PACKAGE SIZE & CONVENIENCE
Packaging aesthetics apart package size and convenience also contribute to the total product appeal. In this article we are giving below a few cases how the packing is modified for convenience of the consumer with the state of the art materials.
Pondâ€™s cold cream and Brylcreem in tubes:
Earlier, Pondâ€™s cold cream was coming in a bottle container. And, it was intended and used as a dressing table item. Subsequently, Pondâ€™s introduced the cream in a handy plastic tube. The new package changed the very concept of the product. From a dressing table item, it also became a carry-along product. This change in package increased the sales of Pondâ€™s cold cream. The same was the case with Brylcreem. Earlier, this hair-ream used to come only in bottle containers. Later, Brylcreem appeared in a convenient tube. Brylcreem in the new package became a convenient, carry-along, dressing item.
Application convenience of Harpic:
Harpic liquid toilet cleaner is another product that has successfully exploited the concept of customer convenience in packaging. The container, fitted with a nozzle for cleaning the toilet, gives Harpic an advantage over other similar products, which pose application problems for consumers.
The Beer can:
The beer can serves as one of the best examples of packaging convenience. Opening the can is so simple an action and requires no instructions whatsoever. The design is based on an understanding of peopleâ€™s basic pattern of expectations. Confronted with the ring when given a beer can, what would you do is pull it for opening.
Providing â€˜fractional packageâ€™ or small unit package is also a method of going with customer preference and convenience. Toothpastes are now available in 200 gm packing as well as in 50gm packing.
The economy or family package makes available the product in larger size. Households with several members can buy the economy packs and avoid the inconvenience of repeat purchase, making a saving in the bargain.
More recently, the tiny pack, sachets, is becoming popular. Many consumer products like soups, beverages, candy, cough syrup, toothpaste, digestive salts, hair oil and shampoo are now being popularized through sachets. The use of sachets gained popularity with the arrival of pan masalas in the 1980s. Now, sachets have become a key marketing tool for penetrating rural markets, for inducing product trials and even enticing the casual user. Some estimates put the turnover of consumer goods marketed in sachets at Rs. 500 crore per annum. In shampoo, brands like Sunsilk and Velvette, were the pioneers; they gained a lot of penetration in the rural markets through sachets. The low unit price of sachets (e.g. Sunsilk Rs. 1.50, Velvette Re. 1) made them affordable even to the lower end of the market and helped in speedy trial and adoption. Today, almost all shampoo brands are available in sachets and more than half the total shampoo sale is in sachets.
Providing reusable containers is another way of enhancing product appeal. Nescafe at a point of time came in a glass jar, which could be later used as a glass. And the Nescafe campaigns persuaded the customers to collect a set of such glasses. Plastic containers (e.g. Rath and Dalda) lend themselves for reuse in the kitchen store. Bournvita in the 200 gm handle-jar was much sought after by the housewife. Bournvita was also sold in smaller drinking mugs and pet jars. Cadburyâ€™s cocoa was introduced in a special â€˜measuring glass cupâ€™.
Refill packaging is also related to customer convenience and economy. Several product categories like health drinks, coffee and tea and cooking oils are now coming in refill packs. Brands like Nescafe, Bru, Bournvita, Maltova, Suffola etc. are examples. The refill packs are sold at a slightly lesser price than the regular package and that itself serves as a sales promotion support.
Quite often, marketers use packaging for product renovation too. They change the package to give a new look to the product; no changes are brought about in the product; only the package is changed in an attempt to set right a declining trend in sales. The product is then advertised as now. In some other cases, the package is changed even when the sales are going up. The intention is to retain the interest of the existing customers and to attract new groups of customers.