Product, Price, Place, Promotion. The four ‘P’s of the marketing mix. And of course the fifth ‘P’, people (consumers).
But read any marketing magazine at the moment and you would think that at least one of these ‘P’s has been dumped.
Social media, data harvesting, CRM and the rest are, without doubt, all important parts of the mix. But we should never underestimate the importance of the first of the four ‘P’s – Product.
The implications of getting your product wrong (even if only slightly wrong) are immense. You can generate interest, enthusiasm and propensity to buy through all sorts of marketing tools, but if your product doesn’t live up to the promise the consumer won’t buy it again. You would be forgiven for thinking that this point is bleedin’ obvious, but so much effort is put into wooing consumers with the latest exciting marketing strategy that sometimes the product is forgotten.
What is also forgotten is that for many grocery brands the packaging is part of the product. I don’t buy Dr. Pepper because – despite the fact I love the taste – the shape of the bottle makes it overflow when you first open it. I don’t buy Covent Garden soup because it’s so difficult to open (even though they recently spent £2million on TV advertising trying to convince me!). On the other hand I buy Toilet Duck and Asda own brand cheddar because one reaches under the rim and the other comes in a re-sealable pack.
Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the last few years you will have noticed that there are huge changes going on in how consumers do their shopping. From deciding what to buy to choosing where to buy it, shopping habits are changing. Consumers are talking to each other like never before. Consumers are relying on other consumers for reviews and reassurance on brands like never before. It’s much easier for consumers to complain to all their contacts at once. So the product HAS to perform at every level.
Packaging design will continue to play a big role in the marketing mix despite all these changes. As more shopping is done on line the role of packaging will increase. The first time the consumer sees your brand in the flesh they will be in their own home, not in a supermarket aisle. The moment of truth will have moved. What an opportunity! Packaging will no longer have to have “shelf impact” but will have the opportunity to build a relationship with the consumer through graphics and structure in a more relaxed, softly softly way.
Technology will also play a big part as alternatives to bar codes and freshness indicators become mainstream. Edible packaging is just around the corner.
It’s not just the packaging design industry that should be very excited by these profound changes. Marketeers will also get excited as they recognise that packaging is the first point of tangible contact any packaged goods brand has with their consumer and that it is vital to get the signals right via graphics, structure and through retail channels. Ever emerging technologies, materials and manufacturing techniques are all playing a part in shaping this new packaging landscape, all playing a part in the new retail world and, most important, all playing a part in making profits.
We understand this evolving world, understanding that a packaging design service needs to incorporate all elements of the packaging supply chain, ensuring each area is optimised.
With all this in mind we have complimented the existing team by including packaging technologists, insight gathers and business professionals to ensure we keep our clients ahead of the curve in providing the most comprehensive packaging design resource possible. Packaging is not just a pretty face for your brand; it is so much more.
It comes down to this; I’m not advocating adding yet another ‘P’ to the ever increasing number of ‘P’s in the marketing mix. Because the packaging ‘P’ is such an integral part of a ‘P’ that must never be forgotten: Product.