Influence Of Product Packaging On Consumer Buying Preference


This chapter presents the view of past and present literature, opinions and contributions of scholars, authors and expects in the field of study, Baridan (2001:1) quoting Funkman (1978:108) asserted that every serious piece of research includes a review of relevant research more extensive in a dissertation, for examples than in a journal article where space is at a premium.

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He further noted that the review of literature often precedes the formulation of a research topic.

Abdullah and Levine (1979:2) quoted in Baridan (2001:3) observed that the review of the literature can serve several important purposes. First, it can reveal what has been done previously in the area, relieving the researcher of the possibility of replication of previous studies. Secondly, it can reveal whether the study is feasible by exposing the difficulties encountered in past studies. Thirdly, it can serve as a connecting link between the finding of previous investigations and the proposal. Finally, the research  learn which procedures an instrument have provided useful (ie more effective and effective). Baridan Gibid postulated that it is not enough to review related literature without presenting the studies by topic and determining how those topics related to the researcher’s own study as systematic presentation of the literature forms of foundation of the study.

Thus, this chapter covers the following areas:

  1. The concepts of a product
  2. Product classification

iii. Basic characteristics of product

  1. The concept of product packaging
  2. Importance of product packaging as a marketing tool
  3. Basic product packaging functions

vii. Requirements for product packaging

viii. Product packaging problems

  1. Criticism of packaging
  2. Consumer buying behavior
  3. Situation factor

xii. Performance measures


Kohler maintained that product concepts holds that consumers will favour those products that offer the most quality, performance or innovative features. The emphasis is on superior product quality and improvement overtime. The qualitative of the firms product, the firms product becomes the liteum on which this concept revolves when the quality of product is sound and stable, the firm stands a better chance of succeeding in the market out the reverse is the case with low and variable product quality. The condition for the operation of this concept is the fact that the customer is interested in buying the goods or services rather than solving any particular problem. Also it is often said that in this concept, the product known best what the customer needs. The assumption under which the product becomes applicable are listed here under:

  1. The consumer buy the product and not necessary to solve a particular problem
  2. The consumer sees product quality as the primary focus in purchase

iii. The basis for distinction in buying product is the best quality for money

  1. The choice for brand of a particular product is based on quality vis-a-via value of money.
  2. The key to attracting and retaining customers is by continuously improving on the quality of the product.

Modern (1989:13) defined product as something that is capable of satisfying a consumer’s need and wants. Products can also be defined as anything that can be offered to the market, for attention, acquisition or consumption of consumers which includes physical objective, services personalities places, organization and ideas (Kohler 1980:201).


The characteristics of product may be seen differently by the buyer and seller. The concept of a product may be distinguished into;

  • PHYSICAL/ FORMAL PRODUCT: This aspect of product is the physical form. It embodies the size of a product and as such gives, first gives impression to the corel generic product.
  • INTANGIBLE: This aspect of product does not have physical form as such are hard to point at or identified the intangible aspect of a product combination of psychological benefits that comes from consumption of a product. These psychological benefits includes goodwill, image, ego/ steem enhancement state credibility and prestige among others. Intangible product could be in the aspect of services as those activities benefits or satisfaction off for sale that are essentially intangible and do not result in the ownership of anything.
  • TANGIBLE PRODUCT: This is the component of a product which you can see, feel or touch.
  • EXTENED/AUGMENTED PRODUCT: Extended aspect of a product as the name implies are those benefit which are not basically part of the product but added to attract customers and achieve brand loyalty and repeat purchase.
  • CORE PRODUCTION: This is the basic benefits for which a product is bought. It is the most important aspect of a product and also the aspect that satisfy the basic need of the customers.
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The product is the most important variable among all the marketing mix elements because all the other marketing elements cannot work in isolation of the product. But they work life a system. A system is an interacted and inter-dependent part that makes a whole. A product cannot work effectively without proper pricing, distribution and what would you promote distribute or price without a product. Every firms aims of providing goods that are capable of satisfying human needs and want and they achieve other goals through the product. Markets will have no job to perform without the product and the world would not be interesting to live in and there would be no consumer to satisfy.


A total product is much more than a physical product. But if a product is involved it probably will need some packaging physical products and source probably should be branded to make sure that they are clearly identifiable. Moreover, brands including cooperaties and store names carry much meaning for customers and potential customers. In the actual sense, there is much more to packaging than just buying a card board and sticking on the company’s names, in some cases, the product packaging preferences may be more important than the physical product preference. They may enable a firm to differentiate its homogenous physical produce or service and avoid pure competition. Sometimes, a preference is made between product packaging and product packaging the former being concerned with protection and letter with promotion. We will make this distribution. The difference is seldan earned. Modern  product packaging tries to do  both jobs, it is important to note however that  management conflict may develop over the relative importance of the  two product   packaging functions coincarty  developing  a  marketing

of strategy. The need for balance emphasis as the importance of having top management involved in this aspect of strategy planning.

Many authors tried to explain the function of product packaging rather than defining it. Product packaging is regarded as a sales personal due to the fact that it plays the role of draning attention which stell the sales process. It equally provides information about attributes, the products attribute may include among other things price, quality, quantitor instrument for use, warranty etc. in addition, the product packaging conveys of an emotional or psychological nature it and in the creation of product imagery (Knnear et. al. 1979:1).

Pride enferel (1980:66) noted that product packaging involves the development of a graphic design for a product. They further added a product packaging can be vital part of a product. It can make the product more versatile, safer or easier. To use as a brand name, a package can influence a consumer attitude towards a product, which in true affect their purchase preference, for example, several producers of beverages, cosmetics, confectionaries as well have packaged their products in squeezable containers to make use and storage more government station (1981 observed that most companies recognized that product packaging is of prime importance in protection and convenience. He also sees product packaging as the general grooms of activities in production planning that involves designing and producing the cover or wrapper for a production of a product.

The marketers of products was to confront the issue of product packaging in the case of any physical product that is offered to the market, product packaging varies from very minor element to a major marketing. A lot of marketing executives often refer product packaging as the 5th element along-side product, price, place and promotion. Some marketing however treat packaging as another aspect of a product.


Most companies recognize that product packaging important for protection and convenience product packaging has been production orientation in most firms, Mecarthy (1978:16) noted that,  about 714 billion was spent on product packaging materials alone in 1965 in the U.S. The total was estimated to 31 billion in 1977 and its expected to continue rising in coming years. He also noted that this is roughly equal to the amount spent on advertising. The amount stated as packaging cost does not include cost of handling storing and the moving of containers. Due to the increase importance, this is presently attached to product packaging, this particular function in making has stopped to be regard as ‘any person’ jobs. The job of packaging now result in the hands of quality managers or specialist trained in that particular field or organization.

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Some firms appointed a manager of packaging development and procurement service when it reaches the conclusion that product packaging is an important management tool. This new found states for packaging occurred in part because of the growth competitiveness in the market. This status also reflect the costuries  of packaging errors and the difficulty of amending them advertising  campaign for instance might prove ineffective and could be dropped. It’s effectiveness might lead to a loss of money but have no impact on potential buyers or customers. In contrast a poor packaging colour have long term effect killing the product for customers who try it and creating ill will consideration among middlemen. In other words, product packaging can have great strategic importance.

Marketing strategy planning theirs to match target market needs and preferences to the marketing mix offered and product packaging is definitely a part of mix. In some cases, it may be a vital part. A seemingly minor promotional change in product packaging design, adding a more appealing illustration, may double sales, while another seeing minor change might cut a brands share of the market to half clearly product packaging materials, size and design showed be examined with the final target market in mind. But in doing so intermediate customer wants and preference cannot be neglected either. A new product packaging can make a new strategy work but it should be designed with consideration of the needs of all those who will buy or handle it.

In own article in the wall street journal as recorded by baker (1996:4) Alecia Swasy (1989:10) pored the question ‘sales lost their vim try repackaging and claiming that product packing represents the last five seared of marketing. By this she meant that the find preference of which fast moving consumer or goods to buy are usually made at the point of sale and when faced with an array of objectively similar package goods which can only be differentiated by pride, brand and packaging ie extremis  product attribute.

Robert Underwood quotes Schlossberg (1990:7) who urges that the importance of packaging as a marketing variable can be summarized by three numbers, 25,ooo or the number of them in a typical grocery store 20 or the average number of minutes a consumer sends shopping in such who make a final reference on what they are buying while in store. Underwoods the reviews the small number of studies which have explored the role of the product packaging as a cue to product quality is the basic for his own research. In his view the attributes of a package such as colour, design, type of container and so on create utility for a consumer and time product packaging utilities influence the consumers over all perception model which recognized fine utilities functional, symbolic, information, aesthetic and structural the first four of which are of direct importance to the consumer while the last refers to the benefits product packaging provides to the distributors for example case of shopping, handle and storage. The other utilities are defined as follows:

  • Functional package utility is the benefits consumers and derives from a product performing face key functions, facilitating, usage, easing disbursement, providing security and protecting, accommodatroy, storage, for product reuse and allowing reuse of the actual package.
  • Symbolic package utility is defined as internally generated feeling engendered by a product package including self enhancing role position, group membership an ego identification such symbolic meanings are frequently communicated by the production package for example, have in Nigeria, there are many different brands of confectionary symbolic values or image attracting the consumers attents at the point of sale.
  • Information packaging utility is derived from the quality of information, after required by as well as the brand and imagery associated within advice on use and so forth.
  • Aesthetic packaging utility derived from the sensory benefits conveyed by the design, shape, color, texture etc Underwood describes each of these utilities or attributes in some details on establishing ecriest of proposition as to hour the influence consumer. Perception and possible behaviour. However, this is a theoretical model and while the prepositions see eminently sensible they still required to be operationalized and validated. Nevertheless, these are numerous case histories, which was support to the view that the package has a major influence on consumer preference. In recent years. A number of article have appeared describing how manufactures have used product packaging as a competition weapon in their marketing strategy.
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The December issue of marketing news 1994 carried short articles, which emphasized many of the points made earlier about product packaging role in the marketing mix, it also pointed to the impact, which retail treads one having on product packaging design among those are:

  • Lifestyle Purchasing: The more consumer look for product which reflects a desire lifestyle, product packaging is being used increasing to communicate the values.
  • Eroding Brand Loyalty: As private label brands and discounting have product traditional brand share manufacture are redesigning their product packaging to reposition their brands and emphasis their intrimesic value.
  • Shall Importation Overload: As the number of product increase there are twice as many as supermarket shelves as there were 10 years ago distinctive.
  • Line Extensions: In the fees of perforation intensive identities when introducing new product, (new extensive) product packaging design has a major role to play in establishing links between the old and new product.
  • Declining Marketing Budget: As recessionary for us have bitten into promotional budgets, the product packaging has increased in important as a communication variable.


Having know what product packaging is through its contents in storage and in use, other functions may include.



  • It established cooperate identity or image
  • It encourage retailers to display their product
  • It serves as ‘sales appeal device words’ like self application.
  • It presents a product most product advents are done on product packaging. A new brand or a modification is.
  • It enables prospect easily identify and differentiate a firm product or brain from another in term of repeat purchase.
  • It offer self-service to consumer in repeat purchase.
  • It offer self service to consumers in refaining and this gives it name ‘invisible or silent sales men’

The promotional functions of product packaging helps to pass information to the customers through the size, colors, shape etc This are internal part of product packaging promotional value.

  • Size: It can make the product easier to operate or can upgrade the product quality or durability. It can improve product appearance and lower manufacturing cost. Most size differential are derived or user convenience (user friendliness)
  • Promotion: It may include sale promotion, personal selling advertising etc Maxwell (1953:103) points out that the consumer must be made familiar with the appearance of the package product by advanced communication usually through advertising so that in the store he or she or confronted by friends and not strangers. The main objective of promotion are informing, persuading, reminding and profile maximization.


As noted, the prime function of any part is to protect the content. It follow hence that the package design will depend very largely are native of the contents in terms of their values, physical composition and durability. In addition, one must also take into account the length of the distribution channels the amount of handling which the container will receive and various climatic conditions which may be encountered between the point of manufacture and sale. This will be discussed under the distribution customers and legal requirements of packaging.


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