Product Packaging: Meaning, Levels, Functions and Importance!
Packaging refers to the process of designing the package such as containers, wrappers etc. It plays a very significant role in the marketing success or failure of many products especially for non durable consumer products.
It not only provides protection to the product but also acts as a promotional tool. Sometimes, customers assess the quality of the product from its packaging. Packaging has played an important role in the success of many products like Colgate Toothpaste, Taj Mahal Tea, Lays Wafers etc. It has been described as silent salesman.
Levels of Packaging:
Following are the three levels of Packaging:
1. Primary Package:
Primary package refers to the product’s immediate package. In certain cases, such package is retained till the consumer is ready to use the product. For example, plastic packet for socks while in some other cases such package is used throughout the life of the product such as the bottle carrying jam or tomato sauce etc.
2. Secondary Packaging:
Secondary packaging is the additional packing given to a product to protect it. Such packing is retained till the consumer wants to start using the product. For example. Pears Soap usually comes in a card board box. Consumer first throws the box when he desires to use it & than discards plastic wrapper too to get hold of the soap.
3. Transportation Packaging:
It refers to packages essential for storing, identifying or transporting. For example, use of corrugated boxes, wooden crates etc.
Functions of Packaging:
Following are the main functions performed by packaging:
1. Product Identification:
Packaging ensures easy identification of a product. For example, Taj Mahal Tea can be easily identified from a distance due to its blue color box.
2. Product Protection:
The most important function of packaging is to ensure protection of a product from spoilage, leakage, breakage etc. It also ensures effective protection during storage and transportation of a product.
3. Facilitating Use of the Product:
Packaging helps the customers to easily handle and use the product. For example, tubes of tooth pastes, bottles of cold drinks etc.
4. Product Promotion:
Packaging acts as an important promotional tool. The attractive color scheme or photograph used in packing helps in attracting the attention of the people and inducing them to purchase the product. Therefore, it plays the role of silent salesman.
Importance of Packaging:
The importance of packaging is as follows:
1. Rising Standards of Health and Sanitation:
Rising standards of living in the country have resulted in more use of packed goods and this also reduces the chances of adulteration.
2. Self Service Outlets:
At present, packaging has occupied a place of silent salesmanship especially at self service outlets.
3. Innovational Opportunity:
Various innovative packing ideas especially in the field of medicines, soft drinks, milk etc. has increased the scope of marketing of these products. Now, pasteurized milk come in packs which can be stored for few days even.
4. Product Differentiation:
Packaging helps in product differentiation. The color, size, material etc. of package help the customer to assess the quality of the product. For example, potato wafers of local brand & branded companies give different impact on the minds of the customers, all because of difference in their packing.