Brands Without Borders (Brand Packaging)

Global Marketing and Packaging IssuesWhen it comes to product decisions, many consumer products marketers do not devote enough attention to elements of the package that will contain the main product.  In particular, they fail to consider the importance of the outer or second-level package that may be the first experience a customer has with the product.

The lack of attention to packaging decisions is particularly an issue with products sold on a global scale.  For some marketers, there is not much thought placed in whether a product should be packaged differently for each market.  Instead, apart from using the local language on the package, product design is pretty much the same for all global markets in which the product is sold.

However, marketers selling internationally need to do much more with their packaging than simply change the language.  Packaging decisions must be in tune with such issues as how the target market purchases, transports, uses and stores the product.  For instance, depending on the country, consumer products may be sold in different types of outlets.  For example, in one country the marketer's product may be sold in high-end retail outlets where products are spaced apart and customers spend considerable time browsing store aisles.  In these countries, because of extended customer shopping time and product spacing, packaging can be rich in the information it provides as customers have longer eye-contact with the product.  Yet, in other countries the product may predominately be available in much smaller, congested outlets where it is difficult for the product to stand out.  In these markets, it may be best if packaging contains much less information and, instead, focuses on the package colors, product image and simple attention-grabbing information.

As this story notes, there are many different packaging issues marketers face when selling globally.  And, rarely is a one-for-all packaging approach a good idea.

The net is that any global design system must be tailored to work across a wide range of retail formats. Mandating a “template” (without appropriate adaptation) is very likely to result in packaging that doesn’t work on shelf or, for that matter, in the home.

Of all the elements that make up a package, which one is likely to be the easiest to adapt to global markets?  Which is likely to be the most difficult?

Image by Abhisek Sarda

Cite: Christ, Paul (2010). Packaging Decisions for Global Products. From Blog Postings. KnowThis.com. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from http://www.knowthis.com/1675-packaging-decisions-for-global-products