Branding and Packaging

Take for instance, two of your friends present you a gift on your birthday. One just handed a wrist watch to you, while the other brought a wrist watch in fanciful case, wrapped with beautiful wrappers. Which one will you appreciate more?

You are about to learn the combinations of activities that project a positive image of any product. Packaging, branding and labelling affect consumer brand choice. Therefore, it behoves marketers to make good decisions on them. Branding is all about naming products and using different approaches to attract and retain consumers. It is used as a promotion tool. Packaging of some product induces consumers to buy while ignoring other products and when attractively labelled, a lot of pressure is mounted on consumers. In view of these, this module treats the three concepts together with a description of their objectives, classification and important contribution to marketing.


This is a managerial decision taken by marketing management to support product promotion. It deals with naming the product in a special way to improve marketing performance of the product among its competitors. Branding is the act of naming or establishing brand name, brand mark or trade mark for a product in order to make consumers identify the product from its competitors in the market.

Brand: This refers to the name, term, sign, letter, words, symbol, design, number, colour, etc or combination of these used to differentiate a product from its rivals. Brand name is the part of a brand that can be vocalized or pronounced e.g. Toyota’, ‘Phensic’, ‘Mercedes’ etc. Brand mark consists of colour, design, symbols or lettering that cannot be pronounced but recognized by sight.

Trade mark: Refers to that part of brand that has been registered and authorized by Registrar of Companies for the exclusive use of a company. The company is legally allowed as the only firm that can use the mark but no other firm. Sometimes, the user company embosses the letter R on the product package to show that it is legally protected by the mark.

Classifications and Benefits of Branding

The following classes of branding are used by marketing management in different firms

Family or multiproduct branding: This is the act of developing family name or using a single name for all varieties of products made by a firm. It creates awareness, reputation and brand loyalty eg. SHARP, SANYO, MAZDA, etc.

Multi-brand products or individual branding: Separate branding is used for every product item. The company uses many names for a product line. Separate brand name is given to position goods suitably to each segment. For example, Sterling Winthrop produces “Cafenol’, ‘Panadol’, ‘Franol’, ‘Hedex’, ‘Norolon’, ‘Padrax’, ‘Andrew Liver Salt’. ‘Breacol and “Milk or Magnesia’. Cadbury Nigeria Plc makes ‘Pronto’. ‘Bournvita’, ‘Eclair Sweet’. Tom Tom’. ‘Tomapep’.etc.

Product line family branding: Firms having many lines of product use this type of branding. Each product line carries a separate brand e.g. NBC has a range of items for “Fanta’, ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘Sprite’.

Brand extension: Existing brand is used for an improved or new product e.g. Fanta Ginger Ale’, ‘Fanta Chapman’, ‘Fanta Lemon’. “Fanta Orange’. ‘Fanta Pineapple,’ etc. Also there are Panadol’ and ‘Panadol Extra’.

Trade name or corporate name and product name branding: In this type of branding, the product carries the company’s name together with another name e.g. ‘Volkswagen Audi’. ‘Volkswagen Beetle’, ‘Peugeot’ series include 404, 405, 504, 505, etc.

Benefits of Branding

The following are the benefits of branding:

Branding is used for segmenting the market by supplying each market segment product having special brand.

It supports promotional effort of the firm. One good product brand that satisfies consumers needs helps to promote other products.

Branding builds price-quality image for the product if it has been tried and found satisfactory.

It promotes psychological benefits, memory recall and builds brand preference.

It makes consumers to easily identify and differentiate the brand from its competitor. Branding builds name recognition for a company or product.

Brand itself rather than the product can be advertised for easy recognition on the shell For instance, if it is not P-A-N-A-D-O-L, it is not the same thing as Panadol was used to position the brand.

Branding removes price comparison among different brands of product as the brand itself is accepted as part of the product quality

It adds prestige to an otherwise ordinary product.

It makes seller or producer to carve an image for itself and thereby able to control the market share when buyers directly go for the popular brand or branded product rather than those without such brand,

A strong brand influences the buying decision and shapes the ownership experience. Branding helps make purchasing decisions easier. In this way, branding delivers a very important benefit. In a commodity market where features and benefits are virtually indistinguishable, a strong brand will help your customers trust you and create a set of expectations about your products without even knowing the specific of product features.

Branding creates trust and an emotional attachment to product or company. This attachment then causes market to make decisions based, at least in part, upon emotion not necessarily just for logical or intellectual reasons.

A strong brand can command a premium price and maximize the number of units that can be sold at that premium.

A strong brand can make actual product features virtually insignificant. A solid branding strategy communicates a strong, consistent message about the value of your company. A strong brand helps you sell value and the intangibles that surround your products.

A strong brand signals that you want to build customer loyalty, not just sell product. A strong branding campaign will also signal that you are serious about marketing and that you intend to be around for a while. A brand impresses your firm’s identity upon potential customers, not necessarily to capture an immediate sale but rather to build a lasting impression of you and your products.

Five reasons why your company should choose appropriate brand for its product.

Branding is used for segmenting the market by supplying each market segment product having special brand.

It supports promotional effort of the firm. One good product brand that satisfies consumers’ needs helps to promote other products.

Branding builds price-quality image for the product if it has been tried and found satisfactory.

It promotes psychological benefits, memory recall and builds brand preference.

It makes consumers to easily identify and differentiate the brand from its competitors. Branding builds name recognition for a company or product.


The world of marketing today is a world of unprecedented competition where a company with goods and services to offer to the general public has to work extra hard to survive. Such company must adopt sound marketing mix in order to compete favourably. Throughout the world, packaging plays a significant role in the protection, presentation and promotion of consumers’ goods and durability; it helps in the storage, reduces damages and loss to good-in transit and minimizes pilferage. Cateora supports this view with the assertion that packaging has been serving not only as a protective device and container for product as well the vehicle which carries the brand and label but also as an increasingly recognised effective device for sales promotion.

Butler considers packaging as an important component for many products and defines it simply as the container or wrapper for a product. It typically includes a label and a printed description of the product on the package. This is to say that packaging and labelling are complementary. Kotler defines packaging as all activities of designing and producing the container for a product. Onyeke and Nebo simply describe it as “wrapper or container for a product. Packaging has been looked upon by most as the container or wrapper used in holding the contents of a product”. The container or wrapper is therefore called the package.

Stanton defines packaging as “the general group of activities in product planning that involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.” This definition means that packaging involves designing and choosing package which might be a wrapper or container that will be suitable for a product among its competitors in the market, and also protect it from micro-organism. Udeagha states that the container or wrapper is referred to as the pack or package. Like the brand name or mark, a pack also adds value to the product.

Classification and importance of packaging

Frey divides packaging into four classes including:

Primary packaging: This is the essential container enveloping the product which remains with the product from the time of its manufacture or preparation at least through distribution to retailer, and very often continues through the entire life of the product.

Secondary packaging: This refers to the additional container and wrapping that are added to protective or marketing requirement.

Display packaging: This is packaging intended for displaying the product the point of sale.

Shipping packaging: This is intended primarily for protecting goods in transit and storage.

Importance of packaging

Kotler maintains that many marketers have called packaging a fifth P, along with price, product, place and promotion. He concludes that there is a general consensus among marketers that packages perform more functions in the present marketing environment than before

Protecting the product: One of the basic functions of packaging is protecting the product’s content from spoilage, leakage and evaporation and from other forms of deterioration from the time it leaves the plant until the time the product is used up. Baker, states that the basic function of any package is to protect its content in transit, in storage and in use. Product protection affects both the consumers and retailers. Consumers change brands immediately if there is apparent change in packaging. The retailers packaging offers protective elements to forestall incident of shoplifting and pilferage. With an oversize cardboard backing the package item is made too large to fit into a shoplifter’s pocket or purse. A package must protect its content and this is probably the single most important criterion involved in pack design and construction. Damage may arise from physical or chemical cause of which the most important are:

i. Chemical

ii. Interaction between the container and its contents.

iii. Ingress of vapour or liquids

iv. Ingress of micro-organisms

v. Loss of liquid or vapour

vi. Physical

vii. Compression/impact/vibration puncturing

viii. Effect of light

ix. Attack by insects/rodent and so on

x. Effect of temperature

xi. Pilferage /tampering

Promotional function: Dichter asserts that “aside from the product itself, the most impersonal contact a manufacturer has with his customers today is the package that contains his product.” In service shops, customers no longer require advice on which brand to buy rather they rely on “reading out qualities on the package that are expected to attract their attention.” The package now replaces the salesman as the vital link between the manufacturer and the consumer. Packaging, apart from playing the role of communication, product identification, selling and even display instrument, provides the customer with the necessary information he may require about the product.

Waliaikl extends packaging basic function of protection to an additional role of merchandising, communication, selling and impulse purchasing Chisnall believes that with packaging, marketers communicate the quality of the particular brand of merchandise. The success of a package does not lie only in its shape or design, but should be seen as one whose overall design, shape, colour and printed message delivers an impact that package should result in a personal relationship between the consumer and the package on the shelf

Product development function: Kotler came up with three (3) strategies that will enable marketing managers cope with slowdown in sales and maturity stage of product life cycle (PLC). They are (1) market modification, (2) product modification and (3) marketing mix modification. In product modification, the marketer has three options which are quality improvement, feature improvement and style improvement Style improvement aims at increasing the aesthetic appeal of the product in contrast to its functional appeal. Packaged food and household product companies often use colour and texture variations to lay emphasis on package restyling, treating the package as an extension of the product,

Distribution function: The major purpose of any packaging is to influence or control the location of product storage within the marketing channel. Simply put, the basic purpose of package should be as much as possible to minimize product inventory nearer to the point of use or possible use. This means that packaging facilitates the flow of product inventory along the marketing channel, but each channel level should have its own peculiar pattern of packaging that should be good enough to induce patronage by members of that channel. A retailer at the supermarket looks for the packages that will economise his shelf space. He also considers the attractiveness that the display of the product will have to the store.

On the other hand, the consumer is more likely to patronize packages that offer him more convenience in the use of the product, aesthetic satisfaction, economy and value. Consumer buys the packages that offer the highest return for his money, as well as packages that have re-use value. Better protective packaging is very important to manufacturers and wholesalers. They sometimes have to pay the cost of goods damaged in shipment. Retailers need protective packaging too. It can reduce storing costs by cutting breakage, spoilage and theft. Good packages save space and are easier to handle and display. It also determines the distance a product can travel away from its origin, and influences other issues like the method to be used and the life span of the product.

Instrument for Segmentation: A product packaged in different sizes is designed to appeal to various segments of the market in accordance with their income distribution Packages can be designed to achieve psychographics segmentation by offering package design to appeal to different life styles and personalities.

Packaging Can Enhance the Product: A new package can market the important difference in a new marketing strategy by meeting customers’ needs better. Sometimes a new package makes the product easier and safer to use. In cosmetics packaging, it is an indispensable part of a product mix. It does not only add glamour and excitement to a lipstick or face powder but also gives psychological satisfaction that are of importance to life.

Okoye remarks that a well designed package can affect a consumer of the product in his psyche or instigates process of a permanent change in behaviour in favour of the product. A poorly designed package tells the consumer that the maker of the product does not care, but a well designed package a proof that the manufacturer really cares about both the customer and the product and he is willing to make an extra effort to please. A package may suggest exclusivity and sophistication. It may be expensive or inexpensive, old fashioned or modern, for young people or for old. Tredt maintains that package personality can also be achieved through the combination of various design elements such as colour, shape, texture, typography, and illustration and packaging materials.

Packaging sends a message: Packaging can tie the product to the rest of the marketing strategy. A good package sometimes gives a firm more promotion effect than it could get with advertising. Packaging acts as a principal method of communicating with customers. By using his senses of touch and sight, the customer’s perception of product is built into his cognition, which builds and modifies the customer’s experience about the product. This goes a long way in influencing the overt behaviour of the customer towards the product package.

Universal product codes speed handling: To speed handling of fast-selling products, government and industry representatives have developed a universal product code (UPC) that identified each product with marks readable by electronic scanners. A computer then matches outlets. Given that most retailers will carry several brands of given product, the package provides a critical visual cue at the point of sale, acting both as a reminder (most purchases of convenience goods are unplanned) in the sense that the shopper does not enter the outlet with a prior intention to buy specific products, but relies on the package to act as a signal or prompt to suggest or recall specific needs.

Identification: To prevent substitution of goods, packaging is used to give the product an identity. Packaging could be the only significant way by which a manufacturer can physically differentiate his product. For a physical good, formal products can be identified by packaging, quality, styling, brand name and features. The essence of product packaging is to influence consumer’s acceptance of it, since it can be seen as the most conspicuous identification of a product which is a major factor in its success.

Profits possibilities: A product may be packaged in such a way that it increases management profit possibilities. Customers may be willing to pay more for an attractive special package even though the increase in price exceeds the additional cost of the package. An increase in case of handling a reduction in losses (all as a result of improved packaging), will cut m marketing costs thereby increasing profit.

Packaging as a real competitive force: Again, packaging acts as a real competitive force in today’s struggle for marketing. The wide spread use of self-service and automatic vending methods of selling means that the package must do the selling job at the point of purchase. It is no simple task for manufacturers even to get m their products placed on display in retail outlet. Shelf space is at a premium and retailers are inclined to cater for producers who have used effective packaging.

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