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WHEN PACKAGING AND POSITIONING ALIGN

Published on
May 10, 2024
Published on
May 10, 2024

The Indian packaging industry is growing at a rate of 15% annually and it is expected to double by 2026.

This growth hints at a change in the Indian retail scene, driven by the food and pharma sectors.

Indian businesses are targeting the growing middle class, who attribute value to superior packaging and product quality. 

SUNNY SIDE UP

The packaging sector in India is considered a sunrise industry dominated by plastic flexible packaging. This is indicated by the higher import rates of packaging machinery into the country from countries like Germany, Italy, China and Taiwan. The shift from traditional rigid packaging to flexible options like form-fill-seal pouches, laminated tubes and tetra packs is partly due to price-sensitive consumers favouring factors like aesthetics, convenience and longevity. More than 50% of the total demand for such packaging comes from the food-processing sector. Domestic demand for packaging is expected to grow rapidly in the next 5 years. Recognising this trend, the industry is gearing up its game by adopting scientific and functional packaging.

STRATEGY BEFORE LAUNCH

Different brands may adopt various positioning strategies based on factors such as price, quality, features, and target market. Product positioning strategies play a crucial role in influencing packaging design. Packaging is the first point of contact between the consumer and the product, making it a powerful tool for communicating the brand's positioning and influencing purchasing decisions. Here's how different product positioning strategies can influence packaging design:

ECONOMY:

An economic positioning strategy is offering products at lower price points for the price-sensitive customer to gain a competitive advantage in the market. The aim is to capture people’s attention through a red ocean strategy. Examples include store brands, generic products, and some budget-focused brands. Packaging for economy-positioned products tends to be simple and functional, focusing on cost-effective materials and minimalistic design.

NICHE:

Brands adopting niche positioning aim to differentiate themselves from competitors by focusing on specialised features or catering to a particular demographic or psychographic group. Examples include Tesla targeting electric vehicle enthusiasts or Lululemon targeting yoga and athletic apparel enthusiasts. Packaging for niche-positioned products uses unique shapes and materials to evoke exclusivity. Detailed product information and specialised features are highlighted to meet the needs of the niche market segment.

MASS-MARKET

Mass-market positioning aims to appeal to the broadest possible audience. These brands typically offer products with mainstream appeal, moderate pricing, and widely available distribution. Examples include Coca-Cola, Apple iPhones, and Toyota cars. Vibrant colours, bold graphics, and clear branding help products stand out and attract attention. Packaging may feature endorsements or endorsements from influencers to appeal to a wide audience.

PREMIUM:

Premium positioning involves offering products at a higher price point than competitors by emphasising superior quality, advanced features, or premium brand image. These products often target consumers willing to pay extra for perceived value, experience or status. Examples include Bose audio equipment, KitchenAid appliances, and Ralph Lauren clothing. High-quality materials, sophisticated design, and attention to detail convey luxury and exclusivity in the packages of such products. Minimalist packaging with elegant typography and subtle branding reinforces the premium brand image.

LUXURY:

Luxury brands focus on craftsmanship, heritage, and superior customer experience rather than price alone. Examples include Rolex watches, Chanel handbags, and Rolls-Royce automobiles. Fine materials such as embossed paper, foil stamping, and intricate embellishments communicate luxury and craftsmanship. Customised packaging, such as engraved logos or personalised messages, enhances the exclusivity of the product.

TRUE VALUE RESIDES IN THE DETAILS

Material aspects of the packaging can greatly influence the perceived value of the products. The simple difference between the glossy and matte finish can set an image of your product in the consumer. Once the perception of a brand is set as “Cheap,” it is fairly herculean to shift to a premium price range in the future. It is, however, easier to trickle down in the reverse direction: Brands positioning themselves as premium or niche initially with a higher product price can offer products or sub-brands at a lower price eventually under a more economic positioning. While deciding the brand’s positioning, think long-term: What are your future business goals?  Are there possibilities for business expansion?

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