What Is Product Packaging in Marketing? - Definition, Types & Importance

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  • 0:06 Packaging Defined
  • 0:36 Utilitarian Aspects
  • 2:30 Marketing Opportunities
  • 4:10 Bundling
  • 4:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Most products have some form of packaging, even if it's just a price tag. In this lesson, you'll learn about the function of packaging, including how packaging is used in marketing. A short quiz follows the lesson.

Packaging Defined

Cassandra works for a cell phone company. Her job is to oversee the design of the packaging for her company's cell phones. Packaging serves different functions for products. Packaging serves a practical purpose of helping to store, handle, transport and display the product. Packaging also provides a means to market products. Finally, packaging also involves bundling, which is packaging related products together.

Packing: Utilitarian Aspects

Cassandra's first concern is to ensure her company's cell phones are adequately protected by the packaging she has designed. Cell phones are somewhat fragile. In other words, they don't take kindly to dropping, and moisture can destroy their functionality. Consequently, Cassandra must ensure that the packaging is designed to protect a cell phone from a fall from a reasonable height and that the package can withstand some modicum of moisture, such as rain. Cassandra must also design a package that is easy to handle and transport.

Considerations include size, weight, shape, and the ability to stack. While odd-shaped designs may be attractive from a marketing perspective, they are not efficient for packaging and shipping. Cassandra will have to decide on the trade-offs between function and form. Finally, she will want to make the package tamper-proof to help prevent shoplifting.

Cassandra must be certain that relevant information is included on the packaging as well. She'll need to make sure that the company's name, the product's name, contents and features are displayed on the package for marketing purposes. Instructions for the use of the cell phone will also need to be included. Additionally, legal regulations may require certain warnings be included with the cell phones. Finally, a UPC code will be imprinted on the package.

Cassandra will thus try to develop a package that protects the cell phones from accidents, tampering and the elements. She will also try to make the packages easy to handle, ship and easy to display on retail shelves. Finally, she'll make sure relevant information is included on the package that will comply with legal requirements and also help with marketing.

Packaging: Marketing Opportunities

Cassandra also wants to capitalize on the marketing opportunities that packaging can provide. This is the fun part of Cassandra's job. Cassandra's main goal is to use the packaging to attract potential customers to the cell phone and to demonstrate its attributes. Product attributes include things such as color, size, graphic designs, price and quality.

Designing packaging from a marketing perspective also involves brand recognition. Brand recognition occurs when a consumer can identify a brand by its attributes. If there is strong brand recognition, the general public will be able to identify the product brand without seeing its name. Few people, for example, will fail to recognize that golden arches relate to McDonald's.

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