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Packaging, Labeling, Warranties, and Guarantees

Many marketers have called packaging a fifth P, along with price, product, place, and promotion. Most, however, treat packaging and labeling as an element of product strategy. Warranties and guarantees can also be an important part of the product strategy.

Packaging

Packaging includes all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product. Packages might have up to three layers: a primary package inside a secondary package, with one or more packaged units sent in a shipping package. Packaging is important because it is the buyer’s first encounter with the product. A good package draws the consumer in and encourages product choice. Distinctive packaging like that for Altoids mints is an important part of a brand’s equity.

Packaging must achieve a number of objectives: (1) identify the brand, (2) convey descriptive and persuasive information, (3) facilitate product transportation and protection, (4) assist at-home storage, and (5) aid at-home consumption. Functionally, structural design is crucial. Aesthetic considerations relate to a package’s size and shape, material, color, text, and graphics. The packaging elements must harmonize with each other and with pricing, advertising, and other parts of the marketing program. Color can define a brand, from Tiffany’s blue box to UPS’s brown trucks. Packaging updates and redesigns can keep the brand contemporary, relevant, or practical, but they can also have a downside if consumers dislike the new package or confuse it with other brands. Companies must also consider environmental and safety concerns about excess and wasteful packaging.

 
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