Effect of product packaging on consumer buying behaviour

Effect of product packaging on consumer buying behaviour



1.1     Background to the Study

Nowadays competitive environment the role of package has changed due to increasing self-service and changing consumers’ lifestyle. Firms’ interest in package as a tool of sales promotion is growing increasingly. Package becomes an ultimate selling proposition stimulating impulsive buying behavior, increasing market share and reducing promotional costs.

According to Rundh (2005) package attracts consumer’s attention to particular brand, enhances its image, and influences consumer’s perceptions about product. Also package imparts unique value to products (Underwood, Klein & Burke, 2001; Silayoi & Speece, 2004), works as a tool for differentiation, i.e. helps consumers to choose the product from wide range of similar products, stimulates customers buying behavior (Wells, Farley & Armstrong, 2007). Thus package performs an important role in marketing communications and could be treated as one of the most important factors influencing consumer’s purchase decision.

Product is a combination of tangible and intangible goods and services offers to a customer for sale. It is any idea, method, information, service or object created as a result of a process and serves a need or satisfies a want. Consumers are very fond of new products and services which will satisfy their needs and fulfill their demands according to this attitude of consumer’s they attract towards any product or services. We can easily identify the consumer’s buying behavior towards any product or services by seeing: How the consumer attracts towards any product? Is the given product or service satisfy the consumer’s demand and how will the consumer’s react towards any product/services? What is the perception of the consumer’s about the product or services offers by a company? How much the product or services is recognizable among the consumer’s? How much they give preference to the product or services offer by any company.

There are many things which will increase the product sales. Product is made up from the mixture of different elements: Quality, Protect ability, fulfilling the needs of consumer’s and also the packaging’s which will enhance the product’s existence and built a strong image in the consumer’s mind.

Packaging plays a vital role in attracting consumers towards any product. Packaging is also used as the promotional tool for the companies and it includes: Color, material, designs & other characteristics. Packaging is the overall package offer by the company to its consumers and stimulates the impulse buying behavior. Packaging attracts consumers and increases its sale. It also reduces the marketing and advertisement cost of the  product.

In the past decades companies are not focused on their product packaging. Consumers did not attract towards the product and didn’t purchase which will cause lack sale .But now companies are more focusing on the product packaging as there is a tough competition among all the FMGC products. Previous researches show that there is a disagreement between packaging quality and consumers buying behavior. Consumer is very fond of new thing which attract them and the thing consumers hit at first sight is its attractive packing. Many researches focus on the elements of packaging, color, material and other packaging materials which have the impact on the purchasing intentions of the consumers.

Features & components of packaging is also focused in this research to develop hypothesis and to identify the true reality and perception behind the buying intentions of consumers towards companies products.

Many packaging elements are factors that influence the buying behavior of consumers such as, packaging color, printed information, packaging material, design of wrapper, printed information, brand image, innovation and practicality.

Colors used in packaging can help draw consumer attention. Color of packaging is important because it used by companies to differentiate its product from other competitors. Therefore, colors play an important role in a potential customer’s decision-making process. Companies use different colors for emphasizing a different mood, like, black is used for power, blue for trust, red for energy, green for balance or organic and fresh. Color is an essential component of packaging because consumers expect certain type of colors for particular products (Keller, 2009). Different colors also symbolize different meanings to consumers. For example, orange, yellow, purple they have different meanings according to the consumer perception and culture. According to Singh (2006) color perceptions vary across cultures and most of the religions are believed to have their sacred colors.

According to Charles (2011), packaging has four distinct marketing functions. It contains and protects the product. It promotes the product. It helps consumers use the product and finally, packaging facilitates recycling and reduces environmental damage. Therefore, packaging does more than just protecting the company’s products. It also helps in developing the image of the product in consumer mind. So, failing to pay attention to the design of the packaging can decrease the chances of being visible and attractive, which can result in using sales.

Labeling provides information regarding the product category, products ingredients, and product instructions. Consumers when making their mind whether to buy or not to buy a product they are guided not just by the taste, but also some other extrinsic factors such as, brand awareness, labeling, price and origin.

According to Morris,  (1997) product labels help consumer to differentiate a product more easily. Labeling helps consumers spend less time needed while searching for products that are decided to be bought by them. Consumers under time pressure make a fast decision, as their decisions are influenced when the package comes with a distinctive appearance that contains simple and accurate information (Silayoi, and Speece, 2004). Nowadays, there are consumers that pay more attention to label information since they are more concerned with health and nutrition issues.


Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society Brouwer, (2009). It blends elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology, marketing and economics. It attempts to understand the decision-making processes of buyers, both individually and in groups such as how emotions affect buying behaviour. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people’s wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, sports, reference groups, and society in general Clemons, (2008).

Customer behavior study is based on consumer buying behavior, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer. Research has shown that consumer behavior is difficult to predict, even for experts in the field. Relationship marketing is an influential asset for customer behaviour analysis as it has a keen interest in the re-discovery of the true meaning of marketing through the re-affirmation of the importance of the customer or buyer. A greater importance is also placed on consumer retention, customer relationship management, personalisation, customisation and one-to-one marketing. Social functions can be categorized into social choice and welfare functions.

Each method for vote counting is assumed as social function but if Arrow’s possibility theorem is used for a social function, social welfare function is achieved. Some specifications of the social functions are decisiveness, neutrality, anonymity, monotonicity, unanimity, homogeneity and weak and strong Pareto optimality. No social choice function meets these requirements in an ordinal scale simultaneously. The most important characteristic of a social function is identification of the interactive effect of alternatives and creating a logical relation with the ranks. Marketing provides services in order to satisfy customers. With that in mind the productive system is considered from its beginning at the production level, to the end of the cycle, the consumer (Kioumarsi, 2009). It is on this background that the research work aimed to examine effect of product packaging on consumer buying behaviou using Cowbell milk as a case study.



1.2     Statement of the Problems

In this context, seeking to maximize the effectiveness of package in a buying place, in researches of package, its elements and their impact on consumer’s buying behavior became a relevant issue. Literature analysis on question under investigation has shown that there is no agreement on classification of package elements as well as on research methods of package impact on consumer’s purchase decision. Some of researchers try to investigate all possible elements of package and their impact on consumer’s purchase decision (Silayoi & Speece, 2004; Silayoi & Speece, 2007; Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene & Rutelione, 2008), while others concentrates on separate elements of package and their impact on consumer buying behavior (Vila & Ampuero, 2007; Madden, Hewett & Roth, 2000; Underwood et al., 2001; Bloch, 1995). Moreover some researchers investigate impact of package and its elements on consumer’s overall purchase decision/ Underwood et al., 2001), while others – on every stage of consumer’s decision making process Butkeviciene et al., 2008). Furthermore the abundance of scientific literature on this issue do not provide unanimous answer concerning effect of product packaging on consumer’s buying behavior: diversity of the results in this area depends not only on research models constructed and methods employed, but on the context of the research too. All above mentioned confirms the necessity to investigate this issue in more detail. In the light of these problematic aspects, research problem formulated as following question: what elements of a package have an ultimate effect on consumer purchase decision?

Consumers today are faced with an ever-increasing number of products.  according to belch & belch (1999), the average Nigeria supermarket  holds approximately 100 products that are competing to attract the consumers’ attention. Keller (2008) expresses a similar opinion when he states that consumers are faced with more than 100 choices within a 30-minute shopping session. With so many options available just before a purchase decision is made, the product packaging is one of the best marketing tools companies can use to sell products.

However, in order to create the ‘right’ packaging for a product, marketers must understand the consumer buying process and where packaging becomes a variable that can influence the purchase decision. They must also understand what factors can influence buying behavior and what packaging elements are most important to compel the consumer to purchase their product over another.

The topic of consumer behavior has been massively studied and, with the many changes in the market, continues to be studied by marketers and researchers Keller, (2009). The areas of particular interest include the reasons behind the decision to purchase, the factors that influence purchasing patterns, and the ways in which cultural shifts are causing buying behavior to change. Based on the above explanation, the research will aimed at producing solution to the effect of product packaging on consumer buying behaviou.

1.3     Research Questions

          The following research questions will be answer during the course of the research work;

  1. What impact does “Font styles” has on consumers buying behaviour
  2. Does product “Labeling” has significant effect on consumer buying behaviour
  3. Does “Background Image” has effect on consumer buying behaviour
  4. What does “Cover design” does for consumer buying behaviour




1.4     Objectives of the Study

          The main objective is examine the effect of product packaging on consumer buying behaviour. The specific objectives are;

  1. To examine the impact “Font styles” on consumers buying behaviour
  2. To examine significant effect of “Labelling” on consumer buying behaviour
  3. To examine effect of “Background Image” on consumer buying behaviour
  4. To identify what “Cover design” does for consumer buying behaviour
    • Research Hypotheses

For the purpose of this research work the following hypotheses will be tested;

Ho:    There is no significant  impact on “Front styles” and  consumers patronage of cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student

Hi:     There is  significant  impact on “Front styles” and  consumers buying behaviour of cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student

Ho:    There is no significant relationship between “Labelling” and consumer patronage of cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student.

Hi:     There is significant relationship between “Labelling” and consumer patronage of cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student.

Ho:    There is no significant relationship between “Background Image of product” and consumer patronage of Cowbell milk  among Ekiti State Student.

Hi:     There is significant relationship between “Background Image of product” and consumer patronage of Cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student.

Ho:    There is no significant relationship between “Cover design” and consumer buying behaviour of Cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student.

Hi:     There is  significant relationship between “Cover design” and consumer buying behaviour of Cowbell milk among Ekiti State Student.

1.6     Significant of the Study

The research on “Effect of Product Packaging on Consumer’s Buying Behavior” is a useful tool for all companies which are conscious about their image and want to survive in the competitive market of industry. The companies will get advantage from this research by identify the buying behavior of the consumer’s towards any products and will apply different tools and strategies to capture the large Market share because after having the results of this research they are well aware about all the factors that attract consumer’s and their buying behaviors.

The study will enable manufacturer to have more insight on the best approach to efficient product packaging for the purpose of maintaining and also retain substantial part of the market for their products. Adequate information as regard the best approach to improve product packaging of consumer goods will be detain in the course of this research work. And it is essential for the purpose of meeting the need and aspiration of consumers.

1.7     Scope and limitation of the Study

There is a wide scope of the research on “Effect of Product Packaging On Consumer’s Buying Behavior” in Cowbell  because in the today’s competitive world of goods and services provider companies and industries ,they want to get success and maintain their market presence for long terms and if they understand the buying intentions of consumer’s by using the product packaging as a key element than they can easily maintain themselves according to the current demands, wants and consumer’s preference and attractions towards a particular brands by establishing a new strategies by understanding the importance of each factor of packaging’s.

Due to financial and time constraints on the part of this researcher, the findings of this study will only be applicable to a small number of Nigerians, both male and female residing at Ado in Ekiti State. Also attitude of respond is not really encouraging.

1.8     Operational Definition of Terms

Product Packaging: Product packaging can be described as the overall presentation of a product by its manufacturer to the consumer in a form that will protect and preserve as well as to communicate a company images through it design. it is generally recognize that packaging of product is a  universally acceptable idea that enable organization to deliver a product to the consumers in a

Consumer Buying Behavior: The buying behavior of a consumer is the decision processes as well as the actions the consumer takes in buying and using products. Whether or not the consumer realizes it, there is far more that goes into the buying process than simply driving to the store and picking something off the shelf. There are mental and social processes that consumers go through that proceed the actual act of purchasing.

Brand Name:  Is a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market. Legal protection given to a brand name is called a trademark

Sales promotions: These are set of marketing activities undertaken to boost sales of the product or service. There are two basic types of sales promotions: trade and consumer sales promotions.

Personal Sales: Is where businesses use people (the “sales force”) to sell the product after meeting face-to-face with the customer. The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. They aim to inform and encourage the customer to buy, or at least trial the product.






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