POM/U3 Topic 4 Packaging: Role and Functions
The Packaging refers to all those activities related to designing, evaluating and producing the container for a product. Simply, the box-like container, wherein the product is stored to protect it from any physical damage and at the same time attracting the customer through its appeal is called as packaging.
The product might have three layers of packaging, such as, a toothpaste come in the plastic tube (primary package), then it is packed in a cardboard box (secondary package) and then finally is packed in a corrugated box (shipping or third package). Nowadays, the packaging is not limited to the protection of a product alone, but it has been used as a marketing tool for building the brand equity and boosting sales.
In today’s scenario, most of the companies use packaging as an important marketing tool because of the following factors:
- The packaging enables the self-service, as in the case of purchases done in the supermarkets and retail mart the customers select the products on their own without any assistance from the retailers. Thus, the company must design its product package in such a way, that it is capable enough to draw customer’s attention towards it.
- It helps in increasing the consumer affluence, which means the customers are willing to pay even more for the convenience, appearance, dependability of the better packages.
- The packages help in increasing the brand recognition among the customers. As soon as the customers see the package, they can instantly relate it to the company or brand. For example, the Brooke Bond’s Taj Mahal Tea comes in the blue pack with an image of a Taj Mahal on its box; this gives an identity to the brand.
- The innovative packaging also helps in bringing huge profits and benefits for the firm. Here, the company gives a unique design to its product package with the intent to grab customer’s attention. For example, the calcium Sandoz bottles targeted at children and women have been designed to make them attractive to the target segment (A dog shaped bottle for kids, while a lady-shaped bottle for women).
Thus, the packaging is capable of influencing a buyer to initiate sales since the buyer comes in contact with the package first and then after with the product.
ROLE OF PACKAGING
- To protect a product from damage or contamination by microorganisms and air, moisture and toxins.
- To keep the product together, to contain it (i.e. So that it does not spill).
- To identify the product.
- Protection during Transport and Ease of Transport.
- Stacking and Storage.
- Printed Information.
Functions of Packaging
(i) Product Identification
Packaging serves as an identification of the product. A product is packed in special sized, coloured and shaped container for keeping its difference from the products of competitors. For example, the yellow and black coloured pack of KODAK ROLL tells itself of its producer.
(ii) Product Protection
The main function of packaging is to provide protection to the product from dirt, insects, dampness and breakage. For example, the products like biscuit, jam, chips, etc., need to be protected from environmental contact. That is why they are tightly packed.
Packaging provides convenience in the carriage of the product from one place to another, in stocking and in consuming. For example, the new pet bottles of COKE makes the carriage and stocking easier. Similarly, the pack of FROOTI provides convenience in its consumption.
(iv) Product Promotion
Packaging simplifies the work of sales promotion. Packing material in the house reminds the consumers constantly about the product. In this way, the packaging performs the role of a passive salesman. Consequently, it increases the sales.