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Packaging: A Consumer's Standpoint

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An attractive box of cucumber soap on the store shelf caught my eye. The package was colored a gentle sea foam green, offsetting the picture of a large, fresh cucumber with stem still intact, sprinkled with dew and draped across the box. The ingredients listed extract of cucumber together with other emollients. I reached out for one, even as the unobtrusive saleswoman gently prodded me with, ''Its flying off the shelves fast!'' And why not; a package like that would have you believe you were taking a spa-class herbal cleanser home for the price and convenience of an ordinary bar of soap.

Intrinsic to Marketing

Though intrinsic to marketing, packaging plays a very big role in protecting the goods inside. A science in itself, packaging has to convey attributes of the brand to the consumer. This explains why there is so much visual difference between a box of household nails and a tub of cheese spread. Then there are the practical considerations: packaging has to keep in mind transportation and any potential damage that might occur during transit. Thus you have packaging that may need to be resistant to falls, vibrations, and other impacts. In the case of a product that is susceptible to odors such as coffee powder, packaging needs to be impermeable to odors such that if placed with a package of detergent, it will not pick up the smell. For the detergent, in turn, the packaging needs to be impermeable enough to prevent loss of fragrance. These factors need to be adhered to very closely; it is very easy to lose a customer because he opened a container of coffee creamer that left his coffee smelling of detergent!


Marketing promotion continues right up to the point when the purchase is made. For this reason, packaging needs to be visually enticing even while carrying out its basic function of protecting. Visual appeal is increased by the skillful use of colors and themes relevant to the products and services marketed. Thus you have a dapper Mr. Peanut on all of Planter's Peanuts containers, or a very smiling cow on packs of cheese. In addition, the material and texture used for packaging also carry forward the marketing plan — imagine buying butter from a wax-paper carton that is obviously oily from melted butterfat. Not only do such images put off a customer, but they may be damaging for the brand on a long-term basis through associations of careless packaging or handling and possibly, staleness in the case of food products. Of special note, a marketer must keep in mind that such a possibility is likely even in the face of excellent marketing communication.


Packaging has also undergone major changes and innovations to keep up with the demands of time. Some every day examples are frozen dinners, dispenser boxes for tissues, and foods and beverages being sold in containers that are easy to carry around; portability being an important aspect for an increasingly busy population. Similarly, in case of packaging for household cleaners, safe and easy handling and storage are a significant requirement. In hindsight then, a product or service is under test from the time it is promoted to the actual time of consumption.

From the consumer perspective, packaging is an important link in this journey and one aspect of marketing that cannot be overlooked.
On the net:Packaging Digest If this article has helped you in some way, will you say thanks by sharing it through a share, like, a link, or an email to someone you think would appreciate the reference.

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 damage  soaps  distinctions  shipping  consumers  visual appeal

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