EFFECT OF PACKAGING ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR: (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC.)
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the Nigerian business environment, mostmanufactured or processed products are sold in packages. Few actual products seen, but the rest are packages of different sizes, colours and types. Packaging can be defined as the activities in product planning that involves thecan be shapes, general designing of a container or a wrapper for a product.
On the other hand, consumer behaviour can be defined as the way a consumer perceive, thinks or reacts towards purchases of goods or services, influenced by some factors that cannot be controlled by the market, but must be taken into account for consideration in marketing planningprocess. Thesefactors include cultural, social, personnel and psychological factors. The common packaging materials in Nigeria are cartons, plastics cans, bags, bottles, glass, etc. Each of these materials has remarkably appreciated in use because of the various roles they play in products promotion.
Packaging has two major functions, which are containment and promotion functions. Containment is essential in efficient physical distribution, while the promotional aspect of packaging aims to stimulate demand. Packagingis usuallymore critical element in convenience goods than for shopping or special goods.The importance of packaging varies with differences in buying behaviour of customers.
Self-service enhances the use of packaged products requirements e.g. frequent reseal and re-use, may make the package a major sales influencing factor. For some products such as cosmetics, larger beer, soft drinks, etc, packaging among others, may be more important than any other factor, due to high level of competition they (the products) face,in some cases, promotional tools e.g. electronic media (TV) may strongly influence package decision. As to this packaging has assumed a crucial role in stimulating purchases and most manufacturers have realized the importance of packaging as it affects consumer behaviour, that is the response of consumers to the package. The role of packaging as a promotional tool or communication means, is a vital part ina firm's product development strategy, as this research is set out to view.
There are many factors that account for the growing recognition of packaging, as an independent and potent selling tool.
a) Self Service:Most products are sold on this basis duetothe increase in supermarkets and departmental shops. thepackaging must now perform many sales tasks It must attract attention, describe the products features; give the consumer confidence and make a favourable impression.
b) Collective Markets:In Nigeria today, most of our goals are brought through this collective market, and they are designed and well positioned to be seen by the customers.
e) Consumer Affluence:The rise in consumer affluence means that they are willing to pay a little more for the convenience appearance, dependability and prestige of better packaging.
d) Company and Brand Image:Many companies are recognizing the power of well-developed packaging in contributing to instant consumer recognition of the company or brand. Packaging is a tool not only for creating products category identification, but also in carrying out the brands positioning concept in terms of quality, cost and other functions. Here, using a distinctive pack and brand name, the manufacturer is able to differentiate its product at the point of sales, as well as designing, advertising and promotional strategies to create consumer pretence for the products.
One of the important roles played is that it enables marketers convey their products attributes to the target market, in order to assume the role of coordinating and determining the influences that other companies functions have upon packaging. The satisfaction to be derived from a product is dependent upon its packaging and consumers are therefore receptive to both technical and aesthetic improvement in package design.
"With the increasing pressure on both consumer products, marketing executives, package design is certainly more than just a nice look, but will have to bow more to the ever changing market and economic influence".
In trying to explain marketing mix, many authors have made diverse views as to where packaging belongs. Some classified it as part of the product, while others place it among promotion in defining the four "Ps"(4ps). Under the selling concept, a company makes a product and then uses various methods to persuade a customer's demand to fit its supply. But in marketing concept, just the opposite occurs. The company finds out what the customer wants and then tries todevelop a product that will satisfy the want profitably.
As to this, this research work will examine the effects of packaging on consumer behaviour, its contribution to the manufacturing company, its benefit to the middlemen and its role as a promotional or communication tool.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In our ever growing economy, the overwhelming drive is only matched with lack of managerial expertise. In most companies and individuals, the question often arises as whether packaging is for containment or promotional purposes and the reaction of the consumers or buyers to the package.
In this project, it is viewed that most organization are faced with one problem or the other, when applying the marketingmix. They need to identify and eliminate these problems if they are to improve on their position in their respectiveindustries, thus the problem that can be associated or related with packaging as it affects the behaviour of customers through promotion are as follows:
1) Whether a properly designed package that is attractive, can create an impulse purchase?
2) Whether a change in a package design will affect the consumer's choice of product?
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) Can a properly designed packaged product that is attractive create an impulse purchase?
2) Can a change in a package design affect the consumer's choice of product?
3) Should the design of packaging be a blend of functional value such as providing convenience?
4) Can the company's image be projected through its packaging policy as a reminder of the company's products?
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
In research, hypotheses are tentative statements that Et]-cmade which may be true or untrue otherwise proved. For the purpose of this research study, it is very important to test such statements, in order to provide sound and authentic basis for our investigation and findings.
In this regard, the following hypotheses shall be tested;
Ho: That a, properly packaged product cannot create an impulse buying.
Hi: That a properly packaged product can create an impulse buying.
Ho: That a change in package design cannot affect a consumer'schoice of product. .
Hi: That a change in package design can affect a consumer's choice of product.
Ho: That packaging design should not be a blend of functional value.
H1: That packaging design should be a blend of functional value.
Ho: That the company's image cannot be projected through its packaging policy.
Hi: That the company's image can be projected through its packaging policy.
1.5 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In marketing a product or service, a number of functional activities have to be coordinated to achieve the required marketing objectives, which could increase sales profits.
This research work tends to study the importance of packaging as it affects consumer behaviour and as a means of promotion or communication in the sales of goods in amanufacturing firm. The reason for this is that packaging has been looked upon by most people as the container or wrapper used in holding the contents of product all this will be looked into. The main purposes of this study are as follows:
a) To ascertain whether a properly packaged product that is attractive can create an impulse buying.
b) To determine how a change in a package design can affect aconsumer's choice of product. .
c) To identify how a package designs can be a blend of functional value.
d) To ascertain whether a company's image an be projected through its packaging policy.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work tends to study the importance or effects ofpackaging on consumer behaviour and the use of packaging as a promotional tool for consumer products as it relates to impulse buying, projecting of company's image and its position as a silent sales person.
The study did not deal with the use of packaging or effects of packaging on industrial products, but chose to study packaging in Nigerian Breweries Plc, but references will be made to other firms within and outside the industry including some packaging industries.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The effect of packaging on the behaviour of consumers to purchasing a product is a part of marketing tools that al\gays involves properly designed package, durability and promotions. All these have not received enough investigation and which at times involves decision problems on the type of package to use for a product.
I believe that packaging is important, as a promotional mix, and the response of customers to the package, need careful analysis; such analysis reveals the importance of packaging as a form of promotion such as self-advertising, point of purchase display, product publicity and durability.
The overall design of a package, should assist a shopper identify the brand among many other competing products and the new promotion strategy introduced by somemanufacturing firms by redesigning packages, especially the light weight non returnable, aluminum can and plastic bottle e.g, the one used by beverage companies like coca -cola and 7up bottling companies, the introduction of canned alcoholic drinks (canned beer) by Nigerian Breweries Plc etc hay-c contributed and motivated my choosing this topic as research study .
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Gathering all needed data in most study is usually a limitation to the study. During the course of the study, theresearcher will likely encounter many obstacles and these may act as limiting factors to the study:
Some foreseeable limitations are:
1. Availability of adequate information. The company- Linder study may not be willing to give certain information, which is considered vital.
2. Poor responses in returning the questionnaires are envisaged.
3. Shortage of books on the topic is also envisaged.
Apart from these problems, the findings and recommendations of this research will be based on the answers given in the questionnaires, observations andoral interviews.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Packaging: This can be defined as the general activities involved in product planning to designwrapper for a product. Packaging has two major functions which are containment and promotion functions. Containment is essential in efficient physical distribution while the promotional aspect of packaging aims to stimulate demand.
Consumer Behaviour: It can be defined as the way a consumer perceive, thinks or reacts towards purchases of goods and services, influenced by some factors that cannot be controlled by the market.
Brand Name: - It helps the manufacturer to differentiate his products at the point of sales, as well as designing, advertising and promotional strategies to create consumer awareness.
Marketing Mix: - It is the set of controllable variables and their levels that the firm uses to influence the target markets. These are the 4p's, such as product, price, promotion and place.