At a recent festival, a fruit juice dealer tried to showcase his berry juice, albeit with poor results. One might wonder why. The product, from all reports, was tasty, sweet, and full of fresh fruit flavor. Unfortunately, that fruit juice manufacturer seemed to have little awareness of good promotional strategies.
While other food and drink products at the same festival were experiencing record sales, the berry juice, though every bit as worthy as the other edibles, stayed on the shelves contained in plain plastic bottles, the kind that generic soda comes in—minus the label.
The man might have as well been hawking furniture polish, for all festival-goers knew. Although there was a small sign above the man’s stall with a picture of a berry on it and the company’s name, there was no connection made with the berry on the sign and the unmarked bottles filled with purple liquid.
That fruit juice dealer forgot that packaging not only includes protecting his product from spoilage, but also must “promot[e] the product to the ultimate consumer,” as an article entitled “Packaging design,” in the second edition of the Encyclopedia for Business, points out.
According to that article, packaging first of all identifies the product itself. For example, the berry juice dealer should have placed something on those bottles to identify the product as berry juice. Without that identification, potential customers see only a purple liquid with no clue about what the content is. Ease of identification is, after all, of key importance when an entrepreneur is marketing a business successfully.
Secondly, businesses today use packaging as a marketing strategy to entice potential buyers to purchase the product. An attractive package can woo potential customers to choose one product over another. If, for instance, the juice dealer had used an attractive custom printed label—perhaps one with a picture of the berry whose juice was contained in the bottles—and had used glass bottles instead of cheap soda bottles, he probably would have experienced much better results.
Furthermore, packaging, according to this article, needs to differentiate the product contained within itself and to inform the consumer about the contents. In this case, the fruit juice in question was actually organic. Yet the dealer did little to inform the public about this fact. If, on the other hand, he had purchased labels which identified the product as “organic blackberry juice,” he would have informed potential consumers about exactly what that purple liquid was, and how it differed from other fruit juices (it was organic and made from blackberries).
Finally, packaging must lure customers not only to the product itself but to the brand itself. If the fruit juice dealer had been wise, creating a unique branding strategy to mark his company as the finest place to purchase fruit juice in the nation—or in the world, for that matter would have been a great idea. One need only look the evolution of packaging of world-famous cola brands, such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola, to see how thinking big when branding one’s business can help fine products get the brand name recognition they deserve.