The importance of packaging in marketing lies in the fact that they are an effective communication channel between producers and consumers.
Packaging manufacturers and packaging machinery designers are constantly coming up with innovative and highly effective solutions, and the market rewards them for it.
Despite the uncertainty in the global economy, the outlook for the packaging sector remains encouraging.
The immense amount of products and services, which compete in the same market, forces brands and companies to continuously develop new containers that provide their products and services with the visual formula that makes them make a difference.
According to the Report of Sheena White Influence of Packaging on Consumer Buying Behavior, it is estimated that up to 70% of purchase decisions in a commercial area are due to packaging.
Function of containers
The packaging helps the consumer to dose the acquisition of a certain product at the point of sale, at the same time that it informs about the characteristics in accordance with current regulations.
To fulfill this task, it is necessary that the container fulfill the following functions:
- Allow the handling and use of the product, dosing the quantities demanded by the different customer segments.
- Provide the product with mechanical protection (bumps and falls) and against external agents that may alter its physical-chemical and organoleptic properties (smell and taste)
- Inform the consumer about the product it accompanies. This information can be both mandatory (expiration date, manufacturer identification, etc.) and voluntary (recommendations for use, environmental information, etc.)
- Differentiate and highlight the product / service at the point of sale with respect to its competitors.
Innovation in the packaging sector
One of the fundamental goals of the product creation process is to increase processing speed through microelectronics and processor technology.
Thus, while 20 years ago 80% of the development budget was allocated to mechanical engineering and software only took 5%, now software and mechanical engineering each represent around 40% of development spending.
Robotics is, many times, the best way to achieve the necessary versatility to work with the wide variety of products. Robotic equipment is essential in packaging and container handling operations.
Indeed, as proof of the importance of robotics in the packaging industry, suffice it to note that the packaging machine industry is the second largest market for robotic system manufacturers. Only the automotive sector acquires more systems of this type.
Another increasingly common feature in packaging technology is distributed intelligence. The high performance offered by today’s packaging machines are possible thanks to the use of sensors, cameras and image processing software, elements that have become standard equipment.
Labels, packaging and marketing
Product identification requires more and more space to accommodate multiple languages and meet legal requirements, which may vary from market to market. Virtually any type of information can be printed on a label, without forgetting that labels also allow batch tracking.
The challenge for engineers is to condense all this information in the smallest possible space using EAN codes (European article number), data matrix codes or RFID (radio frequency identification), and in this way not lose sight of the importance of packaging in marketing.
As for RFID, its benefits are still in question. Thus, while some logistics agents believe this technology presents great potential and can help optimize inventory management. Others remain skeptical and believe that the existing identification systems still offer important opportunities that have not been exploited.
The world of labeling offers many other innovative ideas, for example smart labels that incorporate time and temperature indicators. These labels record exactly how the packaging units have been stored and are of primary interest to the food industry.
The importance of packaging in marketing
The importance of packaging in marketing can be divided into sub functions:
- Location: The consumer must be able to identify the type of product (dairy desserts, breakfast cereals, detergents, etc.) already from afar on the shelf and even be able to identify the product that they are going to buy.
- ID: Once the product is located, the consumer must be able to clearly identify that the product they purchase is the one they really want, without making the wrong product within a family or brand (yogurt with bifidus flavored with fig).
- Information: There is other additional information (instructions for use, suggestions for use, recipes, etc.) which, despite not being decisive, does help to generate consumer confidence in the product and reinforce the purchase decision.
- Seduction: The packaging must carry the image that the company wants to convey to its target audience in order to provoke the desire to purchase.
- Service: It is about the packaging having some quality that can give it added value from the consumer’s point of view.
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