Packaging characteristics and consumer brand preference


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Packaging characteristics and consumer brand preference

  1. 1. Packaging characteristics andconsumer brand preferenceIntroduction:The term business is defined as an organized way to earn profit. Profit is basicmotiv that coerces any business individual or organization to producesomething that is really needed. This basic motif compels producers to takenecessary steps to improve not only the product qualities but also theappearance. Producers manage to interlink demands and supplies and helptheir consumers to get maximum satisfaction in limited resources by offeringthem many well-suited goods.As there is always scarcity of sources and abundance of wants; to generatesymmetry between wants and supplies a wide range of similar and nearlyalternative products are offered with varieties of price, packing style, brandname etc. by various companies, which provides customers multiplicity ofchoices. Since, in perfect competition every individual or firm has rights toenter the market (or leave the market) at any time and produce and sell goodsaccording to their own will, every producer tries his level best to captivateconsumers attention by emphasizing qualities of his products among manyalmost similar products, hence it becomes essential to use multiplicity ofpackaging style, size and color of likely products, so that specific brands maybe distinguished among others.The intentions of Consumer for procuring anything depends upon the intensityof his desires to satisfy his needs. Consumers have expectations thatanything he is buying will satisfy his needs. (Kupiec and Revell, 2001) Thebasic purpose is to fulfill consumers needs instead of product name,consequently consumer makes buying decision at the moment they encounterdifferent objects rather making prior decisions. Consumers purchase decisiondepends the way he is communicated for anything at store. The packagingbecomes a major cause of his decision to buy anything because it is the firstintroduction of the product, which communicates the consumer that whether aproduct may (or may not) fulfill his requirements. The product which appearsmore suitable to a customer a nearest match for his needs is bought, whereasothers are left. The key factor to convince a customer is to know his needsand to make him understand that a particular thing is a perfect match of hisrequirements.As due to change of consumers life style consumers are interested inpackaging tool, So packaging performs an important role in marketingcommunications, Packaging characteristics could be treated as one of themost important factors influencing consumers brand preference. Taking into
  2. 2. consideration that package could be treated as a set of various elementscommunicating different messages to a consumer, the role of appropriatepackaging material to form customers behavior becomes inevitable.Customers taste and behavior also participates significant functions inchoosing specific packaging style, hence to know market trend and behaviorof consumers, companies conduct market surveys, prior launching any newproduct, so that they may understand perceptions of consumers regardingspecific products and on the basis of customers behavior, figure out thepossibility of product success.Marketing Experts believe that Success is traditionally associated with thechoice of an appropriate product positioning strategy, so the first step must beto correctly define a positioning strategy. Positioning strategy means to findout physical appearance of any product prior launching it to the market. It hasalso been observed that sometimes quite beneficial products could not getproper attentions of the consumers because of wrong market positioningstrategy or weak planning.(Ramsay, 1983; McAlexander et al., 1993)As a matter of fact if a product (or products) is more demanding andconsequently gives lots of profit, every business individual or firm will tend toproduce same for having their share of profit in that specific field. This is howthere are numerous producers or manufacturers producing analogousproducts with the difference of brand name, packing style, shape and sizebecause a ditto copy will never makes consumers to switch from their existingbrand to a new one. Consumers normally do not switch from one product toanother without having sound reasons. These reasons are nothing else but tomake them realize that the new product is same but has some differenttendencies as well, for instance despite having many chocolate manufacturingcompanies, every new manufacturer will not be welcomed to influenceconsumers, unless they manage to prove that their product is better thanexisting products.Every company tends to prove that their product is somehow poles apart totheir competitors and can fulfill the needs of their consumers in better way butin reasonable price. Packaging is the first step to make consumers buysomething and plays crucial role to either make a product sellable or to proveit a complete failure, as it is believed that"Selling something apparently attractive, though having low benefits is easierthan something that has more benefits and lesser attractive."or in other words"Most of the books are judged and bought by their covers, instead of theircontents."
  3. 3. While purchasing anything from the market every 73 out of 100 people go forapparently good things rather than brand and only 27 percent people strictlystuck for brand. In normal days we do not eat any food, if it does not look orsmell great, though we know foods are to be tasted and not to be decorated.Commonly people go for the best looking items instead of technicalities; this iswhy most of the people buy extraordinary and expensive mobile phones notbecause of advanced functions but because they look great and by and largethey rarely become familiar of all functions.As the world is rapidly turning into global village and with the passage of timebusiness is being expanded, the importance of using correct type ofpackaging material has become essential. Packaging is rightly called an artbecause packaging material is the first introduction of any product to theconsumers, as well as it provides a physical blockade between a product andthe surroundings by maintaining hygiene and reducing the risk of productwastage due to impurity. Packaging is indispensable for a safe distribution,storage, sale, and use.Packaging also refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production ofpackages. It can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods forsafe, efficient and cost-effective transport, distribution, storage, retailing,consumption and recovery, reuse or disposal combined with maximizingconsumer value, sales and hence profit. Verily packaging is a central part ofthe goods supply chain, which protects goods from damage, allows efficientdistribution, informs the consumer regarding products and helps to promotegoods in a competitive marketplace.Packaging Material, especially for edible goods, are used as a tool to prolongproducts life. Unlike old days, when a huge part of edible goods used to bewasted because of insufficient packaging materials, now days edible goods inbulk quantities are manufactured and stored for a long time, which leads tomaintain timely supply as well as reduces products cost.In general terms, packaging is the container that has direct or indirect contactwith product, it holds, protects, preserves and identifies the product as well asfacilitating handling and commercialization (Vidales Giovannetti, 1995)Packaging is a tool to form good relationship between Retailers and FoodManufacturers because both work more closely to create products designedfor current lifestyles, based on the latest technology. A Retailer, having directlink with end users, can easily be well aware of the perception of consumers.On the other hand manufacturers modify packaging style and product qualityon the basis of information provided by retailers. This has resulted in anexplosion in the market for ready to eat meals, a market in which packaging isplaying an increasingly important role.
  4. 4. In a very broad sense, the food industry is discovering the food servicechannel as a new distribution alternative. Alliances between food producersand food service operators will be the only means to develop successfulsolutions.(Axler, marketing director of Sodexho, Belgium)Packaging is also a source to provide information about ingredients to thecustomers and instructions to use the product, for which there are some legalrequirements. Consumers make final choice on the basis of these informationfor instance there are some products inappropriate for diabetics patientsbecause of having high calories, hence instructions on packaging can savediabetic patients, on contrary there are some ingredients which are prohibitedfor some specific religion (as pork is banned in Islamic & Jews preaching)hence through instructions and ingredient list, Muslims and Jews can avoidsuch forbidden foods.Similarly on medicines dosage is mentioned for children and adults. There aresome food related items, especially dairy items, which cannot be kept insunlight, whereas there are some other items, which must be kept in open andairy places to make them fresh or to store in cold. Manufacturing and Expiry isalso mentioned on food products, so that one may know that an edible item isbest to use before a certain period of time to avoid any hazard or healthproblem. On master cartons and containers stack height is also mentioned toavoid product loss, whereas handle with care caution is mentioned on easilybreakable items.Packaging is the most important medium of communication because itreaches almost all buyers in the category and is present at the crucial momentwhen procurement decision is made; and buyers are actively involved withpackaging as they examine it to obtain the information they need. (Behaeghel1991 and Peters 1994)Packaging is becoming an essential part of the value chain analysis,regarding food safety, organoleptic characteristics, ergonomics and flexibility,"(Axler, marketing director of Sodexho, Belgium)Packaging is a mean of communication.(Gardener 1967, Lincoln 1965)Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protectingproducts for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to theprocess of design, evaluation, and production of packages. Packaging can bedescribed as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport,warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects,preserves, transports, informs, and sells. In many countries it is fullyintegrated into government, business, industrial, and personal use.
  5. 5. Packaging attributes, combining colors, designs, shape, symbols, andmessages of Food products, provide people brand acquaintance for examplein a departmental store all kinds of beverages are kept in same place butconsumer of specific brand can easily distinguish his choice because ofdifference of color, size and unambiguous shape. (Nancarrow et al., 1998)Numerous market trends suggests a growing packaging role as a brandcommunication vehicle and reducing expenses on traditional brand buildingmass media advertising. Importance of Packaging role is acknowledged roundthe globe for brand building and consequently the expenses on advertisementhas been found reduced. Once a brand becomes familiar companies do nothave to spend a huge amount on advertising because consumer will reach thebrand automatically. Companies just have to manage timely deliveries, so thatmeanwhile a consumer may not switch to the nearest competitors due tounavailability of the product. (Belch and Belch, 2001)Packaging attracts and sustains attention, helping consumers identify with theimages presented. The importance of packaging design and the use ofpackaging, as a vehicle for communication and branding, are growing (Rettieand Brewer, 2000) One recent study estimated that 73 percent of purchasedecisions are made at the point of sale, it means that a majority of consumersswitch to one brand to its nearly alternative while purchasing, for example ahousewife wants to have a jar of jam of a specific brand, if she does not find itin superstore, she might buy any similar brand in absence of her desiredbrand, this may cause her to believe that the new brand is somehowcomparatively better than the previous one, hence next time she will visit tothe store, she will surely go for the new brand instead of previous one.(Connolly and Davidson, 1996)Packaging materials are used to communicate the messages of specificcompanies. Most of the branded companies have their particular brandslogans, which influences consumers towards their products. To achieve thecommunication goals effectively and to optimize the potential of packaging,fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers must comprehendconsumer response to their packages, and incorporate the perceptualprocesses of the consumer into design. It is also observed that companiesthat sometimes failure of a product is not because of lack in product qualitiesbut lack of presentations. (Nancarrow et al., 1998)Almost all FMCG spend extra amount to figure out Consumers perceptionand behavior, which is believed is not consistent across cultures. Althoughmany industry observers believe that consumers worldwide are likely to haveroughly similar response to many FMCG, despite cultural differences (TheNation, Bangkok, 2002) yet there are many cross-cultural researchers whobelieve vice versa, and assert that knowledge developed in one culture should
  6. 6. be confirmed before use in new cultural contexts (e.g., Malhotra et al., 1996)The expansion of modern retailing helps drive this growth, so that packagingplays an increasingly critical role in merchandising and communication forFMCG (The Nation, Bangkok, 2002)Viewing pollution problem of the world, it becomes essential to take necessarysteps to reduce waste and garbage. The role of packaging in waste reductionis the most evident at food packaging. When food is processed and packaged,the food residues are often used as fuel, animal feed or some economicallyuseful by-product. In absence of packaged processed food, the residuesbecome garbage in the household.Another reason why food packaging reduces waste is that it reduces spoilage.In developing countries food wastage is between 20-50% because of poor orthe lack of packaging. In Europe, where packaging is used in handling,transport, containment and storage, food wastage is approximately 2-3%.(PIN, 1996) With increasing rates of appropriate packaging materials, thefraction of food wastes decreases. A survey conducted in this regards declarethat Overall, for every 1% increase of packaging, food waste decreases byabout 1.6%. (Scarlett, 1996)Read more: of Packaging Materials:1. Physical FortificationThe objects enclosed in the package may require shield from many things likeshock, shuddering, compression, high temperature, etc. AppropriatePackaging Material accumulates objects from all these hazards.A good packaging material reduces the probability of product loss andwastage. Food products like as other products are to move from one place toanother for instance first from factories to warehouses then from warehousesto depot and later on from depots to distributors and then from distributors toretailers and then to the end users. Proper handling needs either to deputehuge manpower to avoid such losses (which will surely increase product cost,though product loss will not be prevented completely) or to use goodpackaging materials; naturally usage of proper packaging material is morefeasible, though manpower is also used wherever needed.
  7. 7. 2. ProtectionFood products can be kept safe for a long time, unless Oxygen, water vapor,dust, etc. may not affect them. Infiltration is a critical factor in designingpackaging materials. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygenabsorbers to help extend shelf life, whereas usage of metallic sheet or polyfilm is quite normal in packaging of food related items to prevent oxygen.Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in somefood packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, disinfected and safe for theintended shelf life is a primary function of packaging materials.3. RepressionHandling small objects separately is difficult than keeping them in one packetor box, hence diminutive objects are usually grouped together in one packageinstead of keeping them in different packages, for example, a single box of1000 erasers requires less physical handling than 1000 single rubbers.Liquids, powders, and grainy materials need containment.4. CommunicationPackages are properly labeled to provide information related to usage ofproduct that how to use, transport, reprocess, or dispose of the package orproduct. Food, medical, chemical and pharmaceutical products are labeledproper manufacturing and expiry dates as well as suitable way of handling forexample on some packages "keep in cold and dry place" is written becausemoisture and heat can cause hazardous change in the product, on somecartons stacking size has also mentioned to avoid any damage.5. MarketingThe packaging and labels are used to influence consumers to buy something.Package graphic design and physical design are chosen after thoroughsurvey and deep study of consumers taste and behavior. It has also beenobserved that products which were proved a complete failure became muchpopular, just after changing the design of packages. The color schemes,designs, packaging style and size are rightly called tools to sell anything.6. Safety MeasuresPackaging plays imperative role in reducing safety risks of shipment. Priorpackaging, need of safety measures are studied thoroughly. Good PackagingMaterial is the one that comprises tamper confrontation to deter tamperingand also have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packagescan be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Somepackage constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilferedindicating seals. Packages may include validation seals and use securityprinting to help indicate that the package and contents are not imitation.Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags,or electronic article observation tags that can be activated or detected by
  8. 8. devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Usingpackaging in this way is a means of loss deterrence.7. ConveniencePackages are designed to keep viewing convenience in distribution, handling,stacking, display, sale, opening, re-closing, use, dispensing, and reuse, forexample a tin of cooking oil is not used only once, it is to be used time andagain, hence there must be convenience in use as well as in reuse. Oncontrary a can of disposable beverage is not designed for reusing purposeand once the seal is opened, it is to be used in a limited time; else it will endits properties.Many housewives are observed not using specific products because ofinconvenience in use, despite knowing their low price or other benefits.8. Portion ControlSpecific quantities or proper dosage of some products, e.g. salt, are requiredto be used. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages thatare a more suitable size for individual households. It is also aids the control ofinventory for example selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather thanhaving people bringing their own bottles to fill themselves.Types of Packaging MaterialsThe most widespread types of packaging material are paper, glass, aluminum,fiber board, plastic and steel.Paper:Paper is one of the most extensively used packaging materials, because ofbeing light in weight, cheap in price and easily available. The use ofcorrugated cardboard, instead of wooden boxes, has reduced weight ofpackaging materials on one hand and made safe and easy transportation onthe other hand.Glass:The use of Glass, as Packaging Material has almost been given up, especiallyfor food items e.g. for beverages because any slight jerk or shock causes it tobreak into pieces, which is not only material loss but also is harmful for humanhealth; usage of glass has been replaced with Tin and Plastic. Glass is themost common form of packaging waste, although it has been returned to thefactories now days for recycling, yet because of its insecure nature, it is beingavoided as packaging material.Aluminum:It iscommonly used inpackaging of food items,such asin cans of soft drinksand in tin packed provisions as foil to protect foodstuff from decomposition bypreventing access of oxygen. The used aluminum as scrap is sold on highprice because aluminum is recycled economically because 20 recycledaluminum cans, can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture onebrand new one.
  9. 9. Steel:Currently Steel is being used as packaging material for foods, beverages andpaints as well as aerosols. Steel is recycled in great extent to minimizeproduct cost. A survey declares that around 16% of energy saving is observedsteel because of recycling of steel.Plastic:The use of plastic as packaging material brings so many advantages forinstance plastic is light weighted, long lasting and easily available material.The cost of plastic is a bit cheaper as compare to aluminum and steel.Mixed materials:Instead of using a single material for packaging, the trend to use mixedmaterials is proven more beneficial in form of reducing energy consumptionalthough combining different materials makes reprocessing difficult. Lack offacilities and necessary technologies to separate mixed materials havebecome great obstacle to recycle because without separating these materialscontamination cannot be avoided.Importance of Packaging & Branding in MarketingPackaging and Branding are two sides of same coin and are essential formarketing. Branding means to represent not only the name, description anddesign of a product but also to distinguish a company from its competitors.Most of the brand conscious people believe that a specific brand actuallyrepresents the history and credibility of not only the brand but also themanufacturers, because using specific brand means trusting particularcompanies instead of their professional rivals. No brand can be popularwithout proper packaging hence it is rightly called that Packing is a marketinginstrument, which attracts consumers and forms their trust on companies.People form their good or bad opinions about inside products through theouter look e.g. the colors, fonts, descriptions and logo. It is also experiencedthat a product, once proven failure, hit the consumers choice later on whenthe look was improved.SalesMarketing Department focuses to strategize methods to sell companysproducts in presence of competitors. Packaging and Branding is actuallytwofold picture. It is said that people do not buy anything unless it looks great.Brand department conducts market surveys to discover new ways to influencemore consumers than their competitors, so that more part of market may becaptivated. New advertising techniques are discovered and adopted with thepassage of time.Brand campaigns are run in the most exclusive manners to form a cohesivebrand or image. Brand department keeps an eye on market trends and incase the sale of concern product decreases, new and attractive ways areadopted to re-stable market position, sometimes change in color, size or
  10. 10. packaging style revive a falling product. That is why many products arerelabeled after a certain period of time by adding "new" in product name.Customers do not recognize the product but through the brands. It has alsobeen experienced that when a group of consumers were offered to taste sameproducts of different companies, including their own brand, without mentioningof products identities, only a few consumers chose their own brand, whereasmajority either could not figure out any difference or chose products other thantheir brands.BrandingProduct appearance plays vital role in creation of brand. The product qualityhas secondary importance because once a consumer is influenced to use aproduct first time, the product quality can be known. On a survey conducted tofind out consumers market perception, while answering "why a product ispurchased?" most of the answers were "because it is apparently good."Brand is not only product introduction but also forms market image ofcompany, for example soft drinks manufacturers are producing almost similarproducts but their consumers recognize their products through presentationstyle, color scheme and packaging uniqueness. Some experts believe thatadvertising, which provides information about objective attributes such asprice and physical traits will influence brand associations. Advertising canmake positive brand evaluations and attitudes readily accessible in memoryAdvertising also influences behavioral manifestations of brand equity. Onaverage, market leaders spend 20 percent more of their budgets onadvertising than do their nearest competitors.There are different parameters or factors that force a customer to switch onebrand to another. This individual varied behavior leads to study taxonomy ofexplanations for varied behavior. Experts of branding distribute these variedbehaviors into "Derived" and "Direct" variation. "Derived varied behavior"refers to varied behavior that results from "forces that have nothing to do witha preference for change in and of itself" These forces are divided into "multipleneeds" and "changes in the choice problem." Multiple needs include multipleusers, contexts and uses.There are empirical evidences indicating that varied consumption of thehousehold may result from different usage purposes of the product as well asdifferent users within the household. Changes in the choice problem arechanges in the feasible set of alternatives, tastes and constraints (newbrands, advertising, deals, etc.)"Direct variation" explanations of varied behavior rely on the "inherentlysatisfying aspects of changing behavior" Interpersonal and intrapersonalmotives are involved in direct variation. Interpersonal motives result from the
  11. 11. needs for affiliation and distinction. Intrapersonal motives result from threemain forces.First is the desire for the unfamiliar cite empirical evidence on successfulattempts to get stable and reliable measures of different aspects of this desirethat is related to an ideal level of stimulation desired by the individual.Second is the desire for information, to measure optimum stimulation levels.Consumers want information on familiar brands. This need for informationarises when continued consumption of a particular brand creates confusionwith regard to the worth of other brands.The third type of "direct variation" that satisfies intrapersonal needs isalternation among the familiar. The studies in the areas of psychology ofconsumer behavior show that levels of stimulation can be raised by switchingamong familiar as well as unfamiliar brands. There is empirical evidence onthe existence of ideal levels of attributes wanted by consumers in theirconsumption. This fact may result in switching among familiar brands that arerich in different attributes.The present study interprets varied consumption as a result of variety seekingbehavior, which is operational as a measure of individual tendency to varyconsumption. This tendency is measured on a continuum that extends fromextreme tendency to vary consumption to an extreme tendency to avoidvariety.It is possible to identify five major factors which influence the proportion oftotal product sales made by each brand of a product class displayed in asupermarket: (1) relative brand prices, (2) the proportion of display spaceallocated to each brand, (3) the quality of display space, (4) point-of-saleadvertising and promotion, and (5) consumer brand attitudes and preferences.The first four of these factors are direct dimensions of the purchaseenvironment. The fifth is a residual of advertising and promotion, habits andexperience, which is brought to the purchase environment by the consumer. Aprimary objective of this analysis is to isolate and quantify the fifth item,namely, brand preferences of consumers.The procedure outlined in the model essentially involves controlling the otherfour aspects of the purchase environment and thereby isolating the effect ofbrand preferences. In many merchandising situations, however, the effects ofbrand preferences and relative brand prices work together in either acumulative or a compensating way. For this reason, it may also be of interestto quantify the combined effects of consumer brand preferences anddifferences in brand prices. While this is possible with the model and isdiscussed later, the basic model is developed to fit conditions where brandprices are equal. With equal brand prices, equal display quality conditions,and no point- of-sale advertising or promotion, it is hypothesized that the sales
  12. 12. of each brand would be proportional to the display space allocated to each ifall buyers were indifferent concerning brand choice.SlogansA slogan is a short, unforgettable grasp phrase, which are used as punch linein advertisement to summarize the whole product quality and usage in one ora few words. The company and product information details are associatedwith tagline or motto of slogans. Companies often use one or a few wordsslogans to catch the attention of consumers. These slogans are somehowinterlinked with the image of product quality because it becomes a keycomponent and are used as essential factor to recognize products forexample, "Relax, its FedEx" defines that a renowned American CourierService is being discussed, similarly "Im lovin it!" mentions McDonalds and"Finger-lickin good" denotes K.F.C (Kentucky Fried Chicken) "The Joy ofPepsi!" declares a beverage company, "Dont leave home without it." talksabout American Express and "The Legend Leads" speaks out of Peek Freans.Many products are even known by their slogans instead of their own names.Designs of PackagingSuitable Packing is designed to captivate a customers attention. The momenta consumer throws a glance towards products, his decision for whether or notto buy a product is formed on the basis of product appearance. A child willalways reject product having dull colors whereas an old man will surely avoidusing bright colored objects. A well marketed product is wrapped packaging,which suits the flavor of users. Mercedes can never be found in shocking pinkcolor because people who use it, have sober taste and prefer elegance,whereas sports cars are manufactured in bright colors because the dominantusers are young.Color effects human behavior such as some colors make us happy whereasothers make us sad. While making purchase decision, colour schemebecomes more obvious. The effect of colour has been studied widely to knowthe consumers perception. (Imram, 1999) Consumer opinions of an adequatecolor are associated with discernments of other quality features, such astaste, aroma, satisfaction and nourishment levels. Positive effect can begained by using one or more packaging variables. In some product clearpackaging is sued to allow consumers to view food colour, incident light, andtaxonomy. While making advertisement of food items, the best colourcombination is used not only for plates having food items but also the clothesof models and the surroundings are used in contrast, so that the food productmay feel better. In Caf� or Restaurants, the food products chosen for displayand sale by caterers are selected for their color and appearance attributes(Imram, 1999)Packaging Tools
  13. 13. Colors, fonts, descriptions and logos are important packing tools, which areused to form opinions of consumers regarding products. Products, havingsimilar category, are distinguished by their prominent colors, fonts and sizes.Variation of color and font size etc. illustrates consumers that a certainproduct is somehow dissimilar with its competitors. Although products nameare kept different, yet while keeping in shelf, they all look same from adistance, unless somebody examines them closely.Stressing out essential of proper packaging Rettie & Brewer (2000) describetwo elements of influencing consumers.1. verbal (for example, brand slogans)2. visual (visual apeal, picture, etc.)Similarly Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene & Rutelione (2008) classify consumersdecision making process by mentioning these two elements. Theydiscriminate between non-verbal elements of package (colour, form, size,imageries, graphics, materials and smell) and verbal elements of package(product name, brand, producer/ country, information, special offers,instruction of usage) Their classification includes brand as a verbalcomponent, whereas Keller (2003), for example, considers packaging as oneof the five elements of the brand, together with name, logo, graphic symbol,personality, and the slogans.Visual descriptions on the package, is also an important attribute. Productpictures are used as strategic method of differentiation with sucharrangements that consumers may take their notice at first glance. Once anyproduct enhances access to consumer consciousness, it can convince him tobuy something. This is why because seeing something creates moreinfluences than mere listening or in other words pictures are tremendouslyvivid motivational compared to words (Underwood et al., 2001) Visualizingsomething effects more rapidly and easily for consumers and does not needcomplete involvement. Visual packaging information, being more eye-catchingsets customers expectations for contents. The curiosity of customer enableshim to have a positive association with the product whereas attractiveappearance induces brilliant and constructive connection with the product.Consumers behavior, towards various objects, fluctuates with the passage oftime and hence it becomes essential to bring change in product looks afterspending a certain period of time. Manufacturers use different font style, apartof having different product names, sometimes irregular spelling is used toattain customers attention for instance some manufacturers of cake spell theword with "K" instead of "C"Company RepresentationAlthough branding and packaging are created by a company, yet as a matterof fact they are important to form company image in market and in consumers
  14. 14. minds. Companies become familiar when their brands are acknowledged forinstance whenever IBM is mentioned it leads the image of a more traditional,deep-rooted corporate culture and despite having many other branded andunbranded goods IBM, Compaq, Dell and Acer are distinguished because oftheir own qualities. A well known company has to work lesser to launch a newproduct than a newly established unidentified company because the credibilityof eminent company illustrate people to rely and use new product for instanceif a new product is launched by an unknown company people hesitate to use itbut I they are told that the product is launched by a famous company likeUnilever, they will surely trust the product qualities.Packaging designs and logs are mark of identification of any product andacquaintance of product makes any company familiar as reliable in marketsuch as the logo of an Italian chef explains that the product is some howrelated to the Italian food like pizza or logo of Pied Piper remembers peoplethat Peak Freens products are being discussed.Characteristics of Packaging MaterialsPackage Size:Prior visiting market, a buyer has to decide how much quantity of his requiredproduct must be purchased to fulfill his need. Since consumers face scarcityof resources and abundance of wants, everyone tries to form symmetrybetween resources and wants by spending specific amount of money onvarious articles of goods according to need, for instance a person has Rs100/- in his pocket and he needs potatoes and milk powder. He will have todecide how much quantity of both can fulfill his requirements. The size ofPackage plays essential role in consumers decision of purchase, for examplea family consisting of only two members will never buy a container of ten kgmilk powder on contrary a large family will never procure half quarter of same.Viewing huge number of variety consumers, it is important to use anappropriate packaging standard size, so that every consumer may haveproduct according to his needs.The covariance of attention and size may cause the overall attention-attractingproperties of a containers shape to bias or mentally "contaminate" volumejudgments. External and irrelevant factors frequently intrude upon andcontaminate judgments of objects, yet they are unrecognized because peopleoften are unable to identify the basis for a judgment. (Wilson and Brekke1994)When judging size, people are accustomed to relying on their senses to makequick judgments without introspecting about why an object appears largerthan another. For example, people accept that a half-gallon milk cartonappears larger than a quart without analyzing why it does so. Further,attention can intrude upon size judgments because attention can be directed
  15. 15. to objects automatically, without a consumer having to consciously deliberateover it. An individual might not even notice that he or she is comparing acrosspackages in their attention-attracting abilities because comparativeevaluations are so ingrained as to be spontaneous. A consumer might simplyconclude that one package "seems bigger" without quite knowing why.Although the paired comparisons methodology involves presentingparticipants with two packages simultaneously, attention should be directed toone object at a time. People find it difficult to attend to two objectssimultaneously (Baylis and Driver 1993; Duncan 1984Comparisons between two alternatives seem to be common when consumerschoose products. Eye-tracking research shows that shoppers screen agrocery product class quickly, spending relatively more time directing theirattention to two or three alternatives (Russo and Leclerc 1994)Shape of PackageSize and shape also emerges as a crucial dimension. One way in whichconsumers appear to use these things is as a simplifying visual heuristic tomake volume judgments. Generally, they perceive more elongated packagesto be larger, even when they frequently purchase these packages and haveexperience using them. Disconfirmation of package size after consumptionmay not lead consumers to revise their volume judgment sufficiently in thelong term, especially if the discrepancy is not very large (Raghubir andKrishna, 1999).The importance of packaging design is vitally acknowledged because it helpscompanies to be familiar in people with their brand. Prior starting a businessor launching new products, companies conduct market surveys to find outconsumers inclination because their basic motif, earning profit can never besucceeded unless they get the answer of the first and the most importantquestion."What will touch Consumers minds?"Different people respond to different packages in different ways, depending ontheir involvement (Vakratsas and Ambler, 1999)Increased competition is forcing brand managers of consumer goods to alterthe portfolio of the package sizes they offer (Elliott 1993). In making thesedecisions, managers are beginning to speculate whether larger package sizesaccelerate a consumers usage volume of particular products. Indeed, arecent memo distributed within a large packaged goods company encouragedbrand managers to "rethink how package sizes and shapes influence(pouring) volume" before making package-related decisions in their productline. In effect, the interest of these managers is shifting from how consumerschoose brands to how they use them (Wansink 1994a). Although somemanagers assume that that larger package sizes encourage consumers to
  16. 16. use more (per usage occasion) than smaller package sizes, the support isonly anecdotal and these assumptions are becoming a source of controversy.Managers are interested in selling more of a product, where- as public policyofficials are interested in decreasing the amount that a consumer wastes(Shapiro 1993). At the center of this issue is the relationship between packagesize and usage volume.The aim here is to help clarify this issue by1. Empirically determining whether package size has an impact on the usagevolume of branded productsand2. Investigating the reasons for any such impact.There is a strong impact on consumer decision making from the developmentof the market through marketing communications, including image building(Kupiec and Revell, 2001).This defines methodology to understand consumers behavior towards similarexisting products and provides probability of the success of any new launch."How packaging elements can affect buying decisions?" is the basic elementof running a business, for instance all articles related to children no mattertoys or edible goods, are wrapped in bright colors, whereas articles for matureand grown ups have sobriety in them.Straight shape has a positive utility compared to curvy, as does classic designon the package compared to colorful. This suggests that, overall therespondents may be more attracted to a package that seems familiar andreliable, rather than exciting. Focus group work also indicated that Thaiconsumers strongly prefer more familiar products. Without their usual choices,another product from a well-known company would be perceived as morereliable (Silayoi and Speece, 2004)Different shapes and sizes of packaging obscure the ability of consumers tomake correct judgments about the quantity of a product to purchase. Somepackage sizes vary because of the nature of the products (e.g., meat) but forothers the basis of variation cannot be justified for example there arecountless sizes, colors and shapes of shampoos, which confuse consumers.The puzzlement can be overcome by the consumers by reading labelsthoroughly because most product labels provide particular information. Thecomparison of product volumes must be made after paying attention onproduct labels which provide all relevant information regarding sizes andstandard units (e.g. fluid is compared in ounces and solid in kg etc.)Most of the Shoppers usually do not show consideration to read product labeland consequently the variance of sizes creates ambiguity. (Cole andBalasubramanian1993; Dickson and Sawyer 1990) Although consumers shop
  17. 17. with their eyes, yet they pay little attention towards the volume informationmentioned on labels (Cole and Balasubramanian1993)As a matter of fact there are only a few consumers who read complete labelprior buying anything but providing complete information of product on labelssave many problems occur due to negligence such as people with highcholesterol must avoid fatty and rich in protein products to avoid any harm.Food labels provide complete information about products and one can formhis opinion whether or not to buy a certain product in light of theseinformation.Generally, differentiating among several objects becomes more complicatedas the magnitude of the dissimilarity decreases. (Banks, Mermelstein, and Yu1982)When consumers compare the volume of two similarly sized packages, thatjudgment may be contaminated by a factor that typically co-varies with sizedifferences that one container attracts more attention than the other. If one ofthe two containers attracts more attention, consumers may misattribute thegreater attention they subjectively experience as being paid to that package toa size difference. This intrusion may occur unconsciously so that consumersdo not recognize its influence.Product SafetyThe functions of Packaging can be distributed into three main categoriesrepresenting three "Cs" i.e. Cover from loss (Protection) Comfort (userfriendly) and Communication (conveys messages of manufacturers andportrays good market image of products as well as producers) The securitymeasures or cover from loss mean to protect product from internal andexternal loss e.g. damages during packing at factories or while carrying fromone place to another for instance from factories to the distributors or retailerslater on keeping safe and prolonging shelf life till the end users have them.Comfort is also a phase of Product safety, which causes good businessrelations and prolongs products reputations in market, for example cooking oilonce used to be packed in air tight sealed tin containers. Those containerswere best according to product safety but could not be proven user friendlybecause users had to cut the seal with cutters, which sometimes used tocause wounded hands of housewives. Those tin packed products could not bestored longer at homes because once the tin was opened it was to be usedwithin specific time. Later on tin lids were placed instead of sealed tin sheet.The journey of making products more comfortable and user friendly resultedusage of plastic cans instead of tin containers, which not only save handsfrom wounds but also proven portable due to lighter weight.
  18. 18. The quality and safety of food is a major benchmark of the economicdevelopment and peoples living conditions. Freshness and taste of the edibleitems completely depend upon the well developed packaging.Packed Foods are now ubiquitous all over the world hence a lot of universalcorporations compete to capture the large shares of packed food market. Tosurvive in this throat cut competition as well as improve the safety and appealof these products, most appropriate food packaging is of great importance.Companies produce in bulk quantities to minimize product cost and to storegoods for continuous supply.For instance, in Biscuit Manufacturing Companies, to keep the biscuits crispy,crunchy and tasty for long duration, flawless biscuits packaging plays a pivotalrole. Being extremely soft in quality, biscuits need proper packaging, whichcould protect them from humidity and any kind of damage. Moisture proof,durable and appealing edible packaging is the key to enhance the shelf life,brand image and marketability of edible products.Shelf Life of ProductShelf life encompasses both safety and quality of food. Safety and spoilage-related changes in food occur by three modes of action; biological(bacterial/enzymatic), chemical (auto-oxidation/pigments), and physical.Active packaging may intervene in the deteriorative reactions by; altering thepackage film permeability, selectively absorbing food components or releasingcompounds to the food. The addition of shelf life extending compounds topackaging films rather than directly to food can be used to provide continuedinhibition for product stabilization. For further processed foods with greaterthan one week shelf life, active packaging can provide an added level ofprotection downstream in the distribution cycle. Direct addition ofantimicrobials for instance, will have a strong initial effect but will have littleeffect later in the distribution cycle since the antimicrobial will react with foodcomponents or be absorbed into the food bulk. For non-fluid foods, thedeteriorative reactions occur primarily at the food surface. Thus, lessantimicrobial will be needed when used in the package since the compoundwill be released at the location of need, the food surface will be highlightedthat focus on using compounds that are either approved for food use or arefood components.Antimicrobials used include nisin, lauric acid, and EDTA while antioxidantsadded to films include BHT, BHA, and rosemary extract. Film and coatingmaterials include soy, wheat, corn, and polyethylene. Pathogens includingSalmonella and Listeria have been inhibited by several combinations ofantimicrobials and film or coating types. Positive results for food shelf lifeextension have been shown by the application of active packaging.Convenience of Storage
  19. 19. While buying something on monthly consumption basis, consumers do notbuy anything in bulk quantity, which occupies more space, because unlikedepartmental stores or supermarkets, there is limited space at homes.Consumers preference will always be convenience of storage instead of needfor example despite consuming 20 lit of cooking oil, a consumer might notprefer one container of 20 Lit, his preference will be four cans of 5 Lit becauseusing 5 Lit can is more comfortable rather than 20 Lit container. On contrary afamily having small members would also buy 5 Lit can because big packinglike as 20 Lit container will surely be useless for it on contrary small packing ofquarter Lit will not be easy to store for a long time because it will occupy morearea and space for other articles would not be left.Convenience of UseCurrently convenience of edible goods become essential, since growingbusyness makes people much too time conscious and they pay moreattention towards new technologies for time saving. Time consumingpackaging materials have been replaced with time sharing materials. Thisthing compels manufacturers to pace ahead in the field of advancement.(Silayoi and Speece, 2004)Generally Consumers buy things which are more convenient to use ascompare to inconvenience and hard labour for example in old days utensils ofclay were in use later utensils made up of bronze became familiar but whenstainless steel was introduced it easily taken the place. In food industriesconsumers prefer those products which can easily be used and can stored insmall place. Products are designed keeping in view of consumersconvenience for example all products designed for children such aschocolates, cookies and jellies are packed in the manner children can easilyopen, further more packing size is taken viewing convenience of consumersfor example food products specially FMCG are not made heavy enough,which could not be transported easily. They are rather designed incomfortable way that an individual may easily carry them wherever he wants.Environmental pollution is the burning question at present. The awarenessabout this growing danger is increasing with the passage of time and at theresult safety measures are taken in every walk of life, especially in use ofpackaging materials and the use of echo-friendly packaging materials hasbecome order of the day. In old days, packaging materials were not goodenough to recycle later on it was decided to spend a little more amount onpackaging materials to make them stronger, so that their reuse may be easy.Glass was once used as packaging materials for food items especially forbeverages but since the ratio of wastage of glass was very high, it wasdecided to use something else, different items for instance tin, fibre,aluminium and steel were used but some of them were much too costly and
  20. 20. others were too heavy to use as portable. The usage of plastic has solved thisproblem in some extent though the research is going on and perhaps in recentfuture something more feasible may be used instead of plastics.The disposal of wastage of packaging materials is also a core issue for allindustries in general and for FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) in specialbecause direct link with food items, make FMCG more concern to protectenvironment as well as food items. In most of the places unfortunately burningis the only solution for unused garbage, which causes pollution. In somedeveloped countries to handle wastage properly, reprocessing plants areinstalled where garbage is reused either in form of their current shape or insome cases are melt to remake the same packaging materials for instancebroken glass pieces are melt and used to make glass again.The situation gets worst in developing countries where according to PatrickDodd (President of Nielson Europe) "eco-friendly packaging might not be thetop priority for shoppers today" because of lack of knowledge consumers donot insist for environmental-friendly packaging materials they rather go for alittle cheap though dangerous for environment goods. Manufacturers, on theother hand make the most of the situation by using cheap packing materials tominimize product cost. It has become essential to illustrate people ofdeveloping countries regarding safety issues as well as to convincemanufacturers to prefer safe packaging materials. This may cause a littleexpensive but it will surely save the general health by reducing pollutions andwill be helpful to produce a healthy society.Extra Use of PackageThe Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) packaging is dependent onsound design both to attract consumers and structural practicality. Across theglobe, there are four key trends in packaging�convenience of usage,freshness & improved shelf life, sustainable and environment-friendlypackaging�as a tool to position and promote a brand,One of packaging functions is to communicate product information, which canassist consumers in making their decisions carefully. An example of suchsignificant information is food labeling. The trend towards healthier eating hashighlighted the importance of labeling, which allows consumers theopportunity to cautiously consider alternatives and make informed foodchoices (Coulson, 2000)Packaging at the Point of SalePackaging seems to be one of the most important factors in purchasedecisions made at the point of sale (Prendergast and Pitt, 1996)Packaged food products are moving into ever larger supermarkets andhypermarkets, and there is a propagation of products, offering consumers vastchoice. The competitive context is ever more intense, both in the retail store
  21. 21. and household. With the move to self-service retail formats, packagingincreases its key characteristic as the "salesman on the shelf" at the point ofsale. The critical importance of packaging design is growing in suchcompetitive market conditions, as package becomes a primary vehicle forcommunication and branding (Rettie and Brewer, 2000)The role of packaging in marketing communications is further advanced byrecent developments in technology (McNeal and Ji, 2003) Rundh (2005)declares that good packaging draws and holds consumers attention towardsspecific brand, increases its likeness, and manipulates consumersperceptions to purchase the product. Package brings uniqueness of product innotice of consumer (Underwood, Klein & Burke, 2001; Silayoi & Speece,2004)A well suited packaging material works as an instrument to differentiate aproduct from a wide range of other products having similar qualities and helpscustomers to finalize his buying behavior (Wells, Farley & Armstrong, 2007). Itcan be claimed that package performs a vital role in marketing connectionsand can be treated as one of the most major feature to pursue consumerspurchase judgment. In this context, seeking to optimize the effectiveness ofpackage in a buying place, the researches of package, its elements and theirimpact on consumers buying behaviour became a relevant issue.Package AttractivenessIn old days when consumers do not have more choices because of havingonly a few products of limited companies but currently the world has becomeglobal village and nothing is far from the reach of consumers. Now theconsumers are well aware not only to the local developments but also to theworld wide changes occurring on daily basis. Growing competition vitalizedthe importance of product positioning. The selection of suitable productpositioning, as a marketing strategy, is rightly called the first step because itcan be the first step towards either success or failure. (Ramsay, 1983;McAlexander et al., 1993)Unlike old days when salesman used to tell consumers product qualities, nowconsumers enjoy self service in departmental stores and in supermarkets.From the consumers point of view, packaging plays important role for makingpurchase decision: The role of packaging is central because it is the first thingthat a customer sees and as a matter of fact product appearance finalizesdecision of whether procuring something or not. (Vidales Giovannetti, 1995).The popularization of self-service sales systems is due to the humanpsychology that humans prefer to choose something themselves rather thanbeing told by someone else. Consumers now buy thongs according to theiraesthetic senses and as a result manufacturers have to pay more attention to
  22. 22. know what amuses customers rather than what suits manufacturers. (CerveraFantoni, 2003).Sonsino (1990) believes that the role of sales assistant has gradually beentransferred to the packaging materials. Packaging is correctly called "the silentsalesman" because it informs consumers the qualities of products, which he isgoing to purchase and consume. (Vidales Giovannetti, 1995) At presentpackaging offers opportunity to the manufacturers to persuade buyers priorbrand selection (McDaniel and Baker, 1977)Various marketing surveys prove that it is not necessary that failure of aproduct is due to quality, there might be some other factors for instanceperhaps the product is not kept in proper position where it could attractconsumers or perhaps the outer presentation of the product may notmagnetize consumers.Packaging is not just a mere source to store food for selling, it is a marketingtool that directly affects consumers mind and form their perception forwhether or not to buy something. Product attraction is dependant to the outerattraction. Anything that is not eye-catching may never be sold out in hugeextent. While visiting super markets or departmental stores many people buylots of things that they actually either do not need or if needed they could havebought the nearest well-matched.A package that attracts consumers at the point of sale will help them makedecisions quickly in-store. As the customers eye movement tracks across adisplay of packages, different new packages can be noticed against thecompetitors. When scanning packages in the supermarket, the differentialperception and the positioning of the graphics elements on a package maymake the divergence between classifying and missing the item (Herringtonand Capella, 1995).Food products brands use a range of packaging attributes, combining colors,designs, shapes, symbols, and messages (Nancarrow et al., 1998Consumer intention to purchase depends on the degree to which consumersexpect that the product can satisfy their expectations about its use (Kupiecand Revell, 2001).Packaging must be attention-grabbing to stand out from other similarproducts, because it is believed that apparently attractive products compelconsumer to purchase them. Consumers normally do not switch from oneproduct to another without having sound reasons. These reasons are nothingelse but to make them realize that the new product is same but has somedifferent tendencies as well, for instance despite having many chocolatemanufacturing companies, every new manufacturer will not be welcomed toinfluence consumers, unless they manage to prove that their product is betterthan existing products. Every company tends to prove that their product is
  23. 23. somehow different to their competitors and can fulfill the needs of theirconsumer in better way. Packaging is the first step to make consumers buysomething and plays vital role to either make a product sellable or to prove it acomplete failure, as it is believed that"Anything, which is apparently excellent and can attract attentions ofconsumers, can easily be sold."Designing food packaging is not a childs play or easy task it rather takesessence of experience and expertise to visualize what customers really want.Product presentation is indispensable because it can either make thereputation of a product or break it. The questions which colour scheme,product size, style and even font size will be well-suited to the customerscompel companies to perform better in the field of marketing research as wellas in the field of R&D (Research and Development)Marketing success is associated with the knowledge of customers taste andpositioning goods in more attractive manners. Sales Representatives adviceshopkeepers to position products in the way customers can see easily, on theother hand marketing department tries to make product attention-grabbing, sothat the moment a customer glances towards the product he may not moveahead without buying it.To achieve the communication goals effectively and to optimize the potentialof packaging, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers mustunderstand consumer response to their packages, and integrate theperceptual processes of the consumer into design (Nancarrow et al., 1998).Product positioning is the most important factor to form perception ofconsumers and taking into consideration the rest of the market offers.Therefore, in order to obtain a particular position, consumer productperceptions must be analyzed in great detail. The reason for this is that theperceptions of a given set of consumers reflect and inspire at the same timethe companys strategy for its products.Once the positioning plan has been completed (and the company knows howit wants to present itself to the market with respect to its competition), thecompany implements a plan of action through the construction of a suitablemarketing mix (Brooksbank, 1994)Quality judgments are largely influenced by product characteristics reflectedby packaging, and these play a role in the formation of brand preferences. Ifthe package communicates high quality, consumers frequently assume thatthe product is of high quality. If the package symbolizes low quality,consumers transfer this "low quality" perception to the product itself(Underwood et al., 2001; Silayoi and Speece,2004)
  24. 24. Read more: Kuvykaite, Aiste Dovaliene, Laura Navickiene "IMPACT OF PACKAGEELEMENTS ON CONSUMERS PURCHASE DECISION" JOURNAL OFECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT 2009.Pinya Silayoi, Mark Speece "Packaging and Purchase decision" Journal ofBritish Food 2004.Robert L underwood, Noreen M Klien, Raymond R Burke "Packagingcommunication: attentional effects of product imagery" Journal of product andbrand management 2001.Olga Ampuero, Natalia Vila "Consumer perceptions of product packaging"Journal of consumer Marketing 2006.Pinya Silayoi, Mark Speece "The importance of packaging attributes: aconjoint analysis approach" European Journal of Marketing 2007.Read more:
  25. 25. The Relationship between differentpackaging characteristics This study examines the influential factor which relates packagingcharacteristics to the consumer’s brand preference. Packaging is also a tool ofmarketing communication and play vital role in consumer brand preference.The prime function of packaging is to safe the brand against possible damageeven as transporting or logistics, storing or warehousing, selling, usage andconvenience of brands (Gonzalez, Thorhsbury & Twede, 2007; Wells et al.,2007; Kuvykaite, 2001) and to make sure the convenience duringperformance of these actions. Sogn-Grundvag & Østli (2009) have indicatedthe significance of packaging in the case of grocery. Packaging characteristicsas a tool for shielding consumers from contamination, for let them to touchbrands without restraint, without have to to avoid smudge their hands.In this paper Packaging characteristics evaluate in terms of eight variables i.e.Size, shape, safety, shelf life, convenience of storage, convenience of use,extra use and package attractiveness in context of edible oil but according toKotler (2003) distinguishes these characteristics in terms of six variable i.e.size, form, material, colour, text and brand. Moreover Vila & Ampuero (2007)similar to Underwood (2003) distinguished two blocks of package elements:graphic elements (colour, typography, shapes used, and images) andstructural elements (form, size of the containers, and materials). This paperexamines how packaging characteristics influence buying decision particularlyfor edible oil. The package characteristics become a vital factor in theconsumer decision-making practice because it communicates to consumerswhile the time they deciding to purchase in the store. How they observe thesubjective entity of brands, as offered through communication fundamentals inthe package, influence choice and is the prime to success for many foodproducts or convenience goods marketing strategies.Packaging characteristics also shows the quality judgments which largelyinfluence the consumer in brand preference. Consumer frequently assumesthat if packaging characteristics are viable that shows brand is of high qualityand helps in decision making of consumer.Read more: