Packaging to Gain Bigger Role as Marketing Tool

Packaging allows consumers to transport and use the contents of what they are buying.  But the style and color, along with packagingother details of packaging, work as marketing tools.  Consumers will often purchase a product based on packaging alone so this behavior should have enterprises paying more attention to the advertising benefits of this marketing vehicle.

Package attractiveness is very important to 6% of buyers while another 10% say the same about distinctiveness. Over 60% of consumers admit to purchasing a product off the shelf based on packaging and no other information.

Attitudes about packaging vary by age according to a Mead Westvaco study on this topic. Overall, less than 20% of U.S. consumers like today’s packaging. Middle-​class shoppers have the lowest approval rate (17%) and by sector, carry-​out packaging fares the worst (11%).

Consumers are particularly interested in packaging that offers them the following features:

  • Prevents spills 74%
  • Maintains product integrity 72%
  • Gets all of the product out for use 66%

Steve Kazanjian, vice president, Global Creative, MWV, emphasizes that  “Packaging that lives up to the brand promise of its marketing communications holds the most potential for repeat purchase.”

Clearly, MWV has a vested interest in selling more packaging, but marketers should consider the bigger message of this survey. Packaging is not going to replace product quality (85%) and price (67%) as the primary drivers of selection. However, appealing packaging that doesn’t frustrate consumers can contribute to an initial or repeat purchase of a product. In these competitive times, that's a detail no marketer should ignore.

[Source: MVW Study, Consumer Packaging Satisfaction. Feb. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.