The Role Of Packaging In Brand Communication

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 2, February -2012ISS N 2229-55181The Role of Packaging in BrandCommunicationArun Kumar Agariya, Ankur Johari, Hitesh K Sharma, Udit N S Chandraul, Deepali SinghAbstract— Packaging is considered as an integral part of the 'Product' of marketing mix. Along with basic objectives (protect ion andpreservation, containment, convenience and communication) packaging serves as a promotional tool. Packaging is an important p art of thebranding process as it plays a vital role in communicating the image and identity of an organization. The objective of this study is to find out roleof packaging in brand communication and determining the elements/attributes of packaging for communicating the brand value to customers. Topursue these objectiv es the authors have developed a research framew ork for packaging which furcates the main objective into four subobjectives namely dependence of packaging design upon the buyer attraction, communication to buyer, convenience in handling a nd using,saleability of product and green aspect; relationships between liking for package and brand, country of origin, colour connotation, symbolconnotation and siz e; relationships between communication through the package and independent variables like information, shape, brandimage and symbols/logos; relationship between usability of package and ease of handling, disposability and protection. Data is collectedthrough questionnaire along with the measurement of puls e rate of respondents w ith the help of pulse oxy-meter. Reliability test is carried outfor questionnaire's consis tency and then multiple regression analysis is done to formulate relationship between dependent variable andindependent variables. This research reveals the importance of buyer attraction in package design and unimportance of environ mentalconsiderations. Similarly customers are more likely to give w eightage to branded product than to the package and shape of package is thesignificant attribute of communication through product packaging.Keywords— Brand communication, Brand Image, Buyer attraction, Marketing Mix, Package Design, Packaging, Pulse rate.—————————— ——————————1 I NTRODUCTION―Packaging is the container for a product –encompassing the physical appearance of the containerand including the design, colour, shape, labelling andmaterials used‖. Most marketing textbooks considerpackaging to be an integral part of the ‗product‘component of the 4 P‘s of marketing: product, price,place and promotion. Some argue that packaging servesas a promotional tool rather than merely an extension ofthe product. Keller [21] considers packaging to be anattribute that is not related to the product. For him it isone of the five elements of the brand – together with thename, the logo and/or graphic symbol, the personalityand the slogans. While the main use for packaging canbe considered to be protection of the goods inside,packaging also fulfils a key role in that it provides uswith a recognizable logo, so that we instantly knowwhich product is inside the package. From theconsumer perspective, packaging plays a major rolewhen products are purchased – as both a cue and as asource of information. Packaging is crucial, given that itis the first thing that the public sees before making thefinal decision to buy.Packaging is now generally regarded as an essential———— ——— ——— ——— ———component of our modern life style and the waybusiness is organized. Packaging is the enclosing of aphysical object, typically a product that will be offeredfor sale. It is the process of preparing items ofequipment for transportation and storage and whichembraces preservation, identification and packaging ofproducts.Packaging is recognized as an integral part of modernmarketing operation, which embraces all phases ofactivities involved in the transfer of goods and servicesfrom the manufacturer to the consumer. Packaging is animportant part of the branding process as it plays a rolein communicating the image and identity of a company.Kotler [24] defines packaging as all the activities ofdesigning and producing the container for a product.Packaging can be defined as the wrapping materialaround a consumer item that serves to contain, identify,describe, protect, display, promote, and otherwise makethe product marketable and keep it clean. Packaging isthe outer wrapping of a product. It is the intendedpurpose of the packaging to make a product readilysellable as well as to protect it against damage andprevent it from deterioration while storing. Furthermorethe packaging is often the most relevant element of atrademark and conducesto advertising orcommunication. Arun Kumar Agariya is currently a research scholar in marketing at ABVIndian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior,India, Ph- 91-9479317466. E-mail: Ankur Johri is currently working as Senior Business Consultant, HCL,2 L ITERATURE R EVIEWNew Delhi, IndiaProduct packaging is a ―Cross-functional and multi Hitesh K Sharma is currently a research scholar in marketing at ABVdimensional aspect of marketing that has becomeIndian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior,India, E-mail:, important in consumer need satisfaction, Udit N S Chandraul is currently a student in Integrated Post Graduatecost savings and the reduction of package materialProgramme at ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology andusage leading to substantial improvements in corporateManagement, Gwalior, India, E-mail: Deepali Singh is currently working as professor of marketing at ABVIJSER 2012http://www.ijser.orgIndian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior,India, E-mail:

International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 2, February -2012ISS N 2229-5518profits‖ [5]. The role of packaging is changing from thatof ‗protector‘ to ‗information provider‘ and ‗persuader‘[2]. Whereas the original function of packaging was toprotect the product, it is now being used as animportant sales tool to attract attention, describe theproduct and make the sale [23]. Through identifyingbrands, conveying information in respect to price,quantity and quality, and providing informationregarding ingredients and directions, productpackaging now plays an important role in productpromotion [2]. When the dimensions of packaging areanalyzed then the corporate social responsibility of thepackaging also plays a vital role in brand consolidationor brand attrition. With increasing competition in themarketplace, certain non-socially responsible packagingpractices have been noted that may result in a negativebrand image for the company, including: deceptive y friendly packaging. As consumersbecome more aware of the social and environmentalimpact of their consumption, they are demanding moreethical product alternatives [40]. Industry has alsorecognized the need for acting in a more sociallyresponsible fashion, which also includes improving theenvironmental impact of the firm, its products andservices. CSR benefits to business can include moremotivated employees, reliable supplier relations and anextended base of loyal customers and improvedreputation [36]. Packaging is also a medium to build abrand image as Keller [21] describes brand image as―perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brandassociations held in consumer memory‖. Studies haveshown that brand image is an important cue thatconsumers use to infer information regarding thequality of the product and motivates their consumptiontendencies [21]. In an emotional manner, consumers arepresumed to seek a relationship between their selfconcept and the brand image of the product. Researchsuggests that the total sensory experience of a brand(including the packaging) creates an image in the mindsof consumers that can inspire loyalty, build trust andenhance recognition [30]. Therefore, if a product‘spackaging is to effectively entice consumers to purchasethe product, then, not only is the total sensoryexperience of the brand an important factor, but also thecongruity between a consumer‘s self-image and lly conscious consumers. CSR benefits tobusiness can include an improved reputation andimproved brand image, which can help create anextended base of loyal customers [36]. The consumershave the instinct to align themselves to the productsthat they use and a product invokes their emotionalsenses as well. The individual‘s self-concept plays amajor role in choosing certain products. In fact, theseproducts are symbols that represent the buyer‘s self toothers [31]. According to Mehta [29], individuals have atendency to develop preferences to particular brands inwhich they feel match or enhance their self-image, inother words, products that provide a means for selfexpression. Therefore the effective packaging of2products is vital with the point of view of conveying thebrand image to the consumer. It has also been foundthat the interaction of the buyer‘s personality and theimage of the purchased product often influenceconsumer buying behaviour [15]. The literature onpackaging also examines the deceptiveness of differentbrands to leverage their sales. The cases of passing offhave also been found in case of many brands. Passingoff occurs when there is the potential for consumers tofind associations between brands and products that, inreality, have no relationship [8]. Research suggests thatthere is an increase in companies developing their ownprivate brands that exhibit packaging attributes, such asthe shape, sizing, colouring, lettering, or even, the logosimilar to those of already established brands [3]. Thenthe hidden changes in size and value have also beenreported in product packaging. Misleading labels areanother form of deception that results in the consumerreceiving incorrect information about the product [8].Forms of misleading labels include environmentalclaims and origin claims. In another case, batteries thatwere imported from Europe labelled ―recyclable‖ werefound to be misleading because they were only able tobe recycled in Europe and not in Australia [8].The pack should instantly trigger brand memories,automatically bringing thoughts, knowledge andfeelings about the brand into the shopper‘sconsciousness. While it is important that the packagingreflects the values and positioning of the brand, the keyrole of packaging is not necessarily to communicate butto trigger the communications that have alreadyhappened around that brand prior to the shopperentering the store. In order to achieve this, it is vital thatpackaging is integrated with other forms of brandcommunication. Many studies suggest that around twothirds of purchasing takes place in "default" mode,where the shopper gives little serious consideration tochoosing between brands. This is often becauseshoppers already know which brand they want to buybefore they walk into the store. Here finding ability is akey. Any difficulties encountered by a shopper whentrying to find the brand they want may open them up toother potential choices. Brown [6] writes about the roleof packaging in retail sector and global factor also. Withso much competition in the retail sector a brand mustbreak through the visual clutter and grab a shopper‘sattention. A beautifully designed pack may be lost oncedisplayed on a shelf alongside its competitors.Consideration should be given to how the packagingworks in quantity. For example, in the U.K., tea brandPG Tips has a leaf pattern across its pack and when thepacks are displayed in a row, the leaves become acontinuous banner. Not all packaging travels well. Forexample, the colour, graphics and imagery of packagingthat works well in one country, won‘t necessarily workin another. And, depending on where you are in theworld, the importance of the different roles ofpackaging will shift. For example, in India, becausethose on lower incomes are paid daily, smaller packsizes are needed to make products affordable; nearly 40IJSER 2012

International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 2, February -2012ISS N 2229-5518percent of shampoo sales are single-use size. In moredeveloped markets green issues are playing a greaterrole in consumers purchase decisions. Packaging is nolonger considered to be an important aspect of theproduct. Instead, it is increasingly being perceived as anunwanted and unnecessary source of waste material[12], as well as contributing unnecessary volume tolandfills and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.Nearly 80 percent of consumers believe that productsuse too much packaging [35]. In 1990, 68 percent ofmarketers had already begun to make environmentalrelated changes in their packaging [35]. This reflects thefact that 67 percent of American consumers claimed thatthey would switch to a product that hadenvironmentally safe packaging. This figure is evenhigher in other countries, such as Italy and Spain with84 percent and 82 percent, respectively, claiming theywould switch products [35]. The selection ofappropriate package design research methodologydepends on the type of information required to makedesign decisions. The available methods are classifiedinto ocular or verbal tests [33]. Ocular tests are used todetermine exactly what a person's eyes see, how longshe/he dwells on each element of what she/he sees,and to which new element she/he looks at.2.1. Elements of a good Package DesignA package designer aims for the following goals: (1) toattract the buyer; (2) to communicate message to thebuyer; (3) to create desire for the product; and (4) to sellthe product .[13]Attraction of the Buyer: Package must have enoughshelf impact to stand out among a myriad of packages.The package must draw attention to itself. This can bedone through the effective choice of colour, shape, copy,trademark, logo, and other features.Communication to the Buyer: Every packaging elementcommunicates something, so the image projected by thepackage must converge with the image being sought forthe product [34]. The package design must show at oncethe intended use, method of application and intendedresults. A container of talcum powder should not looklike as if it contains scouring powder, nor should facecream jars resemble shoe polish containers [16]. Allnecessary information must be clearly visible or impliedthrough the design. This communication may either bedirect or subtle. Direct communication describes theproduct, its benefits and how to see it. Indirectcommunication uses colour, shape, design forms andtexture to convey intrinsic attributes like purity, value,fun, elegance, femininity or masculinity. Here colour isseen to be the primary aspect involved in subtleconsumer communication. This is the reason cosmeticproducts are usually in pastel colours, black or gold tocommunicate classic elegance. Pharmaceutical productsuse light colours or a white background to denotecleanliness, purity, and efficacy. In cigarettes, whitepackaging suggests low tar while red packaging3suggests a strong flavour. Companies targeting Asianmarkets have to be careful in choosing packagingcolours and logos. Failure to consider cultural factorsmay be disastrous. Still another communication role ofpackaging is providing information to the consumerthrough the label or immediate package. Information oncontents, instructions on use and information requiredby law should assist rather than confuse the customer.Manufacturers and marketers are guilty of placinginstructions that are often hard to read without amagnifying glass. When the instructions are readable,they are frequently vague and ambiguous. Thus,instructions should be tested for understanding sincelack of instruction clarity leads to errors that mightbecome a reason for no repeat purchase [34].Creating a Desire for the Package: The package canconvince the consumer that the product could fill theneed or satisfy an inner desire. Packages usually addvalue like the convenience now being offered bymicrowaveable packaged foods. A shampoo or lotionbottle can shaped in such a way that its normal positionis inverted (less time to remove a viscous product), or itcan be easily hung on the shower handle. Special pumpdispensers have promoted the liquid soap form over thetraditional bar soap. Convenience must also considerthe ease of disposability of the package. Advances inpackaging technology have kept pace with the demandfor convenient packaging. In addition, rising consumeraffluence appears to show that consumers are willing topay more for convenience, appearance, dependability,and prestige of better packages [24].Selling the Product: Package must not only sell theproduct but also should create desire for repeatpurchases. This can be in the form of reusable features,special giveaways or easy dispensing devices whichpromote repeat sales and add value.2.2 The role of PackagingThe primary function of packaging is to protect theproduct against potential damage while transporting,storing, selling and exploiting a product [11], [26], [51]and to ensure the convenience during performance ofthese activities. Sogn-Grundvag & Ostli [47] haveindicated the importance of packaging in the case ofgrocery, when consumers buy unbranded products.Seeing that most consumers tend to touch productsbefore purchasing, they treat product packaging as atool for protecting consumers from contamination, forallowing them to touch products without restraint &without any need to avoid smudging their hands. Theypropose to use packaging with a ―window‖, in order toallow consumers to evaluate product by its appearanceat the same time reducing ―consumer uncertaintyregarding quality by branding the product and labellingit‖ [47], i.e. to communicate to consumer adequatemessage about product. It could be stating that in lengthof time a function of identification and communicationbecame vital important especially for consumerIJSER 2012

International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 2, February -2012ISS N 2229-5518products in the group of convenience goods. Packagingas a tool for communication was investigated andfinally suggested [1], [7], [11], [37], [42] [46], [48], [50].Taking into consideration that impulsive buying is anaspect applicable to many consumers. It could bemaintained that ―the package may be the onlycommunication between a product and the finalconsumer in the store‖ [11]. Consequently the role ofpackage in marketing communications increases: itmust attract consumer‘s attention and transmitadequate value of product to consumer in the shortperiod right in the place of sale. Therefore there is anecessity to explore package and its elements in moredetail, in order to understand which of these elementsare the most important for consumers purchasedecision.2.3. Elements of PackagingThere are many different schemes for classification ofelements of package in scientific literature. According toSmith & Taylor [46], there are six variables that must betaken into consideration by producer and designerswhen creating efficient package: form, size, colour,graphics, material and flavour. Similarly, Kotler [25]distinguishes six elements that must be evaluated whenemploying packaging decisions: size, form, material,colour, text and brand. Vila & Ampuero [50] similar toUnderwood [48] distinguished two blocks of packageelements: graphic elements (colour, typography, shapesused, and images) and structural elements (form, size ofthe containers, and materials). It should be noticed thatthese two blocks, similar to classification of Smith &Taylor [46] do not include verbal elements of package.Rettie & Brewer [38] stressed out the importance

brand image as Keller [21] describes brand image as ―perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory‖. Studies have shown that brand image is an important cue that consumers use to infer information regarding the quality of the

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