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Packaging - the fifth 'P' is clutter breaker

23-August-2004
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Packaging - the fifth 'P' is clutter breaker

Today, shelves in our nearby departmental or grocery store are almost fifty times more suffocated than what it was less than two decades ago. Most of the big retail stores and departmental stores are now selling on a self-service basis and in an average super market that stores somewhere between 15 to 20 thousand products, a customer passes by some 300 products every minute. The packaging acts as a 'five second commercial'. It performs many of the sales tasks - attracts attention, describes the product features, creates consumer confidence, etc.

Recently, Frooti, a softdrink from Parle stable, introduced PET bottles of 250 ml, 500 ml and 1 litre. However, the clutter-breaking launch has been that of Frooti in a triangular tetra pack of 65 ml, priced at Rs. 2.50 per pack.

"The changes to the Frooti Portfolio have been done so as to be able to expand the target group of Frooti. Traditionally, Frooti was considered as a drink only for kids. The primary target group is 8-12 years and secondary target group is young mothers. Now, with the introduction of the PET pack, teenagers are also consuming the product. Also, the introduction of Rs 2.50 Frooti has broken across all ages as well as category barriers," said Nadia Chauhan, Manager-Marketing, Parle Agro.

How do these changes in the product design help break clutter in the market? Explained Chauhan that it is the first time in the beverage industry across the world that a drink has been introduced in a 65ml pack.

Packaging of the Four Square, Godfrey Phillips brand, has been re-engineered with an intention to reflect the new age attitudes and these changes with the support of the ground activities has achieved for Four Square a growth of 32% in the last financial year over the previous year in Ahmedabad alone.

Nita Kapoor, Sr. VP- Marketing, Godfrey Phillips India, said, "The regal crest of the brand is now seen in conjunction with the new red and gold motif. The design elements have been right aligned, a move that has never been done earlier in India will help it stand out, when placed on the shelves."

Santosh Kanekar, Director Marketing, Smirnoff Vodka, had an interesting observation to share, which also lead to the change in Smirnoff Vodka's bottle design, "Packaging plays an important role in the liquor industry due to the increased duration of the customer's interaction with the bottle."

"The change in the design has been made to give Smirnoff more confident and masculine look. The new bottle has sharper corners and is bolder and masculine looking with broader top representing the shoulder of a man. India has been second only to the US market, which has been a witness to this international change in the design," explained Kanekar.

The markets are cluttered with competing brands and media and hence marketers are being forced to exploit all angles of a brand's interaction with the public. Given the overall fragmentation of markets in India and the diversified media choices, it's not surprising that marketing tools are being revised, and in particular, emphasis is being put on packaging as one of most important marketing communication tools.

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