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Color on Printed Packaging vs. Brand Logo Integrity and Impact on Marketing

SAN LUIS OBISPO, California, December 11, 2012 () – Printed packages use very specific colors that impede counterfeiting and also assist loyal consumers to identify and acquire specific packages among thousands of other products in a retail environment. A package is credited to have four main attributes of containment, protection, communication and convenience. A fifth attribute that has gained recognition and demand during tough economic times is the environmental burden resulting from package waste. In the past decade sustainable packaging has gained popularity over analogous terms from the 1980’s such as green packaging or packaging and the environment.

As stated, communication is an important function of a package and it is the activity of conveying critical information to the consumer based on brand identity due to the color and logo, information as to the size, weight or volume of the package, information on the product contained, and additional requirements required in terms of various laws and regulations. Package communication can occur across vast distances inside retail stores based on brand identity (brand name or corporate logo) and the color used to identify the brand and therefore the package.

In a marketing study done by Proctor and Gamble Inc. titled First and Second Moment of Truth, the following major responses were detected while observing consumers make decisions to buy packaged products that are displayed on retail shelves:

• First moment of truth is when a customer selects a package on a shelf among other competitive brands. The First moment of truth occurs within 3-4 seconds. If a consumer touches a package it has a high probability of sale.
• The Second moment of truth is taking it home and “opening it and using it”…. aroma, taste, dispensing, convenience, disposability.

Other observations reported by the P&G study included:

• Shoppers must make a decision on 30 -110,000 items on each shopping trip (mostly “No”)
• Shoppers spend less than 30 minutes in the store
• Shoppers generally do not have a shopping list
• Shoppers will make most of their purchases on a semi-impulse basis
• Shoppers will decide in less than a second if they will consider an item
• If the item enters consideration, it now has about 3-7 seconds evaluation time
• More than 1/3 of the brands in the category being shopped will be ignored completely

In addition to the above, the research showed that if the shopper touches the item, there is an 80% probability of sale. In addition to the above there is a great change that is taking place in the way manufacturers and distributors of consumer goods and food products are aiming at in-store sales. There is a significant increase in the use of in-store retail-ready packaging, and using packaging bill-boards. The combined effects of multiple products in the same category from the same manufacturer such as Crest® toothpaste products from Proctor & Gamble Inc., when collectively displayed form a strong and attractive billboard to compete against toothpaste from Colgate®.

The younger age and newer consumer has also adopted private brand labels for the wide range of food, beverage, health and beauty aid products. In the last decade the world’s top retailers led by Wal-Mart, Target and Costco, continue to help consumers get the best products, with the most convenience at the lowest price. Six of the top ten likely to purchase private label brands are managed by Wal-Mart and Costco including Great Value, Equate, Sam’s Choice, Wal-Mart and Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club), and Kirkland. In the early 2000’s as Wal-Mart led the sustainable packaging initiative, they laid the preface of their order of priority of packaging at content presented at the 1st Sam’s club Sustainable Packaging Summit. It was stated by their senior management that as the drive to sustainable packaging was met, the following criteria are critical for successful packaging in their retail environment, in the following order of priority:

1. Safety
2. Operational Efficiency
3. Self-selling
4. Packaging Financial ROI
5. Sustainability

It was recognized by Wal-Mart that a package that achieves the first moment of truth in 5 seconds while the consumer is standing 5 feet away is termed as self-selling, and is a highly desirable criterion after ensuring safety and operational efficiency. It was determined to be the single most growing opportunity for Wal-Mart to provide and sell more effective packaged products to its consumers. Color plays a vital role in packages to achieve this function.

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