The relevance of packaging and branding as a communication vehicle of locally made products
In the ever increasing competition of local products in global market the need for effective product promotion is crucial. In this environment the product packaging has come to play a more important role as a brand communication vehicle. Little research has been conducted within this area in Nigeria and hence the purpose of this thesis was to examine how product packaging can be used as a brand communication vehicle. Specifically, the study focused on how the design of the product package affects consumers‟ perception of the brand, the impact of packaging on consumers‟ attitudes towards locally made products, and the benefits consumers associate with brand‟s packaging. In this study, the theoretical and empirical literature on packaging and branding was reviewed. To achieve the objective of the study, data was collected through focus group interviews with male students and female students constituting two different cases, and in-depth interview with key professionals in the industry and academia. The findings and conclusions of this study indicate that there is no apparent difference in how women and men perceive product packaging. Further this study indicates that the elements of the package design affect consumer perception differently depending on how they are combined. The findings also suggest that consumers associate different benefits to different packaging depending on both internal and external variables. Consumers also associate a brand‟s packaging with functional, social, and emotional benefits.
1.1 Background to the study
In modern marketing, companies are competing heavily to hold existing and to gain new market share. In order to accomplish this, marketing communication is of high importance. In consumer marketing, brands often provide the primary points of differentiation between competitive offerings, and as such they can be critical to the success of companies (Wood, 2000).
Success is no longer about product superiority; it is all down to branding (Brown, 2001). As Kapferer (1997: 16) puts it, “the strength of a company like Heiniken is not solely in knowing how to brew beer; it is that people all over the world want to drink Heiniken”. In fact, since only strong brands survive, brand management is now more strategically important than ever. Manufacturers look for every opportunity to build brand equity by leveraging off one successful identity and grabbing recognition for an entire brand name (Willey, 1993).
While price, shelf location, dietary concerns, and the residual effects of advertising all play a part in product purchasing decisions, no single factor is as important at the point of sale as the package itself (Gershamn, 1987). Having a good name, a good logo, an appealing package, and eye-catching point-of-purchase displays enables the brand manager to achieve the ultimate goal of influencing consumer behaviour (Shimp, 2001).
Packaging is any container or wrapping in which the product is offered for sale and can consist of a variety of materials such as glass, paper, metal or plastic, depending on what is to be contained (Brassington & Pettit, 1997). According to Gershman (1987) the increasingly important role of packaging has given rise to expressions, stated by package designers and their clients, such as “Packaging is the least expensive form of advertising”; “Every package is a five-second commercial”; “The package is the product”; and “The package is the silent salesman” (Gershman, 1987: 1).
Packaging is an important part of the product that not only serves a functional purpose, but also acts as a means of communicating product information and brand character. Packaging can be used for promotional purposes. It can be used as a means of distributing coupons, for advertising for other related products, announcing new products, presenting on-pack offers or distributing samples and gifts.
This study drew on the packaging designs of the products of Locally made products, a company that relies hugely on packaging to differentiate its brands. The study aimed at highlighting the design of the packaging instead of its other functions, as a means of stimulating positive attitudes towards brands.
1.2 Problem statement
This study intends to find out the effects of packaging and branding as a communication vehicle of locally made product with kingmos paint Lid. Being out local point study.
It is generally known by marketers that the nature of a product affect consumers behavior toward it. A product that is not well packaged and branded is not usually purchased by consumes. In this many firms pay little attention to the areas of packaging and branding of their products. Most products are poorly packaged and as ad result of this, they record low sales volumes, which may not even lead to break- even point on the part of the producing firms. Hence, losses may occur.
Furthermore, the kind of brand names used for a product by a market also has to be one that can overshadow those of competitors producing the same product. However, marketers do not take much time to make good branding decision. As a result of this, thee product is not well communicated to the target market hence low sales results.
Could it be that such firms or marketers do not have adequate capital to embark upon good packaging for their products?
The purpose of the study was to assess the role of product packaging towards the sales volume of Akara.
This study was based on the following objectives;
- To identify the forms of product packaging used by akara as business communication vehicle.
- To identify the challenges faced in product packaging their products towards improving success of their business.
- To find the relationship between product packaging and the sales volume
1.5 Research Questions
This research was set to answer the following research questions:
- What are the forms of product packaging used by akara as business communication vehicle?
- What are the challenges faced in product packaging their products towards improving sales volume of Akara?
- What is the relationship between product packaging and the sales volume of Akara?
1.5 Significance of the study
Firstly, the study will be useful to manufactures in knowing that good packaging and branding lead to both high sales volume and creates good corporate images and identifies through repeated buys by consumers.
Secondly, it will be useful to consumers in knowing that they have the right to well package and branded products so as to be selective in buying quality products.
Thirdly, it pinpoints the various brand name decisions that will be useful to various categories of manufactures.
Fourthly, the study will contribute to the existing wealth of knowledge in the areas of product packaging and branding.
Finally, it will help to provide valid information for future researchers eon the topic.
1.6 Scope of the study
Due to the fact that the area of package design is quite extensive and vast, and also because of the limited time frame given to conduct this research, the study focussed on examining the package design in a single company (Locally made products). The company‟s products exhibit the essence of packaging since packaging results in significant varieties.
1.7 Overview of methodology
One set of interview guide was used to solicit for information from respondents for the study. One hundred questionnaires were designed for male respondents and another one hundred questionnaires for female respondents. Focus group discussion was again conducted for both male and female respondents. The secondary data was collected from journals, articles and unpublished thesis. The data collected was then analysed using the Special Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) to generate tables, charts and graphs.
1.8 Organization of the study
In order to accomplish the objectives of the study, the study was divided into five chapters. Chapter one, an introduction, began with a succinct background to the study with highlights on packaging and branding. The chapter covered the problem statement, significance and objectives of the study, research questions, methodology, scope and limitation. Chapter two reviewed relevant literature related to the study to provide theoretical and empirical perspectives to the study. Chapter three provided the general design of the methodology of this study with key methods of analysis.
Chapter four outlined a detailed chronology of empirical results for discussion and analysis. Chapter five finally summarized the findings of the study, with recommendations, and then conclusion.[email protected][email protected]