Packaging as an Effective Tool for Product Differentiation in Soap & Detergent Industry (a Case Study of Unilever Nigeria Plc Aba)



This research work was carried out to show that packaging could serve as a differential tool in the detergent industry, using Unilever Nigeria Plc Aba as a case study to arrive at a valid study

The researcher made effort to pin point the role, importance, problems and challenges facing as regard to the packaging practices.

Also steps were taken to determine the possible solution to the above mentioned problems. To better understand the research topic, the researcher views the opinion and contributions of scholar and experts in various fields as regards the subject matter.

Furthermore, questionnaire was used to collect instant information from the research population of 200 respondents determined using the yaro yumen model. The data were tabulated and subjected to analysis in percentages.

However, conclusions were drawn based on the findings established.

Finally, research draws conclusion and recommendation.







         In the past, the management of different organizations has considered packaging significant only for the products, thereby learning the responsibility of packaging to the version manufacturing departments. However, a marketing manager regards package as the source of supplementary promotion to his brands.

         It attracts the customers thereby enabling the customers to carry out a purchase without difficulties.

         In modern economy, a well improved packaging is done to attract buyer who need information about the product.

         The Nigeria market has been described as seller’s markets goods are relatively scarce and consumers are only anxious and willing to buy whatever product is made available at price they can afford. There is little completion in the market and therefore, the customers have the limited choice to produce variety and quality for most emphasis in promotional function of the package.

         In spite of his general lack of market orientation in the marketing of most consumers’ goods, the detergent industry is highly competitive. The intensity of competition is great in the area of product development, packaging design and market generation.

         Today, manufacturers lay much emphasis on packaging design because the presence of good product package in sell service store can induce consumers to make purchase.

         Packaging has been serving not only as a label, but also in an increasingly recognized as an effective motivator device for sales promotion.

         Charles and John 91985) stated that a successful management of the product is to charge the package in which is it is sold.

         Many authors lay much emphasis on packaging as a “fifth” in edition to price, place, promotion and product and thus treat packaging as an element of product strategy.

         In Nigeria today, manufacturers and consumers are sharing the immense benefits of the product packaging and there is an increasing degree of concern shown by manufacturers in providing packaging design and also the consumers rely on the nature and information on the packaging of the goods and they purchase.


In the past, it was customary for managers to be more concerned with the product promotion that seeks to improve the fundamental feature of their product but fail to show that customers do not first spend to buy any on the satisfaction they drive and show they are associated with the products.

The problems that prompt me to embark in this research object are uneasy differentiation of product from another especially in the detergent industry likes Unilever Nigeria Plc Nigeria.

So, there is a problem of inadequate packaging innovation strategies in the packaging of detergent complete with growing competitors.

However, the problem of how the consumers appreciate the physical attributes of the certain colours and adequate transformation about the product on the package.



The objective of the study is critically examine Packaging as an effective tool for product differentiation in soap & detergent industry. Having this in mind, the practice existing in Unilever Nigeria Plc Nigeria, Aba Abia State.

Some years age, packaging was a mirror element in the marketing of product with this in mind; the primary objects of this research have been;

  1. Promotion, which help to creates awareness and recognition to the product in the market.
  2. To identify the product so that customers can easily differentiate and patronize the product such as added quality signals through creative use of colour, copy materials and construction.
  3. Achieve consistency with other consistence colour graphic and product benefits for reinforce the brand image.


          In the course of this work, the following research questions were highlighted in order to get the input of package in the detergent industry.

  1. Is there any significant relationship between packaging and sales volume of a product.
  2. Does packaging serve as a relationship between packaging and promotion as a tool for marketing in the detergent industry?
  3. Is packaging essential to your marketing plans?
  4. Is packaging a vital force in selling a product?
  5. Does packaging serves as a means of advertising?
  6. Is the cost of packaging justified at the end of the sales period?


          This study will be good relevance to;

  • ORGANISATIONS: It will enable the organization understands the important of packaging and relationship has within the product.
  • CONSUMERS: They will enable the final consumers to know and appreciate the woth product which can be recognized by the consumer at first sight.
  • WOULD BE RESEARCHERS: This study will also serve as a reference point to other researchers who would wish to conduct in the field, and also to the institutions.

This research work will be relevant to every business student in marketing as regards to the needs of packaging relationships to the product.

It is also relevant for those who want to research more on the topic and also serve for the reference purpose in the seedence seefers. It will also be relevant to the government to create a good buying/selling relationship between the government and individual organization for growth, survival and success.



          The scope of this study is limited to detergent industries like Unilever Nigeria Plc Aba. It covers the packaging as a promotional tool for marketing of detergents.

         It also studies the consumer behaviour towards the package

         It will try to show whether Unilever Nigeria Plc will be able to do more sales when the product package is well promoted. All finding will be limited to Unilever Nigeria Plc.


          However, various problems were encountered in the course of carrying out this project prominent among these problems was finance.

         It cost me a lot of money to travel from Nekede to Aba on several occasions to get the required data. I equally made some contracts with some key managers of the company on the phone.

         I have to visit even the internal on several occasions for secondary information needed for this work.


          PACKAGING: Is an activity involved in designing and manufacturing the container or wrapper for a product. It is general group of activities in product planning that involves designing and packaging the container or wrapper for a product (Stanton, W.J. 1981)

          TRADE PROMOTIONS: This represents a manufacturer’s brihated inducement or incentives owned at improving the sales effectiveness of the dealers or middlemen. It includes BONUS etc.

         BAND: It is a name, term, symbol or special design or some combination of these elements, which is intended to identify, the goods or services of one seller or a group of sellers. It is also a word, letter or group of words or a letter that is alterable, used in the identification and differentiations are simply classified into; (private) brand, family brands, individual brands.

         Family brand is when a manufacturer decides to use one brand name for all his products, examples are Johnson and same powder, oil lotion etc.

         Individual brand is when the manufacturer gives a separate brand name for each of its individual brand strategy, coca-cola, Fanta and sprite etc.


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