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The Impact Of Packaging Characteristics On Consumer Buying Marketing Essay

4786 words (19 pages) Essay in Marketing

5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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The role of packaging has changed over the years since primarily due to the changing lifestyles and needs of the consumers. Consumers in daily life are exposed to a very wide range of products having different packaging ranging from different product categories displayed in markets, supermarkets and any other place of shopping. Products can then be differentiated from the external packaging having different shapes, sizes, colors, labeling, etc. what is actually inside the package can only be judged through a creative and innovative packaging. Packaging is also a tool of marketing communication and plays a vital role in consumer brand preference.

The topic under research will study the impact of packaging elements on consumer buying behavior of Pakistan. For this purpose seven packaging elements have been selected; packaging color, background image, font style, packaging material, design, innovation and printed information. The type of research is descriptive and quantitative approach has been used by designing questionnaires. The sample size is 200.

The impact of package and its characteristics on consumer’s purchase decision can be revealed by analyzing an importance of its separate characteristics for consumer’s choice. This research into packaging has found that different packaging cues impact how a product is perceived. Moreover, there is a positive thinking and a trend about well-designed package shows high product quality. As a matter of fact, people are becoming more and more demanding; packaging has been gradually shown its important role in a way to serving consumers by providing information and delivering functions.

INTRODUCTION

Nowadays consumers have become more and more conscious about the packaging available to them from products. The role of packaging has changed over the years since primarily due to the changing lifestyles and needs of the consumers. Companies have started bring innovations in packaging since their beliefs over the years have changed that good and unique packaging can stimulate consumer buying behaviors. It has become the source of customer’s attraction towards products or services, increases the image of the brand and increases the perceptions of the consumer for the product (Rundh 2005). In marketing context packaging plays a very vital role in communicating the product to the consumers and ultimately increases consumer’s purchase decisions. According to Underwood, Klein & Burke, (2001); Silayoi & Speece, (2004) a good package communicates unique values about products, and also helps in differentiating the products from other products, hence helping the consumers in choosing the right product from a wide range of similar products, and as a result stimulates consumers buying behaviors (Wells, Farley&Armstrong,2007).

Consumers in daily life are exposed to a very wide range of products having different packaging ranging from different product categories displayed in markets, supermarkets and any other place of shopping. Products can then be differentiated from the external packaging having different shapes, sizes, colors, labeling, etc. what is actually inside the package can only be judged through a creative and innovative packaging.

Package becomes an ultimate selling proposition stimulating impulsive buying behaviour, increasing market share and reducing promotional costs.

Thus package performs an important role in marketing communications and could be treated as one of the most important factors influencing consumer’s purchase decision. In this context, seeking to maximize the effectiveness of package in a buying place, the researches of package, its elements and their impact on consumer’s buying behaviour became a relevant issue.

OVERVIEW

Literature analysis on question under investigation has shown that there is no agreement on classification of package elements as well as on research methods of package impact on consumer’s purchase decision. Some of researchers try to investigate all possible elements of package and their impact on consumer’s purchase decision (Silayoi & Speece, 2004; Silayoi & Speece, 2007; Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene & Rutelione, 2008), while others concentrates on separate elements of package and their impact on consumer buying behaviour (e.g., Vila & Ampuero, 2007; Madden, Hewett & Roth, 2000; Underwood et al., 2001; Bloch, 1995). Moreover some researchers investigate impact of package and its elements on consumer’s overall purchase decision (e.g., Underwood et al., 2001), while others – on every stage of consumer’s decision making process (e.g., Butkeviciene et al., 2008).

Particularly for fast moving consumer goods, such as food products, the packaging is one of the key product components that can provide a commercial advantage over competing products .Hence, the packaging is of significant commercial importance for the economical sustainability and growth of businesses. There is little value in arguing the need for less packaging while economic growth is predominantly driven by diversification of markets and subsequent product variations. Key challenges for future business growth and developments are: the ability to meet supply chain and market requirements in terms of distribution, efficiency, marketing power, consumer safety and convenience and environmental.

Packaging attracts the consumer’s concentration to buy particular brand and increase brand image and influence towards consumers (Rundh, 2005). Packaging characteristics creates uniqueness in brand (Silayoi & Speece, 2004). Packaging characteristics gives the ability to differentiate between the similar products and induces the clients for purchase (Wells, Farley, & Armstrong, 2007).

Packaging is also a tool of marketing communication and plays a vital role in consumer brand preference. The prime role of packaging is to give security to the brand against any possible damage may it be during transporting, storing or even warehousing (Gonzalez, Thorhsbury, & Twede, 2007). Packaging characteristics is also a protection of keeping the brands secure by not being smudged by the consumers or either the cusumers being contaminated if in-contact with the packaging (Grundvag & Ostli, 2009).

Packaging characteristics also shows the quality judgments which largely influence the consumer in brand preference. Consumer frequently assumes that if packaging characteristics are viable it shows that brand is of high quality and helps in decision making of consumer.

a) WHAT IS PACKAGING?

The definitions of ‘packaging’ vary and range from being simple and functionally focused to more extensive, holistic interpretations. Packaging can be defined quite simply as an extrinsic element of the product (Olson and Jacoby (1972)) – an attribute that is related to the product but does not form part of the physical product itself. “Packaging is the container for a product – encompassing the physical appearance of the container and including the design, color, shape, labeling and materials used” (Arens,1996).

b) FUNCTIONS OF PACKAGING

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Packaging and package labeling have several functions:

Physical Protection – Protection of the objects enclosed in the package from shock, vibration, compression, temperature, etc.

Barrier Protection – A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc.

Containment or Agglomeration – Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for transport and handling efficiency. Alternatively, bulk Commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable Size for individual households

Information transmission – Information on how to use, transport, recycle, or Dispose of the package or product is often contained on the package or label

Convenience – features which add convenience in distribution, handling, display, Sale, opening, reclosing, use, and re-use.

Marketing – The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage Potential buyers to purchase the product. Packaging may be looked at as several different types. For example a transport package or distribution package can be the shipping container used to ship, store, and handle the product or inner packages. Some identify a consumer package as one which is directed toward a consumer or household. Packaging may be discussed in relation to the type of product being packaged: medical device packaging, bulk chemical packaging, over-the-counter drug packaging, retail food packaging, military material packaging, pharmaceutical packaging, etc.

c) ELEMENTS OF PACKAGING

There are many different schemes for classification of elements of package in scientific literature. According to Smith & Taylor (2004), there are six variables that must be taken into consideration by producer and designers when creating efficient package: form, size, colour, graphics, material and flavour. Similarly, Kotler (2003) distinguishes six elements that according to him must be evaluated when emploing packaging decisions: size, form, material, colour, text and brand.

Vila & Ampuero (2007) similar to Underwood (2003) distinguished two blocks of package elements: graphic elements (colour, typography, shapes used, and images) and structural elements (form, size of the containers, and materials.

Rettie & Brewer (2000) stressed out the importance of proper positioning of elements of package, dividing the elements into two groups: verbal (for example, brand slogans) and visual (visual apeal, picture, etc.) elements. In the similar way package elements were classified by Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene & Rutelione (2008). Analysing consumer’s decision making process they distinguish between non-verbal elements of package (colour, form, size, imageries, graphics, materials and smell) and verbal elements of package (product name, brand, producer/ country, information, special offers, instruction of usage). Their classification includes brand as a verbal component, whereas Keller (2003), for example, considers packaging as one of the five elements of the brand, together with name, logo, graphic symbol, personality, and the slogans.

Silayoi & Speece (2004; 2007) divide package into two categories of elements: visual elements (graphics, colour, shape, and size) and informational elements (information provided and technology). According to Silayoi & Speece (2004) visual elements are related with affective aspect of consumer’s decision making process, while informational elements are related with cognitive one.

Summarising, two main blocks of package’s elements could be identified: visual and verbal elements. Relying on literature analysed graphic, colour, size, form, and material are considered as visual elements, while product information, producer, country-of-origin and brand are considered as verbal ones.

Packaging characteristics also shows the quality judgments which largely influence the consumer in brand preference. Consumer frequently assumes that if packaging characteristics are viable it shows that brand is of high quality and helps in decision making of consumer.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Numerous studies have investigated this question whether packaging elements has an impact on consumer buying behavior.

Consumer intensions for buying and acquiring anything depend upon the extent of his desires to fulfill his needs. Consumers expect that the product they are purchasing will satisfy their needs and fulfill their expectations (Kupiec and Revell, 2001).

Sometimes the consumers do not know what they actually want to satisfy their need, in such situation the consumers are confronted with variety of products and the decision to purchase depends upon what is being exposed and communicated to the consumers at the point-of purchase. Kupiec asserts that the packaging of a product is a significant aspect in consumer decision making process as it is the first encounter of the product which communicates the consumers whether they should buy the product (or not). It could be maintained that “the package may be the only communication between a product and the final consumer in the store” (Gonzalez et al., 2007, p.63).

Kotler defines packaging as all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product. Well-designed packages can build brand equity and drive sales (Kotler, 2000).

Moreover, he claimed that although the original purpose of packaging was to protect the product but now it is being considered as a powerful tool to grab the attention of consumers, depict the features of that product and make a sale (Kotler et.al 1998).

According to Arun Kumar packaging can be defined as the wrapping material around a consumer item that serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote, and otherwise make the product marketable and keep it clean (Arun et.al 2007). He emphasized that packaging of a product could be considered as one of the most significant tool in communicating the essence of marketing a product, requiring more focus on the elements of packaging and analyzing the impact of those characteristics on consumer buying behavior.

Rita Kuvykaite (2009) has done descriptive research on the relationship of packaging elements and consumer purchase decision. Rita observed that in nowadays competitive environment the role of package has changed due to increasing self-service and changing consumers’ lifestyle. Firms’ interest in package as a tool of sales promotion is growing increasingly. Package becomes an ultimate selling proposition stimulating impulsive buying behaviour, increasing market share and reducing promotional costs (Rita et.al 2009).

According to Rundh (2007) package attracts consumer’s attention to particular brand, enhances its image, and influences consumer’s perceptions about product. Also package imparts unique value to products (Underwood, Klein &Burke, 2001; Silayoi & Speece, 2004), works as a tool for differentiation, i.e. helps consumers to choose the product from wide range of similar products, stimulates customers buying behavior (Wells, Farley & Armstrong,2007). Thus package performs an important role in marketing communications and could be treated as one of the most important factors influencing consumer’s purchase of package, its elements and their impact on consumer’s buying behavior became a relevant issue.

According to Charles, packaging have always served a practical function i.e. they hold contents together and protect goods as the move through the distribution channel to consumers. Today, however, packaging is also a container for promoting the product and making it easier and safer to use (Charles et.al).

Pinyay Silayoi and Mark Speece have done a conjoint study among consumers for analysing the importance of packaging and the role of packaging as a vehicle for communication and building up brands. They suggest that the package standing out on the shelf affects the consumer decision process, and package design must insure that consumer response is favorable. The problem is made more complex by several conflicting trends in consumer decision-making (P. Silayoi, M. Speece, 2004).

Holbrook and Moore contend that a consumer gets easily attracted by more complex and novel external characteristic packaging and visual graphic designs. Moreover, this leads consumers to a positive buying emotion and leads them to buy this attractive product (Holbrook and Moore, 1982).

Ampeuro and Vila have done extensive research on consumer perception of product packaging. According to them, once consumers have perceived the product in their own way, they develop an attitude which will eventually affect consumers’ decision to procure that product ( Ampuero O, & Vila, N. 2006)

Wells & Armstrong conclude from their research that packaging characteristics gives the ability to differentiate between the similar products and induces the clients for purchase (Wells, Farley, & Armstrong, 2007).

Kotler (2003) distinguishes six elements that according to him must be evaluated when employing packaging decisions: size, form, material, colour, text and brand.

Mitul Deliya in his research highlights consumer attitude towards packaging of FMCG products. He affirmed that packaging has a huge role to play in the positioning of products. Package design shapes Consumers’ perceptions.

Wansink (1996) showed that larger package sizes do accelerate usage volume when attention is drawn to unit prices. Folkes and Matta (2004) find that unusually shaped containers that attract attention are perceived to contain more product than containers that do not attract attention.

Silavoi and Speece investigated the question that the package’s overall features can underline the uniqueness and originality of the product. Quality judgments are largely influenced by product characteristics reflected by packaging, and these play a role in the formation of brand preferences. If the package communicates high quality, consumers frequently assume that the product is of high quality. If the package symbolizes low quality, consumers transfer this “low quality” perception to the product itself (Underwood et al., 2001; Silayoi and Speece, 2004).

According to Tanuka Ghoshal, convenience and innovation and such characteristics in package design influence consumer attitude towards buying products. Manufacturers of food and other consumer packaged products spend large sums of money developing “easy-to-open” packages that are more convenient for quick meals or for easy dispensing, and visually appealing packages which appear to communicate more than mere information about the product inside

Apart from the realm of consumer packaged goods, in which the packaging is visible at the time of purchase (and hence may play a role in the purchase decision process), we also see significant and creative innovations in packaging for situations in which the packaging is not visible before or at the time of purchase. The effect of color is the most obvious and well studied (Imran, 1999). Consumer perceptions of an acceptable color are associated with perceptions of other quality attributes, such as flavor and nutrition, and also with satisfaction levels.

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION &THEOREOTICAL FRAMEWORK

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

The abundance of scientific literature on this issue do not provide unanimous answer concerning impact of package elements on consumer’s buying behavior: diversity of the results in this area depends not only on research models constructed and methods employed, but on the context of the research too. All above mentioned confirms the necessity to investigate this issue in more detail. In the light of these problematic aspects, research problem could be formulated as following question: “What is the impact of packaging characteristics on consumer purchase decision?”

PROBLEM SATEMENT

The purpose of this research study is to investigate the impact of packaging characteristics on consumer buying behavior. Thus the problem statement for this research study is given as under:

“To find out the impact of packaging characteristics on consumer buying behavior”

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The research was conducted to achieve the following research objectives:

To investigate the role of packaging in Consumer Buying Behavior

To determine the impact of packaging characteristics on consumer buying behavior

To identify the most important characteristic of packaging that help to built brand equity

To find out consumer perceptions about packaging

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The topic under research will study the impact of packaging elements on consumer buying behavior of Pakistan. For this purpose seven packaging elements have been selected; packaging color, background image, font style, packaging material, design, innovation and printed information. According to Cruden (1989), over the years the, introduction of new packaging concepts have accelerated. This study will be of value in a number of ways. The topic of research is highly under researched and least research has been done regarding the impact of packaging elements on consumer buying behavior of Pakistan. This study will not only help the marketers in bringing innovations and creativeness into the packaging of products but will also provide the policy makers in implementing effective decisions in bringing changes and creative strategies in packaging. This study will contribute immensely through Quantitative research.

THEORITICAL FRAMEWORK

Theoretical frame-work focuses on the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The distinction between dependent and independent variables is as important in a comparative study as in a regression analysis. Dependent variable in case of a comparative study is the one which we aim to predict and independent variables here are the ones who are used to predict the dependent variable.

INDEPENDENT VARIABLE

Packaging color

Background Image

Packaging Material

Font Style

Design of wrapper

Printed Information

Innovation

DEPENDANT VARIABLE

Consumer Buying Behavior

THEOREOTICAL FRAMEWORK

Independent variable

Packaging color

Background image

Packaging materialDependant variable

Dependant variable

Consumer Buying Behavior

Font style

Design of wrapper

Printed Information

Innovation

Packaging color

Color plays an important role in a potential customer’s decision making process, certain colors set different moods and can help to draw attention. One good example of successful use of color psychology is in the Apple iPod advertisements; they use simple tri tone color schemes of black, white and a bright background color. The bright background color is to give the advertisement a fun feel and the contrasting white on black is to focus attention.

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Packaging Material

Any material used especially to protect something- packing, wadding. Consumer can change its decision regarding Packaging material. High quality Packaging attract consumer then low quality Packaging. The first packages used the natural materials available at the time: Baskets of reeds, wineskins (Bota bags), wooden boxes, pottery vases, ceramic amphorae, wooden barrels, woven bags, etc. Processed materials were used to form packages as they were developed: for example, early glass and bronze vessels. The study of old packages is an important aspect of archaeology. Iron and tin plated steel were used to make cans in the early 19th century. Paperboard cartons and corrugated fiberboard boxes were first introduced in the late 19th century. Packaging advancements in the early 20th century included Bakelite closures on bottles, transparent cellophane over wraps and panels on cartons, increased processing efficiency and improved food safety. As additional materials such as aluminum and several types of plastic were developed, they were incorporated into packages to improve performance and functionality. So packaging material have strong have with buying behavior.

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Font Style

The font style of Packaging grabs customer attraction. The up gradation of IT technology have support this feature. The successful companies have best practices of the font styles. They hire specialist in composing which create mind blowing and attractive font styles. The attractive package has innovative font style. So we can say that there is relation between font style and buying behavior

Design of wrapper

The overall design also plays a vital role in attracting the consumer. Mostly the children of 10-18 years are so sensitive to the design of wrapper. The companies try their best to create attractive design of packaging

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Printed Information

Container or wrapper of the product is serves a number of purposes like protection and description of the contents, theft deterrence, and product promotion.

The labels on packages are important components of the overall marketing mix and can support advertising claims, establish brand identity, enhance name recognition, and optimize shelf space allocations. The consumer can change his decision on the basis of information printed on the packaging. Mostly in Merchandises and daily FMCG the consumer can perform evaluation on the basis of printed information.

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Innovation

Innovative packaging may actually add value to the product if it meets a consumer need such as portion control, recyclability, tamper-proofing, child-proofing, easy-open, easy-store, easy-carry, and non breakability. Manufacturers today strive to have packaging that maintains the key equities of the brand, has stand out appeal on the retailer’s shelf, and is sustainable but with lower production costs. The customer can adopt product on the basis of its innovative packaging, which shows the relation between buying behavior and innovation of packaging

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RESEARCH APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

TYPE OF RESEARCH

The type of research conducted is ‘descriptive research’ after taking into account the research problem, aim of paper and the requirements for information needed. Type of investigation is correlated because the variables already exist.

RESEARCH DESIGN

Quantitative research approach is implied in this study. For this purpose a self administered questionnaire was designed. Customer survey was conducted by sending questionnaires to randomly selected customers for collection of data for statistical analysis. The questionnaire covered the basic content to facilitate achieving goal of the study at its best.

RESEARCH INSTRUMENT

Questionnaires were used as an instrument for data collection and the data is collected in two ways:

Personal survey in university and shopping malls and meet male and female respondents and by meeting to household women.

By emailing the questionnaire to the respondents, they filled the questionnaire and then emailed back.

The instrument is in the form of closed ended questionnaire. Answers were recorded in the Likert five point scales. Packaging Characteristics is measured as:

Highly Important

Important

Neither Important nor Unimportant

Unimportant

Highly Unimportant

DATA COLLECTION METHODS

PRIMARY DATA

The main tools used in this research for collecting primary data include questionnaires which were filled general public.

SECONDARY DATA

The main tools used for collecting secondary data for this research include published articles, journals and other sources available on the Internet.

SAMPLE DESIGN

SAMPLING UNIT

For the purpose of data collection the site selected for this study includes general consumers from which the data has been gathered. The general public include both males and females; students and working people with different classes. The age distribution which is used for this research was in five ages slabs:

20 years or less

21 years to 25 years

26 years to 30 years

31 years to 40 years

SAMPLING METHOD

The sampling technique used in this study was ‘convenience sampling’ method.

SAMPLE SIZE

The sample size taken in this research is n=200 i.e. total numbers of respondents was 200; both males and females with different classes.

SAMPLING PROCEDURE

The method of sampling was random sampling.

ANALYSIS PROCEDURE

After setting the sample size, site, the tool for data collection, various analyses were done using statistical data analysis package SPSS 14.0.

BUDGET & TIME SCHEDULE

RESEARCH STAGES

TIME

COST

Research proposal approval

1 week

__

Secondary data approval

3 days

__

Questionnaire development

1 week

__

Questionnaire pretesting & approval

2 weeks

Rs.500

Questionnaire printing

1 day

Rs. 700

Questionnaire filling

2 weeks

__

Data processing and analysis

4 days

__

Final report compilation

5 days

Rs.700

Final report printing & binding

3 days

Rs. 1200

LIMITATIONS

A few limitations narrowed the scope of this research:

Sample size was large so it took me time to get the questionnaires filled.

The respondent’s personal bias may be another factor, which is uncontrollable

Many respondents did not actively participate in the research.

Respondents did not read the questions carefully.

Experimental method of research could not be used due to budgetary and time constraints.

DATA ANALYSIS AND HYPOTHESIS TESTING

Q1) Packaging influences me to buy a particular product or brand?

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this question is to find how many people filling out this questionnaire are influenced by packaging of a product or brand

Response Format: It is a Grid type question

No. of respondents to answer this question: 200

No. of responses generated: 200

QUESTION1

NO OF RESPONDENTS

PERCENTAGE

Does packaging influence you to buy a particular product or brand?

STRONGLY DISAGREE

14

7.0

DISAGREE

26

13.0

NEUTRAL

19

9.5

AGREE

117

58.5

STRONGLY AGREE

24

12.0

TOTAL

200

100.0

CONCLUSIONS:

12% of the respondents strongly agree to this point

58.5% of the respondents agree to this point

9.5% of the respondents are neutral

13% of the respondents disagree.

7% of the respondents strongly disagree

HYPOTHESIS TEST OF QUESTION 1

Ho: π ≥70% (70% or more respondents are influenced by packaging of a product or brand)

H1: π<70% (Less than 70% respondents are influenced by packaging of a product or brand)

DATA:

n = 200

x = 70.5

ρ = x/n = 70.5/200 = 0.3525

Confidence interval=95%

Level of significance ¡ = 5% or 0.05

Tabulated Results:

Z tabulated = Z¡ = Z 0.05 = -1.64 (-Z in Left tailed test)

Test Statistics: Critical Region:

CR =

Where,

³p

³p

³p =

³p = 3.24

And,

Putting the above values in the formula:

CR =

CR = Z calculated =

= 0.54

Zcal = 0.54

Conclusion:

As CR = 0.54> -1.64

That means Z calculated > Ztabulated, œwe accept the claim that 70% or more o

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