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Product packaging plays an important role in the marketing mix

Product packaging plays an important role in the marketing mix
Packaging plays an important role as a medium in the marketing mix, in promotion campaigns, as a pricing criterion, in defining the character of new products, as a setter of trends and as an instrument to create brand identity and shelf impact in all product groups.

The findings of many other research projects are supplemented by the survey carried out by IRI (Information Resources Inc.), which provides information about this subject from extensive, in-depth interviews and POS polls, specifically including the issue of multisensory appeal, which is a particular trend. It also presents new arguments and evidence confirming a central conviction held by the packaging industry: that the shopper appreciates and in fact explicitly wants to receive stimulation for the buying decision he is making when standing in front of the supermarket shelf, often even preferring this to other forms of communication. He is keen to be informed and inspired, tempted and pampered by surprising and persuasive functions, emotions and sensual impressions.

The top ten requests about packaging

Even though the consumer is not dissatisfied with the packaging available on the market, he would still like to be tempted by functional and attractive packaging ideas, by multisensory appeal and creative design - preferably with packaging ideas made from board. He acknowledges additional benefits and appeal and is even willing to pay an extra charge for them. Good starting points for improvements, changes, innovations which optimise the features of packaging that determine buying decisions and thus generate new market potential can be summarised in consumers' top ten requests about product packaging:

1. Eye-catching appearance A distinctive, unmistakable and eye-catching appearance is a signal at the POS to which all consumers and particularly the younger ones respond positively. Whatever stands out clearly in the monotonous competitive environment, whatever is surprising scores points with the consumer. Special effort makes a special impression - and is allowed to cost more too.

2. Design, shape and colour The purpose of well-considered design, creative printing and finishing is to entice the consumer to devote attention to the pack and its contents at the POS. Aesthetics and attractiveness are major distinctive features - and are in fact essential in some product segments: beautiful packaging design is of central importance in the cosmetics and confectionery product groups. Consumers like to buy agreeably designed and decorative products!

3. Functionality Functional aspects are the basis for all successful packaging and for thus greater product success too. Product and aroma protection, hygiene and tightness, environmental responsibility and practical handling (in both use and storage) are just as important here as ideas that improve comfort: closure mechanisms, portioning, see-through windows, for example.

4. Innovation Novelty has exceptionally strong appeal. An innovative pack can even make "new products" out of familiar ones. Unusual solutions, functional new developments and originality not only set design trends but also boost sales!

5. Material What is printed on board is read particularly willingly, while what is packaged in board sells particularly well. Sustainability, easy disposal and, above all, great design variety and potential are particular features of the material. Popular with consumers, particularly high appeal and many other advantages too.

6. Efficient communication The packaging is the credible medium at the point of sale and is consulted willingly and intensively (see "Material"). This makes it an efficient means of communication and, in addition, one that gets closer to the consumer than all others. If several of his senses are appealed to as well, he can be persuaded particularly successfully.

7. Multisensory appeal Anyone who approaches consumers via several of his senses attracts greater attention, intensifies perception and stimulates interest in buying. Packaging that can be felt, smelled and heard as well as looked at wins the customer's favour. So much so that he is willing to pay a higher price for this multisensory appeal.

8. Appropriateness for the product Packaging is considered to be an important indicator of quality. The quality of the product therefore has to be communicated by good packaging and not just by promises of quality made in the text on the packaging. A credible "overall work of art" is created as a result, in which the contents and the packaging are coherent and the consumer is convinced by their consistency.

9. Value Packaging is an excellent way to communicate sophistication, class and value. This makes it an ideal strategic option for expressing premium positioning - as well as being the instrument of choice when a product needs to be upgraded or a brand needs to be revitalised. Products in classy packaging are particularly popular presents too.

10. Additional benefits Successful packaging not only combines what is pleasant with what is functionally useful but also provides additional benefits. For example, as a gift or for presentation, with entertaining components or simply by making it possible to continue using the packaging for something else after the product has been consumed.

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