Packaging : From Silent Salesman to Proven Performer…

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Gone are the days when packaging was meant to be carrying product details and wrapping the product. Packaging is no more what it used to be. It has become the frontrunner in branding the product as it directly confronts the customer at the time of purchase. Many FMCG companies have moved on from mediocre packaging to attract customers with enticing ‘look and feel’ of the product. In the era where exposure to international brands increasing ingenious and eye-catchy packaging trend has evolved a proven performer in captivating the minds of the consumer.

In the last couple of years FMCG majors such as Hindustan Unilever, P&G, ITC, Nestle, Pepsi Co, etc. have launched and relaunched wide range of products putting emphasis on packaging. Recent DNA article stated that, FMCG companies working with extremely low margins after absorbing most of the last year’s rise in raw material prices and higher logistics cost due to fuel price hike are exploring innovation in packaging to retain profitability. Everybody is eyeing for that distinctive attention of consumers at shelves. Companies have also understood that enticing and winsome packaging attracts lots of first time buyers. With the use of color, Illustrations, typography and various packaging materials it has become a very important sales tool.

It is also essential for companies to maintain their brand’s image and status with respect to their international competitors who maintains the policy of high quality packaging. A product or a brand has to differentiate itself from identical products on the shelves and has to retain the brand loyalty. A large no. of loyal customers are an asset to the company and it is a major determinant in deciding Brand Equity. Packaging develops and maintain an image of the product or brand in the minds of consumer. Brand managers maintain that packaging has to communicate right message on and off the shelf. The marketers now understands the importance of creative packaging design and they are trying to innovative ways in packaging to have an edge over other brands or products. Also new breed of brand conscious people is increasing in the Indian market and companies are looking for tapping this source early on by relaunching their product line.

But do companies are willing to spend on packaging….? The wider business community broadly welcome the trend in packaging but smaller businesses still concerned about the financials attached to it. Companies do not want their packaging cost to go up more than 5% of product’s cost. They may be willing to spend on other advertising and promotional materials but not on packaging alone. Although companies are breaking the rule and foraying into the brand war in retail stores, creating separate window for their brand portfolio.

To conclude, “Packaging should not a meaningless and generic emptiness…it should reflect the right image of your brand.” To put it simple you just need to ask… “is consumer going to have a second look or your message is getting lost…!”

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