Most of the product producing companies think of packaging as something that comes after you have researched and created the product. They might believe that packaging is just an outer aspect that is used for covering the product, with the aim of ensuring that it remains fresh and free from foreign materials. They forget that packaging plays a critical role in determining whether customers will buy your product or not. Leading organizations around the world have gone further to include product packaging as an essential factor in their marketing mix. They have a conviction that packaging is an integral part of their marketing plans and branding as a whole.
What is Marketing Mix?
Marketing mix is a term used in marketing to refer to a combination of various tools that can be manipulated by marketers with the aim of influencing target customers to buy goods and services in large quantities. Initially, the tools used in marketing mix included price, product, promotion, and place. However, recent research studies have convinced marketers and other scholars to include product packaging as a tool in the marketing mix. Although this has not been universally accepted, some organizations have gone a step further to include packaging in their marketing strategies.
The Original 4P’s of Marketing
Product: A product is something that an organization is offering to the customers in exchange for money. The primary purpose of the product is to meet the needs and wants of the consumers. Marketers concentrate on ensuring that their product stands out among other substitutes in the market. They will adjust the product so that it can remain for a more extended period in the life cycle despite the invention of other new products that are offering the same satisfaction.
Price: This is the amount that any person who needs to acquire the product has to pay. The cost of the product plays a vital role in how the buyers perceive it. Marketers are influencing product purchasing by either increasing prices so that consumers can be attracting because they will save some money and the organization will sell large quantities hence gaining profits through economies of scale. Pricing of the product is a sensitive aspect as too much price will scare away customers while low prices raise quality issues.
Promotion: Promotion is the art and science of creating an emotional appeal to the customers so that they can purchase a particular product. It is considered the most complex tool of the marketing mix because one has to deal with the psychology of human beings. The traditional methods of promoting a product included print advertisements and television commercials. These promotional methods are still being used, but they have been replaced with more effective and cheap promotional purposes such as SEO, social media marketing, and website design.
Place: The place is the physical location where the business avails its products and consumers can access them with ease. This could be an open-air market, a supermarket, wholesale stores, and a retail outlet. Some products are better sold locally, while others have international appeal. The more places customers have direct access to your product, the higher the profits will get and the larger the product brand.
What is Product Packaging?
Packaging is the art of enclosing a product so that it can remain fresh and free from dirt or other foreign materials during its delivery or while waiting for a buyer. Product packaging is an essential aspect as it helps consumers to identify a brand through its packaging. Some of the factors to consider while packing a product include graphic designs, color, and package quality.
Packaging a product doesn’t stop when it’s put on a shelf. The same principles should be carried through the manner a product is shipped to a customer. The packaging used should be indicative of the care you give the customer in making sure that the product they purchased arrives in the best condition possible. It doesn’t hurt to use eco-friendly means to ship the product as well as it shows that you are environmentally conscientious.
Why Should Product Packaging be considered the 5th P?
Communication: Product packaging is one of the primary methods marketers have been using in communicating to the potential buyers about the product. For example, you will find wine in a wine shop packaged in a designer-wine bottle that looks attractive such that most of the people would like to have such a bottle in their home or offices. The well-designed bottle creates an impression that the wine in there is of high quality. This influences the consumer to make a buying decision even before coming across promotional materials promoting the wine.
Packaging Communicates Value: It is common knowledge that high-quality products are professionally packaged, and they use quality packaging materials. On the other hand, products that are deemed to be of low quality are wrapped in low-quality packing material. Marketers have been using this strategy to create a perception, which is sometimes right, that their products are of higher quality as compared to competing substitutes. Moreover, it is has been proven that customers are likely to pay extra for quality packaging.
Packaging Enhances User Experience: Customers have become so sensitive such that they are considering the packaging of a product before they make a purchase decision. They want a product packaged in such a way that the package will be useful. In pharmaceutical industries, customers want a package with measurements such that instead of instructing customers to use teaspoons to take medicine, they can use bottle tops which will play the same role. Others want a package that has a handle for easy mobility.
Packaging Talks about the Product: Not all information about the product can be communicated or captured during promotional activities. To ensure that customers get all the information, specific and detailed data is written in the package. Here, you will find user manuals, particular ingredients and their quantities, and the expiry date. Additionally, general information about the product and the company can be seen on the packages. A person who does not know about the product can take a quick glance and will have all the crucial details about it.
As many products continue to be innovated, competition is taking a higher gear such that all organizations should use comprehensive strategies to market their products rest they remain behind. It is justifiable that using product specifics and traditional marketing mix tools; price, product, promotion, and place will not work for your business. You will be required to incorporate product packaging as the fifth tool of marketing mix so that you can have the edge over your competitors.