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Packaging design impacts the consumer at the point of sale as well as at the point of future handling and using the product. It becomes a part of the consumers’ experience and influences the future purchasing decisions. The way the package can be opened and closed, the way it fits neatly onto the refrigerator, all these factors and qualities can provide emotional feedback which reinforces the brand value and assists product satisfaction (Stewart 2004, p. 6).
The packaged product communicates not only through its appearance elements but even more through the overall experience with the whole package. The packaging design includes many features that give the complete picture of the product. Kupiec & Revell (2001) suggest that consumers’ intention to purchase is dependent on the degree to which consumers suppose that the product will satisfy their expectations about its use (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1495). Therefore, the task of package communication is to deliver the right message in order to meet the buyer’s needs and emotional desires for purchase.
According to Nancarrow & Wright & Brace (1998), in order to achieve the communication goals and objectives efficiently and to optimize the potential of packaging, companies and manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) need to take into consideration consumer response to the packages they produce, and to integrate the perceptual processes of the consumer into design. (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1496.) Silayoi and Speece (2007) suggest that marketers and designers need to consider consumers past experiences, needs, and wants; understand how packaging design elements get customers attention to the product and get them to notice message on the package; and evaluate packaging design and labeling their effectiveness in the communications effort. (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1496.)
The packaging design features and characteristics can highlight and underline the uniqueness and originality of the product. A well designed package sells the product by attracting attention and through positive communication. Silayoi and Speece (2007, pp. 1498 – 1500) based on the review of the relevant literature, define that there are four core packaging elements which affect a consumer’s buying decision. These elements are divided into two categories: visual and informational elements. The visual elements include graphics and size/shape of packaging. Informational elements consist of product information and information about the technologies used on the package.
When creating a package design, it is important to remember that consumers evaluate packaging in different ways. Customers’ attitudes towards the package depend also on the process of interconnection between person and package. Here, the level of this involvement influences on the product continuum where the product name varies from high involvement to low involvement product. The difference between them is that the first one has a more substantial effect on the consumer’s lifestyle, while the second is less significant and can be habitually purchased. The decision making for high involvement products is less influenced by image issues. Grossman & Wisenblit (1999) say that the decision making for low involvement products includes the evaluation of packaging design attributes which is less important, while the graphics and color become more valuable and noticeable (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1498). Kupiec et al. (2001) suggest that the consumer behavior towards the low involvement products can be influenced by the development of the marketing communications which includes image building (Silayoi et al. 2007, p.1498).
Graphics include image layout, color combination, typography, and product photography. The combination of all these components communicates an image. Graphics on the package are telling detailed information about the product. It becomes a product branding or identity, followed by the information. According to Herrington & Capella (1995), when the consumers examine packages in the supermarket, the differential perception and the positioning of the graphics can be the difference between identifying and missing the product (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1498). However, eye-catching graphics make the product stand out on the shelf and attract the consumers. Graphics can affect through colors and printed lines on the package on which different signs and symbols are located. Holograms and combinations of various materials can encourage consumers to touch the package, thereby inspiring them to try the product (Rundh 2009, pp. 999 – 1000).
Cheskin (1957) says that the selection of the colors and color combinations is a necessary process for creating a good design package. Color is a key element of design due to the fact that it is usually vivid and memorable. The package color can have a significant effect on consumers’ ability to recognize the product, the meaning conveyed by the package, its novelty and contrast to other brands and company’s names. The package color can be modified without changing the costs, product characteristics and functionality. (Garber et al. 2000, p. 3.) Packaging applications have many color-coded messages which are associated with the particular product category (Stewart 2004, p. 7). Garber & Hyatt & Starr (2000); Koch & Koch, (2003) say that in case of food package, color can influence product expectations and perceptions (e.g. taste) (Kauppinen-Räisänen & Luomala 2010, p. 288). Product packages in similar colors may attract attention by means of brand or product category. Dissimilar or novel colors may attract and be preferred by those customers who like novelty. (Kauppinen-Räisänen et al. 2010, p. 291.) The right choice of colors is an important factor in creating the impression needed to influence brand and product selection (Gofman et al. 2010, p. 167).
Packaging size and shape are also significant factors in designing the package. A consumer interacts with these two elements in order to make volume judgments, e.g. consumers perceive more elongated packages to be larger (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1499). Packaging sizes depend on the different involvement levels. The low involvement food products have a low price which is generated through cost savings created by reduced packaging and promotional expenses. The effect of package size has a strong influence on the purchasing choice when the quality of the product is hard to determine. Therefore, the elongated shape and appropriate size causes the consumer to think of the package as having better product volume and cost efficiency. (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1499.)
Communication of information is one of the core functions of the packaging. This helps customers to make the right decisions in the purchasing process. Coulson (2000) gives an example of information significance using a food labeling case: the trend to consume healthy food has emphasized the importance of labeling, which gives the consumer the opportunity to consider alternative products and to make an informed product choice. (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1499.) Packaging information can create contrary results. It can lead to misleading or inaccurate information through small fronts and dense writing styles which are used on the package. Hausman (2000) suggests that experience makes consumers select prospectively the product and it, however, restricts the area of their choice (Silayoi et al. 2007, p. 1500). Hence, the purchase decision making factor depends on the interconnection between information and choices. Here, consumer involvement also takes place. Vakratsas & Amber (1999) tell that low involvement includes inattentively reading and examining product information, while high involvement consists of careful evaluation of information and may lead to purchase intentions (Silayoi and Speece 2004, p. 613).
مک نیل و جی (2003) معتقدند که نقش بسته بندی در ارتباطات بازاریابی توسط پیشرفت های فناوری پیاده سازی می شود (Silayoi et al. 2007، p. 1500). در اینجا ، این فناوری بسته ها را با توجه به روندها و نگرش و رفتار مصرف کنندگان ایجاد می کند. نقش فناوری تأمین نیازها و نیازهای مصرف کنندگان است. تا آنجا که این فناوری یک عنصر ارتباطی است ، باید از نظر بصری ارائه شود و بنابراین ، بیشتر مورد توجه قرار خواهد گرفت و برای مصرف کنندگان مناسب خواهد بود.