of applications demand a number of solutions.
- Brand Value. Packaging plays a role in adding brand value. Quality of packaging sets the tone for the product and is part of a total purchasing experience. Marketers and designers are placing increasing importance on the quality of packaging and its design.
- Price. A critical element of packaging is price. Costs should not result in restrictive pricing that risks product competitiveness.
- Environmental impact. With the spotlight on green products, packaging has seen a shift to more environmentally friendly solutions, minimum wastage and recycling options.
Bywater concludes, “Packaging quality should never be compromised. Purchasing decisions are based on a number of factors with packaging design and quality high up on the list of brand perceptions. Modern solutions take into account brand value and consumer perception. Colourtone Aries has evolved with product and graphic design to provide solutions for myriad applications, all of which are aimed at the consumer’s experience.”