What is Packaging?
Packaging is the process or activity of giving a container or wrapper to a product or covering a product. It aims to protect the in-contents of the product from the external forces until unless the product delivers to the end-users.
In simple words, when you are going to give a gift to your someone – you may prefer to wrap that gift or give a container or a cover to make look better and attractive, that is the packaging. In addition, the packaging is the dressing of products.
A prodcut itself is not safe, requires some efforts to keep it safe. Designing and producing a container for the products is the necessary task for the marketer or business firm to keep their products safe while handling materials, storing, selling, distributing, and delivering to the target markets. It not only keeps safe products, but it also makes products look attractive, identifiable, informative, increases products sustainability, makes prodcuts convenient, facilitates proper transportation, enhances promotion, boost up sales, and so on.
To be more clear, packaging is the art, science, and technology of enclosing or protecting the products for successful distribution, storage, sales, and use. It can be defined as a coordinated way of dressing products for transports, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end-use.
It designs and produces a package of the product. A package refers to a cover, container, or wrapper in which a prodcut is enclosed. Some products are enclosed in paper boxes, some in canes, some in tubes, some in plastic bags, some in wooden boxes, some in metal containers, and so forth. Mainly, the use of the particular package depends upon the nature of the products, demand of the buyer, location of the buyer, and the particular country’s legal requirements.
Levels of Package
Generally, there are three primary levels of package. These levels of the package are distinct in nature and used while packaging different types of products. These are also called the levels of packaging.
Each level of package plays a significant role in protecting and delivering the products. Namely, they are the primary package, secondary package, and shipping package and are also mentioned as below:
The primary package means the product’s immediate wrapper or container or cover right after it is produced. Such type packages are used to keep safe the newly produced products. It is also called the first envelope of the products. May be primary package is better understood by the image.
For example, right after producing the toothpaste, the toothpaste tube is added. For liquid products, a transparent glass container is designed. The primary package’s main purpose is to keep safe the products, for further processing.
The secondary package means adding additional layers over the primary package to increase its protection level. And, such additional layers are removed when products are delivered to home or when people are going to use them.
For example, usually, when we purchase toothpaste, it is in a cardboard box. But when we are ready to use it, we remove the cardboard box from it, and again we have the primary package i.e. the tube of toothpaste.
The third level of the package used in packaging is the shipping package. It is also called territory or territorial package. It is an additional external layer added to the products for storage, identification, bulky handling, transportation, and protection for distant distribution and long-time storage.
Shipping packages have popularly seen when people or retailers order from online and big stores the delivery processes are done in shipping packages. When the retailers receive the prodcut, the outer case i.e. shipping package is removed and they are displayed in a showcase for selling.
Objectives of Packaging
The primary objectives of packaging can be mentioned as below:
Protection. The primary objective of packaging is to protect the physical content of the product. The products can be affected by various factors such as humidity, vibration, compression, light, and other external factors in the way of delivering the products to the consumers.
Barrier Protection. The objective of barrier packaging is to protect from oxygen, water vapor, dust, light, air, grease, and permeation. You can see such practice in edible products – for example, when a packet of noodles has a small hole the taste becomes most unfavorable.
Containment. A separate package of separate products is not always beneficial. Some small objects are groups together to enhance packaging. For example, when 100 pens are packaged together it will be easy to handle instead of when the 100 pens are packaged individually.
Offer Adequate Information. Good packaging involves adequate and important information about the products. Such as established date, manufacture date, price, quality, quantity, used ingredients, safety tips, best fore some months, how to use, transports, dispose of, recycle, no toxic substances, etc.
Marketing. Another important objective of the packaging is to make marketing activities fruitful. Attractive and good-looking packages are today’s the most humble friends of the marketers to lure target markets. Good packages make marketing efforts such as advertising, promotion, distribution, etc. more resultful.
Security. The prodcuts packages are also designed to reduce the amount of security risk while shipping. To make secure packages most of the authentic means are applied such as authentication seals, anti-theft devices that ensure the packages are ordering and shipping to the right parties.
Storage. It also supports storing products more efficiently. Well-packaged prodcuts are easy to handle, transfer, while also reducing the time of handing prodcuts. In addition, packaging’s objectives are to make all the efforts efficient that involve the logistics chain from the manufacturer to the consumers.
Features or Essentials of Good Packaging
Packaging activities to be good the following features or essential needs to have most. They are economical, functional, communicative, attractive, and eco-friendly.
Economical. If the packaging process requires a huge amount of effort plus more money such packagings increase the cost of products thus the sales go on reducing. The purpose of packaging is to stand as a good choice for both marketers and buyers. Thus, it needs to have economical – does not cost manufacturer, fill, remove, handle, so that it does not affect the sales price of the products.
Functional. It is done to increase the functional capacity of the products. It should perform all those functions that it is supposed to do if not it will not be called a good package.
Communicative. Since one of the objectives of packaging is to deliver adequate information, it should provide all the required information about a prodcut brand that customers seek to know. The information is written in the package such as brand name, use, benefits, manufacturer name, production date, uses tips, etc. should be easy to read and understand so that customers can be stimulated to make their further action toward the product.
Attractive. Since one of the main objectives of packaging is to make products attractive in the eye of customers a package should be quite attractive. Very attractive and fascinating packages draw customers’ attention stimulating their interest in the products.
To make the package more attractive one should use matching colors and proper designs. In addition, to make it more attractive, as far as possible attractive symbols, pictures, or presentations should’ve been used. The right combination of these attributes will make a package more appealing which will have a positive impact on the company’s sales volume and profitability.
Eco-Friendly. Another essential is that the package should be environmentally friendly. With the increase in environmental pollution now customers are being more conscious about the used materials on the packaging. They ask does the package has sustainability, recycle, reusability, or pollution features before making purchases.
The actors of the green revolution have suggested the packaging materials should not be against environmental health. Many countries including EU members, the USA, Australia, etc. have their green legislations, which have implemented such conditions strictly. They ban importing those products negatively affecting their ecological requirements from the outside counties. It is imperative that the packaging materials are eco-friendly in nature.
Packaging Policies and Strategies
After understanding what is packaging, its levels, objectives, and essentials, let’s understand how to make such packagings.
Out there, several packaging policies and strategies are available – some of them mostly and widely accepted ones are as follows:
Changing The Package
Changing the package strategy means adopting several containers, covers, or wrappers for product packaging over the years. As the covers change the informative materials of the prodcuts also change to some extent. It seems a marketer can apply this strategy in two situations as mentioned below:
- There may be sales decreased – to combat such sales decreases, and
- To apply the firm’s different promotional programs.
For example, Horlicks has adopted changing packaging strategy over the years.
Packaging The Product Line
A prodcut line is a set of related products that are marketed and sold under a single brand name. By adopting this strategy, a marketer can do identical packaging for each product line or diverse packaging for diverse prodcuts. For example, the packaging of cosmetic prodcut lines.
As its name suggests, it is packaging that can be also used for further purposes after using the actual content of the prodcuts. It is popularly seen in Nepal and India, where people after drinking the actual Sprite or Coca-Cola, that bottle they further use for drinking water, keep local wine, and other stuff.
It has also seen the packaging of Bournvita, and Horlicks is done in a robust plastic container.
Multiple packages mean giving multiple packages to a prodcut. Researches suggested that the multiple packaging strategy has increased the demand for the products.
Since a prodcut is muti packaged – the prices of every package are different, a big one has high price whereas small one has a cheap price – as such low-income people also go for such affordable prodcuts. For example, Coca-Cola has multiple packages offerings.
Hence, the packaging is the giving a dress to a prodcut and dresses to the different products. This activity depends upon the product’s nature and other actors. The ultimate goal of packaging is to make better packages of the different prodcuts in a way different levels of customers will be benefited, the company’s goals will be achieved, and the environment will not be harmed.