The Marketing Mix or the 4 Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Promotion, Price) have been utilized for many years in order to assist in understanding how a product or service can find its unique place in the market. It is also a critical framework that can be leveraged in order to create structure for a business plan for a product or service.
Packaging: The Fifth “P”?
Throughout the years many have made an argument made for “Packaging” to be the 5th“P” of marketing. The rationale for this is that many feel packaging is a critical and independent component of the marketing mix and should therefore stand on its own. I would disagree – I think that packaging touches each of each of the 4 Ps in its own way and should therefore be considered when making decisions about each of the 4 Ps. Here is how I believe packaging affects each of the 4 Ps.
How Packaging Affects Each “P”
Price: It is a given that price is a critical component of the 4 Ps and should be seriously considered when bringing a product to market. A component of pricing out a product is how much should be spent on packaging. If you are planning on creating and selling a high-end product, perhaps make a little more room in your budget to incorporate an elegant package to support your upscale brand identity. Conversely, if you are selling a product that will be sold at an economical price point, cost effective package should be utilized.
Product: The product that you create must fit into the package that you have chosen but there are many other things to consider when choosing a package for your product. Think about the rules and regulations that govern the product you are bringing to market. Some additional questions to consider here are: Does the package display the components of the product in the way that you would like? Does the package support the message that you are attempting to relay to the market? Does the package protect the product that is inside?
Promotion: The package that you choose for your product can help in creating a buzz about the product in the marketplace. Some significant promotional questions that should be asked when creating a product are: Does the package you have chosen support the plan you have created for the promotional efforts around the product? Does the package you have chosen display the product in a manner that showcases the best parts of your product?
Place: When developing a product, it is important to think about where the product is going to be sold. Are you planning on having an online store or are you planning on selling in retail outlets, or both? The packaging you have chosen should keep the product safe and promote efficient shipping while it is being transported. In addition, think about how the packaging that is chosen. Does it support an eye-catching display in a brick-and-mortar store or on a website?
Many times, packaging deserves more consideration that it is given when launching and commercializing a product. Packaging does affect the 4 Ps throughout the life cycle of the product, so it is important to choose a package that supports your sales and business plan.