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Is your packaging an advert for your product?

Advertising: horribly expensive, isn't it? Packaging, too. Done properly, however, your organisation can get more value from the expenses incurred on advertising and packaging, by making the latter an integral part of the advertising campaign.
That's according to Stephen Beattie, marketing and sales manager of Pyrotec PackMedia, a division of Pyrotec, the privately owned South African company that specialises in providing innovative and top quality product identification solutions. Beattie points out that the effective presentation of products on the retail shelf has a direct impact on whether or not the customer will choose one brand over another.

“When considering that nearly three quarters of purchase decisions of FMCG products are made in-store, the necessity for packaging which catches the eye and appeals to the customer is obvious,” says Beattie.

An on-pack promotion has to be carefully thought out as maximum impact must be achieved in just a fraction of a second. “The average consumer takes approximately 0.2 seconds to make a purchase decision when in store,” Beattie relates.

That draws him to another notion, propounded by Proctor & Gamble CEO AG Lafley: “There are two moments of truth for a brand: the first is in store, when the customer decides to choose that specific product. This is the moment at which the packaging and presentation of the item is of critical importance; it is where the brand promise is made,” Beattie explains.

The second moment of truth is in the home, where the brand promise should be fulfilled, resulting in a satisfied customer. “Hitting this one is up to the manufacturer of the product - but where the packaging is concerned, we can definitely help,” remarks Beattie.

Pointing to a commonly used acronym which assesses a piece of advertising, the so-called AIDA principle (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action); he says effective above-the-line advertising takes care of the attention, interest and desire part of AIDA. “For any product manufacturer, however, their moment of truth comes with that final A - action. This happens right there in the retail environment: does the customer reach out and purchase your product, or does he choose that of a competitor?”

It is at this critical point that on-pack and point of sale promotion closes the loop between desire and action. “It's the culmination of a through the line campaign; if the packaging reflects the appeal which was created through the Attention, Interest and Desire aspects of AIDA, the customer will put your product in her trolley,” Beattie says.

Packaging therefore becomes an essential element in the advertising campaign. “Packaging is the point at which the consumer interacts directly with the product while making a purchase decision. The use of on-pack promotions can prompt consumers to purchase products that they had not planned on buying, it can increase brand awareness and educate consumers about features and benefits,” Beattie adds.

Ultimately, when packaging is integrated into the advertising campaign, it is another tool which can drive increased sales.

Beattie says Pyrotec PackMedia offers a complete concept-to-application service to tailor make cost-effective, practical and innovative packaging solutions which enhance the visual appeal of goods in the retail environment. He explains: “Providing packaging which appeals to the consumer is a potentially tricky challenge. The sheer volume of information which needs to be communicated, including benefits and the content of a product, can lead to reduced font sizes and graphics - and resulting in borderline legibility and a cluttered appearance.

“Our complete service means we don't just design the packaging, but our specialists also illustrate various ways in which marketers can multiply by several times the area used for on-pack communication, with exciting potential for promotional and value-added opportunities,” he concludes.

Pyrotec can help brand owners and labelling designers resolve these limitations and issues with its PackMedia technology and by providing solutions that open the path to the manufacture of innovative and premium, multi-dimensional packaging labels.

25 Feb 2010 13:05