Consumers respond to packaging with a whole set of prejudices, reactions and individual preferences that help make some products winners and some brand managers choose early retirement. Packages allow manufacturers to talk. If advertising is the first word, then the package is the last one. The point of packaging design is to close the deal.
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Only about half the items on the shelves in the store are promoted by media advertising. The others have to catch the customer’s attention, and simply by standing there, persuade him or her to try them. It’s not easy to do, as the 90 percent failure rate of new products attests. At the store each box, can, jar, every stand-up pouch, tube, and squeeze bottle has been very carefully considered.
Human test subjects have been strapped into pieces of heavy apparatus that measure their eye movement, blood pressure, and body temperature. Which package can make the connection? Will the packages be understood in a nanosecond? Psychologists even get people to talk about packages in order to get a sense of their innermost feelings. Packages have to induce a desire to satisfy a need.
This has to be an impulse that forces a consumer to perceive an advantage in acquiring a particular product. The question of why consumers perceive the buying of a certain product as rational or reasonable in certain situations with reference only to the package and no prior knowledge of the product has lingered in marketers books for long.
Complexities in marketing arouse the need to acquire a product which is a deviation from the traditionally recognised impulses, (Ellwood, 2002). Different sets of motivations lead to the decision to buy by a particular consumer. Packaging designs should motivate as many individuals as possible to be effective in sales.
Marketers have to come up with package designs that strike a balance between the varied desires of different customers for a particular package to serve its purpose effectively. The decision to purchase a product involves complexities without a single criterion of which could be used as a measurer of the accuracy of a package to attract consumers. Of particular interest are consumers’ attitudes and beliefs since they reflect.
Why is it that consumers with low income sometimes buy products with no regard to price? Consumers are known to make decisions out of their self image and it is important for marketers to consider a package that reinforces a buyers self concept.
A package is deemed effective if it doesn’t conflict but rather reflects the image of the target market, (Foxall, 1981). In adopting this initiative, marketers are incorporating green packages or packages with environmental messages in their product lines. Visual elements on a package have always played a major role in consumer preferences and different people are stimulated differently by these element.
This is more so in low involvement consumption and in impulse buying. How stimuli received through sight, is perceived by different individuals on seeing a particular package, is a question that marketers have struggled to conjure out for decades.
Previously, product packaging and studies related to it were more focused on investigating the customer’s preferences on packaging design. Thus, the main issue of focus in such investigations were issues like which colors were more appealing to consumers, the appropriate sizes and other issues that were considered to be of paramount importance when making the decision to buy by the consumers.
However, previous studies have ignored one important aspect that influences the decision to buy a certain good, which is the motivation behind the decision to make the purchase. For instance, there has been no insight to explain why would mothers purchase a pack with clearly stated information on nutrition whereas a kid would rather go for a colourful picture of cartoon character on a package?
The implications of a particular package in the buying process are of great importance to marketers attempting market penetration by attracting consumers who have no previous experience with the product (Kardes, 2010). Buyer behaviour is influenced by a variety of complex internal psychological variables which include motivation memory, perception, personality and attitude towards particular images or words exhibited on a package.
Prior knowledge on the targeted consumer’s psychology is needed for marketers to understand how different consumers will react to their packages and then incorporate this in their package design (Dichter and Berger, 2002). According to Hausman, (2008), perception is greatly influenced by commercial stimuli for example pictures on a package, how they are seen by a particular buyer, interpreted and finally remembered.
In recognition of the great influences of packages in the buying decision, this paper investigates the significance of a package in marketing and the perceptual process adopted by consumers when buying a particular product. It illustrates how the understanding of consumer psychological processes, models and the effective use of marketing research techniques can help marketers in designing packages and labels (Lantos, 2010).
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This project aims to explore:
- The impact of product packaging on consumers’ minds (consumers’ perception of product packaging).
- How consumers associate the package (packaging) with the product.
- How packaging affects the product preferences of consumers (Consumers’ motivations for choosing a product (decision making?) in regards to its packaging)
This chapter provides the review of existing literature in regards to research objectives and related consumer behaviour theories.
This chapter aims to describe and justify the methodology chosen for the research.
This chapter focuses on analysis and discussion of data gathered during primary research.
Discussion and Conclusion
This chapter provides the summary of the research including limitations and recommendations.
Dichter, E. & Berger, A., 2002. The strategy of desire Classics in communication and mass culture series. New Jersey. Transaction Publishers.
Ellwood, I., 2002. The essential brand book: over 100 techniques to increase brand value. London: Kogan Page Publishers
Foxall, G., 1981. Strategic Marketing Management. New York. Taylor & Francis,
Hausman, D., M., 2008. The philosophy of economics: an anthology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Kardes F., 2010. Consumer Behaviour. Stamford: Cengage Learning
Lantos, G., 2010.Consumer Behaviour in Action: Real-Life Applications for Marketing Managers. New York: Sharpe, M.E.