Packaging is concerned with designing and manufacturing the package for the product. Earlier companies used the package to protect the product during storage and transit. The package included a primary package or container that contained the actual product, for example the bottle containing the Avon perfume and the secondary package, like the cardboard box that is thrown away when the consumer begins using the product. The package may also include the shipping box, usually a corrugated box that contains multiple numbers of products for transportation and storage. The labels are also a part of the package that are used for product identification and provide information to consumers as per legal requirements.
However of late business organizations are using packaging innovatively as a very significant marketing tool. A number of factors have contributed to this change. Today the business environment is characterized by intense competition with the supply far exceeding demand in case of majority of products leading to clutter on shelf spaces. Companies are using innovative packaging to gain instant attention, differentiate its products from those of competitors and lead the increasingly impulsive consumer to purchase action.
So also the consumers and society has become more concerned about the safety of the product and companies are using innovative packaging strategies to make products tamper proof to prevent any form of contamination after it leaves the factory and also to make it childproof to protect children. Similarly the consumers have become increasingly concerned about the impact of packaging activities on the physical environment especially to global warming. Business organizations are increasingly gaining customer loyalty by developing and using environmentally responsible packaging material and communicating the same to gain competitive advantage.
Kotler, Philip. & Armstrong, Gary. 2006. Principles of marketing, London: Pearson Education