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Characteristics of a Product in the Sales Strategy

This is the second part of two articles about the elements that constitute the physical characteristics of the product: Container, Packaging, Label and Wrap, and its importance in a sales strategy.

The attributes of the product are not limited to its functional characteristics or its benefits. Both container and packaging are strategic elements that can affect the sale. They are also used to update and attuned the product to the consumer’s needs.

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Absolut Vodka is the best example of how the characteristics of a container manages to redirect a marketing strategy. The story goes back to the seventies when it was introduced in the USA.

The design was commissioned to Gunnar Broman, an advertising creative, who was inspired by Swedish medicine bottles. The packaging of Absolut is now one of the great designs of history and a masterpiece of structural glass design.

The Container

The container constitutes the envelope that is in direct contact with the product and at the same time is part of its characteristics. It serves to protect and differentiate it from others.

More strictly, the container is any receptacle, bottle, can, box, blister pack, or flexible as bags, pouches or envelopes, suitable to keep the product in natural conditions for consumption.

The shape, texture and other structural characteristics of packaging can define the personality of a brand and differentiate it substantially from its competitors.

Container’s structural design can provide the product with functional and ergonomic benefits that reinforce its use, create preference and encourage repeat purchases.

The bottle of Coca-Cola, is among the most well-known structural container in the world. The curvilinear container, designed by the company Root Glass of Terre Haute and marketed in 1915, is an example that has lasted for more than 100 years.

Packaging

It is defined as any material that stores a product in order to preserve it and facilitate its delivery. Packaging design is important to the extent that it attracts the eyes of the buyer.

A liqueur for example, in addition to its natural container (bottle), can come in a packaging, usually a cardboard box with distinctive characteristics, which facilitates not only its storage and distribution, but its display at the point of sale, becoming a powerful direct sales tool.

Packaging is important because it protects the product on its way to the consumer and also after the purchase.

Related Article: Strategies to Succeed With Your Product

Label Characteristics

It fulfills specific mandatory communication objectives of both the manufacturer and the components of the product. The information on the label must include: generic or specific name of the product, declaration of ingredients, identification and address of the manufacturer, importer, packer, national or foreign distributor as the case may be.

On the other hand, it must carry the nutritional characteristics, instructions for its conservation, use, preparation and consumption, components that could represent a mediate or immediate risk for the health of the consumers, either by ingestion, application or manipulation of the product.

As we see it, is an extensive information that the product must carry so that it has the necessary credibility and confidence on the part of the final consumer.

Wrap

It is a special wrapping with which the merchandise is protected for transport. Wrapping comes in two forms: primary and basic. The primary when using boxes of wood, cardboard, plastic or a resistant material for handling.

The basic wrapping is that which is intended to support large quantities of primary wrapping or packaging so that these are not damaged in the process of transport and storage between the factory and the final consumer.

Environment

The growing concern for ecological and environmental issues has pressured industrialists and manufacturers to supply products in biodegradable packaging, involving the creation of novel strategies for their design and other characteristics. These are some of those strategies:

  • Container for later use. It consists of designing containers that can be used for other uses once the product is exhausted.
  • Similar packaging. Strategy that is used for products of the same line, which facilitates the association and promotion.
  • Toy container. Design strategy that consists of using forms of movie characters or television series that can serve as a toy once empty.
  • Multiple container. To offer several units of products at lower prices than they would have if they were individually packed.

About Ricardo Gaitán

Publicista. Magister en Dirección de Marketing y Ventas, Escuela de Negocios de la Universidad de San Pablo, de Madrid, España. Mas de 25 años de experiencia como creativo en importantes agencias multinacionales como: JWT, Leo Burnett, Ted Bates, Young & Rubicam y Hoguín & Asociados. Analista de marca y columnista de varios medios.

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