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Chapter 8

Research Support for the Packaging

And Pack Size Decisions


During the 1960s the decade of mass marketing packaging became a serious
candidate as marketing mixs fifth P

This was the time when the mass marketing product paradigm was Coca-Cola with its distinctive
world-famous bottle.

The cosmetics industry also made packaging a (if not be) major element of its marketing mix.

Today importance of Packaging is that we also need a strategy decision of its own (McCarthy
and Perreault, 198: p 194) How ever we correctly count as now a part of the product variable.

We also accept the fact that it can be a major marketing input in some industries but a minor one
in others.

This is the context of considering packaging as essentially the physical counterpart of the
brand name as a dress of the product, but we do recognize that it has marketing
functions beyond that of a physical dress.

Component variables in the packaging decision, unlike the symbolic dress, i.e. the brand name,
packaging is not a one-dimensional marketing element. It is a multidimensional ad we begin by
appreciating this character.
Packaging And Pack Size

The variables in the decision

For products catering to several of a markets age segments, the

packaging decision for a new product depends on the prior decision about
new product formats.

For example:, if new product managers decide that the new product will
participate in the infant segment, then it has to be in the liquid format. This
in turn means that the how-to-package decision stats with the bottle. This
is what the marketing practice calls the Primary Package. In many
cases, particularly for cosmetics or others where the glass bottle is used,
there is a secondary package: the box that holds and protects the bottle. It
also serves as a point-of-purchase print medium for the product message.

The sequence of format to container defines for the packaging decision a

sequence of two-choice concern.

The first choice has to do with the formats its target market segments require;


The second, with the container a given format needs

Packaging And Pack Size

The variables in the decision

The Pack size mix decisions comes as a part of this sequence.

It is a decision that asks the new product manager to choose for a given
product format and packaging container, the different sizes the
packaging should have.

It is important to clarify the sequential character of the packaging decisions

in many markets right at the beginning. It is an often overlooked and
neglected aspect. When so ignored the discussion on packaging becomes

Attending to it sets order to he packaging decision making and defines the

new product managers packaging-decision responsibilities in a better light.

Packaging And Pack Size


The variables in the decision

Packages in the sequence are


Format Decision


The container or Physical Decision


Pack-size mix decision

Packaging And Pack Size


The Format Decision and its Research Support

While competitive considerations are a factor in this decision they
are not the most important. Of more importance is the considerations
of market segment need for the candidate format.
The key factors are the market segmentation and analysis of market
Some authors like to talk about positioning a format when the subject
is about needs.
To position a format means to find out if a given format is satisfying
the format need of a certain consumer segment.
For a new product introduction it is also important to find out the size
and accessibility of the market segment with the format need in
Advance Marketing

Packaging And Pack Size


The Format Decision and its Research Support

The apparent suggestion is that the format choice should take the
following step:
First, check if the format need by an identifiable market segment is a
more sustained need than what it has for other alternative
Second confirm if the market segment in need of the format is relatively
more sizeable and accessible to the companys market inputs.

These two steps should enable the ranking of the format in question
above or below the others as the best format choice for the new

This proposition determines the kind of research support that the

format decision requires.

Advance Marketing

Packaging And Pack Size


The Format Decision and its Research Support


In other industries like the milk industry the equivalent of format is product
form or type. Milk comes in four or five different types: powdered, fresh,
condensed and ready to drink. Consumers have associated each form with
a certain packaging

powdered milk with large tin can, condensed with small-size tin can, fresh milk with thick
glass or thick white plastic bottles and ready to drink with tetrapak.

In the laundry detergent market, three product forms exist: powder, hard bar,
and liquid. Again buyers and users have become used to pairing each form
with a particular packaging: powder detergent with cartoon boxes, hard bar
with transparent plastic wrapping, and liquid with plastic bottles.

The research data required for the product format, form or type decision can
be obtained by adding the necessary questions in the regular UAI survey.

Packaging And Pack Size


The packaging-Container Decision and Its

Research Support

In consumer marketing the buying consumer has the most concern for a new or
existing products physical packaging.

This concern is particularly high for consumers products principally available in selfservice outlets

In a super Market , convenience store, drugstore and other self-service retail stores,
no one sells the product at point of purchase. However, the first physical contact of
the buying consumer with the product is not with the product itself but with its
displayed packaging, Because of this packaging, its often asked to act as the
products point of purchase salesman to the buying consumer. The decision on the
effective physical packaging should therefore be tested on the buying consumers.

There is another group of people who can be as equally concerned about a product's
packaging as the buying consumers.

Packaging And Pack Size


The packaging-Container Decision and Its Research


Example: In fact in certain cases, they can be much more concerned, For example in
selling prescription medicines, the people who ask questions about physical
packaging and complain about it are the drugstore owners and managers. The
prescribing doctor known as the decision maker in the consumer buying decision,
may be concerned about the product format. However, doctors rarely bother about
the products physical packaging. Most of them do not even know what kind of
container some of their most prescribed products are in and do not express
apprehension about it. The end user is dependent upon the doctor and will buy the
prescribed product regardless of what container it is in. End users have many other
things on their minds to bother about. Also if the doctor seems unmindful then why
should they bother

In less extreme cases the packaging decision must respond to the needs of both the
buying consumer and the retailer.

Packaging marketing functions differ with each group and should therefore be done

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing with Consumers

Package testing with consumers depends upon the marketing

functions where we want packaging to perform with them.

How well a chosen package performs its assigned functions

depends on how well it contains certain packaging dimensions.

Consumers associate specific dimensions with specific functions

They regard such dimensions as responsible for delivering on a

given function.

What these dimensions are differ from one product to another and
from one situation to the next

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing with Consumers

A major objective of the package testing is to find out what these

perceived influencing dimensions

By packaging dimensions we refer to the visible and other tangible

characteristics of a package. These include the following

The packaging material

Color of the package
Packaging And Pack Size


Package Testing with Consumers

Depending on the product and the situation, packaging may be

asked to carry out some most or all twelve marketing functions.

Seven of these are at point of purchase, i.e. inside

the store.
Three of these are during or while the packaged
product is in use
The last two are after the packaged product has
been used or consumed.

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing with Consumers

A.Marketing functions at point of purchase

To attract buyer attention at point of purchase

To create instant recognition for the packaged brand
To fit and reinforce the packaged brands distinctiveness
To describe the packaged product
To lend continuing exposure to the packaged brand as a
point of purchase advertising media
6. To act as a point of purchase promotion for the packaged
7. To provide safety to the packaged product while on display
and prevent tampering

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing with Consumers

B. Marketing Functions while in use
8. To assure safe usage of the packaged product
9. To provide convenience in the packaged products usage
10. To maintain or preferably lengthen the packaged products shelf

C. Marketing Functions after product

11. To serve other uses after the packaged product has been
12. To assure social and ecological safety when disposed of

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing Retailers

Package testing with retailers depends upon their concerns about a

brands packaging

The testing objective is to find out how the packaging may be

designed or redesigned to satisfy the retailers packaging needs.

Package testing evaluates candidate packaging containers for a

given new product format, form or type. For example a cough-cold
tablet format may be presented in a blister pack or foil wrap or in a
plain tablet format. Its liquid format may be in a dark plastic glass or
clear, glass bottle

Packaging And Pack Size



Package Testing Retailers

Consider the stakeholders, decision makers, influencers etc. The best proper test
has the following steps.

The field interviewer explains to the drugstore manager the purpose of the test and briefs
the manager on the new product.


The respondent manager is then exposed to the candidate physical packages per
chosen format. The respondent manager is allowed to physically handle the candidate
test package.


Next the respondent manager is asked which of the candidate packages in a format
he/she likes more than the others with respect to : (1) handling (2) Stocking (3) marking
and (4) displaying


The interviewer asks an overall Liking question


Steps # 2 to # 4 are repeated for the next chosen format


The test ends with a request for some specific suggestions from the respondent

Packaging And Pack Size



The pack size Mix Decision and its research Support

Just like the format decision the pack size mix decision is often made for
competitive reasons.
To base pack size mix decision on market needs is to regard the pack size
mix as yet another existing product use segmentation

There must be as many pack sizes as there are product use segments each
in need of its own pack size

In many companies research may trigger an opportunity to add another

pack size to an existing additional pack size mix.

The research can be integrated into the regular UAI survey

Packaging And Pack Size