The Importance of Product Packaging

For this week brand discussion, I wanted to go back to the basics: the 4 Ps. As a refresher, the 4Ps in marketing are: Product, Place, Price, Promotion. These are the four basic levers that a company can use to influence customer behavior. While packaging is not one of the explicit 4 Ps, it plays a crucial role in the product and price Ps.

If we take this cocoa powder product as an example, we see that the same company has clearly used packaging in order to signal the differences between the products. The packaging on the left is much more vibrant than the one on the right. The vibrant colors are likely intended to show the strong and rich taste of the product while the more muted packaging on the right suggests the clean aspects of the organic (“bio”) product. What’s interesting is that while both products are unsweetened (non-sucre) cocoa powders, the packaging on the organic version highlights this aspect of the product more than the traditional version, which focuses more on highlighting that it is the original.

At first glance, by looking at the height of the boxes, the packaging of the two cocoa powders seems to suggest that they contain more or less the same amount of product. Thus, it seems like a good deal to get the organic version that is only slightly cheaper due to its slightly smaller size.

However, by taking a closer look, it becomes obvious that while the products look like they are about the same size, one is actually half the size in Net Grams than the other. As a result, the true price per gram of the organic version is substantially more expensive than the traditional version. The illusion created by the packaging is necessary though in order to suggest to the customer that the premium product is not much more expensive than the traditional product.

Considering this use case, have you noticed any deliberate strategies by companies to influence one of the 4 Ps?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *