Businesses are to create wealth, this is the general understanding. So its said that all major industries create wealth but if there is one industry that plays a unique role by way of both creation of wealth through a wide range of manufacturing activities and also by way of preserving the value created by many other industries, it is PACKAGING
Apart from the huge value addition and employment involved in these activities, packaging has been serving various economies by helping preservation of the quality and lengthening the shelf life of innumerable products – ranging from milk and biscuits, to drugs and medicines, processed and semi-processed foods, fruits and vegetables, edible oils, electronic goods and also to domestic appliances, industrial machinery and other hardware needing protection while transportation. We would talk about this more here for India.
Serving the purpose of not only preservation, packaging also influences buying decision in retail stores thereby acting as “silent salesman”. India is witnessing a boom in retail and has been ranked among top 30 emerging markets for retail across the globe. Indian Govt. announcement of 100% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has created positive sentiments in retail sector leading to emerging opportunities. Current Indian retail market is estimated to be of US$ 500 billion with 20% growth rate, dominated by small shops and stores as of now. Organized segment accounts for 8% of the total retail landscape (Source: Retailers association of India). With this growth rate it is expected to reach US$ 850 billion by 2015
Industry follows three standards now for a product - 'On Pack', 'In Pack' and 'In use'. On pack relates to packaging aesthetics and compliance to legal requirements. Consumers need to be attracted first to the pack and then only the product will get a chance to be picked up from shelf for testing In pack and In use properties.
Considering this basic thumb-rule, companies are now investing in designing attractive, consumer friendly packaging for their retail products. Studies show that packaging can increase customer satisfaction, visibility on shelf and set a product apart from its competition. Key role of shopper’s marketing thus becomes:
Attraction >>>> Interaction >>>> Transaction
Primary packs are designed in unique ways to create an impact on shelf – Eg: Technology that gives illuminated graphics once the pack is touched by a customer; Profile shaped perfume pack that immediately relates to its target customer; Beer shaped shampoo bottle that immediately gives an idea on product variant; Soup packaging that can be formed as serving container; Display carton for combo pack of perfumes wherein colour effect gives product idea; Honey bottle that gives high shelf appeal
Another area where packaging acts as salesman is “brand identity”. Ex: Same colors of primary pack gains consumer attention when products are stacked together on a shelf; Similar colour, shape, design, text all gives brand identity to the product; Flag tag that may be used for adding product detail or any message for the customer; Surface cleaner bottle with a label tag that allows customer to sniff and feel the fragrance of product
Targeting Indian retail stores, one can see increased usage of POP’s (Point of Purchase) and dispensers for various brands that immediately gains consumer attention thereby leading to product pick up. Companies follow various innovative trends ranging from Easy to hang dispensers; Perforated dispensers; Multi cavity POPs; Profile dispensers, Sleeve hangers. 3-D graphics, Pull string type dispensers and so on (refer pictures).
These not only attract consumer attention but also give product an upper edge to competition, ease in searching product in a crowd of millions of brands, fast product pick up through dispensers. In essence innovative packs interact with the customer.
These all examples says “If you get noticed; only then you will be picked up” and luckily companies have accepted this fact. Not only in retail stores, packaging is also changing the online shopping world. E-commerce giants are exploring innovative solutions to make their secondary packs lighter in weight to optimize shipping cost. New materials, new designs and creative thinking are putting their roots deep in online world also.
Standing today in a retail store we all can witness this change as consumers and validate how packaging has transformed the retail scenario. And that is why I