What Is Packaging & Labeling in Marketing?

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Packaging and labeling are used for various products in retail and wholesale establishments. Packaging provides a convenient way for customers to lift and transport products. Labeling helps consumers identify a product. Without labels, for example, all fruit drinks on a shelf would look the same. Certain types of packaging and labeling also appeal to consumers. Customers may prefer a certain product brand because of the packaging and labeling. There are several key reasons packaging and labeling are important in marketing.

Containment and Usability

Product packaging helps contain the products. Many products could not be displayed without packaging. For example, packages help contain products like milk and pudding. Packaging also helps contain multiple items like donuts, pencils, bacon and pizza rolls. Similarly, product labels tell consumers the weight of certain items as well as the number of items contained in a package. Choosing the right container is important in marketing. Consumers must have convenient sizes they can lift and store in their homes. Women would have trouble lifting and transporting an extremely large laundry detergent box, for example. Labels more easily help consumers make decisions on quantities they need. For example, large families may need two packages of pizza rolls for the week, based on the quantities mentioned on the labels.

Protection

Marketers know certain types of packages better protect their products from temperature, vibration, compression and extended shelf life. Therefore, they must work with research and development in producing the right types of containers. Additionally, marketers can protect consumers by using expiration dates on products like yogurt, eggs and cheese. Additionally, companies are becoming more aware of allergens in certain foods. Therefore, consumers may get warnings about common product allergens like wheat, milk, yeast and soy. Also, marketers must make sure they adhere to certain labeling laws for certain products. Besides food, there are labeling laws for electronics and textiles.

Visibility

Marketing professionals know that elements such as color and design are important in attracting customers. Consumer products companies may even do focus groups to test product designs before their products are introduced. A company's product must stand out on the shelf. Competition is stiff within all product groups. A company's sales and profits are contingent upon how well their packaging and labeling appeal to consumers. Companies with multiple product sizes and brands can use similar color schemes or labels on all products for customers to better recognize their products.

Product Positioning

Packaging and labeling can be used as a product positioning tool in marketing. For example, marketers may use gold packaging and fancy labeling for higher-priced products or premium brands. Consumers who want premium brands begin to recognize them more from the packages and labels. For example, cheese manufacturers may use fancier packaging for specialty cheeses. Beverage products often do the same. A premium liquor company may use metal tags on the necks of their bottles as part of their packaging. Premium packaging can represent prestige for consumers, who may buy the products to impress friends at parties.

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