Over the last decade, the global market has greatly diversified due to the fast changing systems of consumerism and globalization. Owing to this fact, companies have found themselves at the receiving end as they try to re-organize themselves to fit in the highly competitive marketplace. This report provides an in-depth evaluation of PZ Nigeria PLC packaging in the marketing of consumer goods, strategies that are being employed to determine the level of profitability in addition to other advantages that accrue as a result of this practice. The study takes a highly analytical method to generate a clear understanding of the current situation and the strategies being applied by the company. In this respect, it employs a qualitative approach which involves collection and analysis of the primary and secondary data of the entire sampling population. The report concludes by establishing the effectiveness of the strategies being assimilated by the company for marketing. Finally, it recommends that the company should expand to the larger Nigerian market as a major step towards growth.
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Background of the study
An understanding of the importance of packaging in the marketing of products is critical in branding and making physical product decisions. The effectiveness of packaging, its impact in differentiating products for consumers and environmental benefits has transformed the practice of marketing that is being conducted by different businesses operating in various industries. The relevance of packaging in the marketing of products has grown over the years due to competitiveness in the global market arena. As such, packaging becomes a major marketing strategy aimed at improving the overall product outlook and aids in ensuring that a firm competes favourably with already established competitors.
Besides, packaging as a means of marketing consumer goods is one of the most critical processes a company engages in because it acts as an important mark of a brand besides protecting it for longer period storage before consumption. Sustainable packaging therefore prevents wastage and reduces the continuous search for more resources. Changing of packages for products presents a new quantity or form in the products thus making them more satisfactory to new target markets or regular customers.
As this paper will analyze, the adoption of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods in Nigeria by PZ Nigeria PLC is one of its key selling developments. It is worth noting that packaging strategies in the latter business has been developed to aid it in saving costs, enhancing its products as well as maintaining its brand quality. Packaging of products for the sake of boosting marketing is a critical factor in the PZ Nigeria PLC’s current business environment. The main objective of company is to ensure that the needs of consumers are accurately addressed. This has been a strategic practice which has been considered vital for its operational success.
Just as development in sales through strategic means were hailed as revolutionary developments in the history business, the use of promotionally-oriented packaging today plays a pivotal role in enhancing sales and further ensuring a speedy turnover and reduction of total sales costs. Successful marketing and self service retailing greatly relies on packaging as products are able to sell themselves. While one may argue that packaging and subsequent distribution of products is costly, it is imperative to highlight that against all that, packaging reduces waste, offers greater convenience and improves a products image.
PZ Nigeria PLC has come up as one of the most important developments in strategic marketing through packaging which employs the use of technologies to ensure that its products gets appealing faces and attract consumers within the region and on a global scale. Due to adoption of technology in business and development of procedures and protocols that aid in packaging and marketing, PZ Nigeria PLC has developed into one of the most important businesses in the Nigerian business arena. Although at the initial phases packaging expenses in this business presented a major problem, the company was able to gain considerable leverage over its competitors through strategic marketing. It is agreeable that the role of packaging as an approach towards marketing and transaction plays a pivotal role in shaping up a business’ environment since it makes it one of the key operational factors.
Developments in packaging as a means of marketing has mainly been aimed at ensuring greater operational stability, improving the speed of product sales and ensuring a reduction in the cost of marketing. Meeting target attitudes and market needs require strategic planning and marketing mix of which packaging becomes a vital part. Most packaging activities apart from adding freshness to products are generally aimed at ensuring greater promotional and protective aspects of products. Indeed, packaging saves space, improves display and handling critical for marketing and speeds up price markings. It also stops pilferage, prevents discoloration and reduces the cost of storage through lessening spoilage, shrinkages and breakages. As such, packaging as a marketing strategy employs promotionally oriented moves aimed at increasing sales by offering more multipack in small or larger size products. It also gives products an appeal through better pictures, illustrations and effective as well as attractive colours.
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Many businesses have developed marketing procedures, policies and standards with the sole aim of build up on a clear packaging approach to use to meet the various and ever changing needs and demands in the global market. Over the years, the adoption of packaging for various products has grown significantly. This has been considered by analysts as an important development that leverages that of technology. Just like operating system designs, security system designs, the role played by packaging in marketing is so essential in that it conveys the real nature of a product. Besides, it offers consumers with the expected experience of the product. These factors among other have been considered as critical among brands such as PZ Nigeria PLC which have constantly used packaging in unique and new marketing ways.
It is imperative to highlight that the knowledge and understanding on the role played by packaging in marketing is not a recent development in business segments. Rather, it is one of the key areas that businesses have guarded jealously and have used to gain competitive edge over others. The use of packaging as a marketing strategy has been used by businesses to guard against the existing stiff competition and to keep their sales high.
Due to awareness on the role played by packaging in ensuring effective marketing and subsequent increase in sales, PZ Nigeria PLC largely adopted this strategy to ensure its profitable and sustainable growth. Its ability to effectively cite the correct window of marketing opportunity and characteristically move in to capitalize on has been considered by analysts as critical in establishing its success in the market. The marketing ideology of packaging has been based on its understanding of the aspirations and needs of consumers, a greater focus on its markets and a deep understanding of marketplace dynamics. Notably, its Cussons products have remained in fashion for a long time and still provide a ready niche for women, men and children of all social classes and age. The emerging evolution in its design, sizes, colors and styles further dictate the ability to generate greater appeal to the already receptive market. Notably, the future of the PZ Nigeria PLC is also expected to be having very high potential. Most of its products are always seen as items that satisfactorily meet consumer needs.
Developments in packaging as a means of marketing in PZ Nigeria have generally aided the company in establishing a marketing oriented approach towards increasing its product sales. There have since been a number of developments that have generally been aimed at ensuring that its marketing activities have been well understood including the structuring of its marketing activities into levels and development of a number of technological interventions. The latter have been very central to its success which it has achieved in making fresh products for the market. Its marketing strategy of packaging forms one of the most important concepts it uses to mobilize necessary resources and facilitate practical application of the correct selling techniques.
The notion of packaging as a strategy of marketing products look into the critical outline where the demand of customers, the quality of products and their balance with production costs and local cultures are carefully analyzed for alignment with key marketing missions and objectives of an organization. This has been particularly critical PZ Nigeria which has assimilated effective mechanisms which it employs to facilitate its ability to colonizing market new and conquer the already saturated Nigerian market.
The current business environment in Nigeria where PZ Nigeria PLC is has been characterized by high level of competition which makes development of effective marketing practices one of the key operational goals that most businesses hunt for. The role of packaging in the PZ Nigeria PLC current business environment makes it one of the most important marketing factors in ensuring greater sustainability of product value and increase of sales through meeting of consumer needs. Various business segments within this company are associated with high level of competition, a consideration that drives its marketing unit to set effective strategies to generate value in their operations.
A brief overview of the company
Since its inception a decade ago, PZ Cussons Nigeria has been able to enjoy successive business achievements key of which is the sale of its popular consumer goods in the region. One of the key advantages that the company has is its understanding of the key needs of of its customers. This has been a factor that has propelled it to develop customer loyalty through provision of quality products and well designed packaged products.
The ability of a PZ Nigeria PLC to make great sales has for many years relied on the quantity of products and quality of packaging its products have. Ashutosh and Suresh (2009, p. 603) indicate the company’s marketing manager and team have been careful in ensuring the buyers of their products derive an appeal from the company’s offerings and get fully satisfied in luxury and contentment. Through its strategy on packaging, the company has been able attract a vast number of consumers and this has increased its returns on products. Besides, this practice has aided it in gaining a competitive edge and remains its major strength as witnessed in its high scoring against other companies in the market.
In Nigeria, just as in other parts of the world, consumers of products from organizations associate the products and brands presented to them by looking at certain unique characteristics like package material and design. This according to Brink (2008, p. 100) acts as a major source of attraction and a motivation to buying of products. In agreement, Burt, Johhanson and Thelander (2011, p. 187) add that apart from quality and quantity issues, they also look at an organization as a major source of identity and prestige. This is where packaging brings out the brand of an organization and helps in building trust and confidence among buyers.
PZ Nigeria PLC has been able to embark on product packaging strategies withy a keen focus of not only marketing its products, but also propagating its brand to new marketing. It is from the marketing of its products that its consumers have been able to acquire bigger, better, and idealistic products which derive a sense of identity and satisfies their various needs. As a globally branded company, PZ Cussons Nigeria has maintained the notion of social responsibility by ensuring its packaging does not impact negatively on the environment its customers are in.
Since its inception, PZ Nigeria PLC has continuously grown its marketing strategies through packaging to become one of the greatest threats to its competitors within Nigeria. The company has garnered massive customer confidence through providing exemplary and quality packaged products ranging from soaps, lotions and food stuff. Analysts indicate that the company through its packaging ideals has built a name through its brand gained competitive advantage over the competitors. This can be seen from increased sales due to repeat buyers of its products and the great shift of consumers from other products to Cussons products.
Analysts of the marketing activities being carried out by PZ Nigeria PLC is eminent from the packaging products and its inability to lower its commodity prices to fit the level of buyers in Nigeria. Since its move to design packages for its products as a means of marketing its products have assumed a high costs making many buyers who cannot afford them shy away. Critics are of the view that its packaged commodity prices are not reflective of the affordable prices necessary for capturing the ready market in the region.
Chen, Shen and Chiu (2007, p. 1050) point out that modern sales and marketing operations call for better and quality products and demand the application of better technological considerations. PZ Nigeria PLC has used the availability of technology to enhance the outlook of its products trough designed packages. This has in turn enabled it to manage its mode of marketing from the traditional methods to the new system.
Owing to the highly competitive market environment within Nigeria, PZ Nigeria PLC is exposed to a stiff competition from its competitors. It is worth mentioning here that since many businesses are turning to packaging in marketing their products, the business faces a great threat of losing on this strategy and as such needs to adopt new and fresh systems.
Analysis of PZ Nigeria PLC marketing practices
The marketing practice of PZ Nigeria PLC forms one of the strong pillars that it has used to dictate the progress it has made. Marketing analysts generally concur that among businesses in Nigeria, the packaging strategy that this company has employed has aided in connecting it with consumers. This consideration according to Ellis (2010, p. 30) has been very crucial in establishing the correct face of products through packaging. Marketing of consumer goods is therefore critical in linking Nigerian consumers with PZ brands, promoting its products, determining consumer needs and obtaining feedback.
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Marketing segmentation strategies
The main reason why many businesses are striving hard in their marketing practices is to add revenue to their businesses. This among other factors propels them to employ different marketing strategies. Leeflang (2011, p. 80) indicates that a business that wants to succeed in its application of a marketing technique must first be familiar with the needs of its target market. At PZ Nigeria PLC, effective customer relations forms one of the most critical aspects it develops as it defines its ability to attract customer attention, retain them and obtain feedback on its products. This according to McDaniel (1998, p. 57) aids it in maintain loyalty from the customers while facilitating sustained profitability. To segment its customers effectively, the company has effectively set up target markets and employed packaging approach. This has been significant in providing it with greater preference among consumers and massive profits.
To effectively address the different eternal effects affecting its packaging efforts in nthe marketing of consumer goods, PZ Nigeria PLC has devised important marketing mix strategies that have aided it capturing the market. The strategies have been focused towards product, price, promotion, distribution and place. It is imperative to highlight that the company has applied these simultaneously with great emphasis on addressing the diverse needs n the market.
The sustenance of any business in a market arena greatly rely on its ability to provide product variations such as design and packaging through innovative techniques. Roman (2004, p. 180) indicates that a business should always have several options of products for consumers to select from. Shankara et al (2011, p. 40) indicate that this is critical for businesses that seek to bring a higher return to the business. PZ Nigeria PLC has been keen in providing its customers with a variety of differentiated products, a consideration that has attracted many customers.
Marketing mix underscores the need to understand the impacts of current global shifts facing market demands for products by consumers. By offering differing prices of different products, consumers will be able to fix themselves in different categories that fit them. PZ Nigeria PLC has been able to use alternative systems that aid in reducing the overall prices. This has aided it in reducing the cost of prices thus forming a road map to its chains of success.
The method of marketing via packaging is a process that requires distribution of products to various retail outlets and markets. Using an effective distribution channel has become a central pillar for the marketing practice of PZ Nigeria PLC as it has aided it in doling out its products far and wide and capturing the market. Suh et al (2010, p. 215) indicate that an effective distribution channel has the capacity to link consumers with respective products. The same position is reflected by Winer (2009, p. 110) who posits that levering demand for continued market dominance, branding and profitability can be attained where distribution is conducted properly.
Packaging as a means of marketing has over the last decade been intensified globally owing to the shifting systems of consumerism that has curved a new niche for businesses in the global market arena. Global business communities have therefore proliferated and sought to conterminously apply packaging marketing ideals, technological advancements and branding aspects in their marketing plans. It is worth noting that a close correlation seems to be evident between the relationship packaging in marketing with the affect of improvement of sales and consumer satisfaction. This appears perhaps to be based on the overall emergent of the practice of marketing as businesses assimilate the new mode of using well designed and packaged products.
Over the last few decades, packaging as a method of marketing has increasingly gained popularity among businesses in Nigeria. According to Zerbini et al (2007, p.790), packaging has been cited to have a greater effect in attracting the appeal of consumer and perfecting the total outlook of a product. By assimilating packaging in its practice, PZ Nigeria PLC has been able to decrease its marketing costs, limit wastages and attract many customers to its products. While this may be true, previous researches on packaging have indicated that many businesses still prefer the old system of marketing as they view the packaging system to be highly expensive, controversial, uncertain, and therefore unsuitable to effect at the current fast pace of marketing needed in the community. While the packaging school holds that the opponents are highly conservative, there is need to evaluate the applicability of the packaging in marketing to enhance better marketing practices, coordination and lowering of costs applied during a marketing activity.
Limited research however exists on the effectiveness of packaging in marketing of products especially due to the intensity and competitiveness of the existing and new products emerging into the market. Though many researchers have concluded that packaging is vital to the effectiveness of a marketing activity, some have failed to describe or define the problem of packaging in marketing in such a manner that reflects its importance. This can be due to the fact that they perceive packaging as a costly step due to the emergence of technology and the need to outdo the existing packaging designs. Besides, they are of the view that many designs do not exist for long in the market, a consideration that makes its use in marketing less effective. This study uses PZ Nigeria PLC and aims at filling this knowledge gap by showing that packaging plays a significant role in influencing marketing decisions and processes. Businesses need to understand the essential structures or the essence of packaging from multiple viewpoints. To effectively understand the importance held by packaging, it is essential that businesses employ the view point of the consumers, other businesses and various studies.
The understanding of the role of packaging among businesses is of great significance since it influences marketing outcomes and sale of products to a large extent. Marketing business units influence marketing programs and activities and are to a large extent considered the promoters the need to embrace packaging as a marketing strategy. Their influence could therefore go beyond that of the policy makers in making packaging of products for marketing purpose a reality. This is critical in future marketing endeavours as the business world is moving towards the full application of technology to enhance product appearance. Customers will always be attracted to descent packaging of products by companies. This dissertation will be of invaluable importance in promoting packaging through presenting it as a new move in marketing of products.
Owing to the emergent trends anchored in packaging development as exhibited by the PZ Nigeria PLC and other businesses in Nigeria, the suitability of packaging in marketing should be established to anchor its application in the country. This study therefore provides a rich niche to policy makers and business managers to compare packaging strategies with the conventional methods of marketing many businesses still hold onto. In this respect, packaging will be considered as a major tool for policy makers to make the correct decisions regarding its possible adjustments and subsequent application in business.
Over the years PZ Nigeria PLC has turned out to be a key player globally and in Nigeria by taking key share of the market and varying business operations. Its ability to achieve high returns has been linked to its efficiency in building, promoting, and perfecting its values, brands and images in the market. Previous researches on the company indicate that close correlation appears to be evident between the different business entities and in particular the efforts the company puts in packaging to boost its image at both local and regional level. Its progress has further been indicated to shift upward from the ability to assimilate high technological demands of the modern consumers that are at par with the global standards at all times.
PZ Nigeria PLC is one such enterprise where value and brand image has seen it tremendously assimilate a highly prestigious niche amongst the top businesses in Nigeria and Africa. Though the business is relatively facing stiff competition among its other rivals, the resonance of its satisfying products, effective marketing and packaging styles has defied the odds of the present day high class stereo types. The business has seen a progressive upgrade in its image that attracts people of all classes. The resonance of satisfaction by the ever returning consumers for its unique and new products has been a major area of competitive edge. Particularly, the business has seen many customers shift from the numerous internationally rated businesses in Nigeria for its variety of products.
There is no doubt about the importance of the role played by packaging in ensuring efficiency in marketing operations of PZ Nigeria PLC which has used it to maintaining the reputation of its diverse products and mitigating the risks that are associated with cost of marketing, wastage and damages of products. It is apparent that packaging plays a crucial role in developing the confidence that buyers have on the products offered to them and may also play a role in ensuring that an organization gains reputation in the segment that it operates in. The position packaging plays In PZ Nigeria PLC make it an important marketing operational variable. However, issue of cost and rapid changes of designs among other factors brought by globalization need to be effectively addressed as they impact on its marketing activities.
As noted in the above argument, numerous issues impacting on the application of packaging as a marketing tool exist and their understanding is critical in developing a clear picture of what is required in ensuring effectiveness in marketing activities. This knowledge is central to numerous development and researches that have been conducted in seeking to determine the best approaches to ensuring that PZ Nigeria marketing activities are effective. However, the existence of Nigerian business organizations suffering from ineffective product marketing with regard to their packaging systems points to the fact that this information has not been adopted or appreciated in practice.
Moreover, the dynamism that defines packaging from a technological point of view clearly shows that any business that is dependent on technology must be willing to change its packaging of products regularly to contain changes that are presented by technology. It is thus evident that the speedy changes presented by technology may place an organization such as PZ Nigeria PLC in a position where its packaging strategy is highly dynamic to the extent that its absorption into the existing market system becomes a problem. This awareness has however not been relayed to the businesses in Nigeria as research shows about 60% of businesses in this area are faced with both common technological threats and threats that arise from lack of awareness on the needs to take a holistic approach in addressing packaging issues.
An understanding of the study’s purpose is important to a researcher since it links the study to the expected impacts it will inculcate to the society. With advancement in technology increasingly being felt in all sectors, the affects in the marketing sector is particularly very crucial. This study seeks to establish the effectiveness of packaging as a strategy of marketing used by PZ Nigeria PLC. With particular focus on its marketing activities, the research results will provide timely information that will assist PZ Nigeria PLC to take a better stand on its application. Notably, the use of packaging in marketing has not been intensively studied. As such, this particular study will be critical to the business in establishing the necessary policies, distribution services, remunerations, corporate image, ethics, processes and procedures relating to the increasing application of packaging. Currently, PZ Nigeria PLC is in the process of establishing specific divisions within its marketing business units to enhance packaging activities. Besides, this study will be very crucial in generating a clear guideline for the different product marketing activities and how to make better marketing strategies.
As a system that is gaining popularity among businesses in Nigeria, it is essential that all emergent details related to packaging and marketing operations are effectively understood to ensure its smooth application. Therefore, this study will seek to establish the effectiveness of packaging in the context of different marketing frameworks. The description from the various frameworks will not be intended to provide the definitive answer on what the effectiveness of packaging is, rather, it will serve as a an avenue for a clearer and more precise understanding of marketing through packaging by identifying how a business such as PZ Nigeria PLC make sense of it. As such, this will focus on defining the various roles played by packaging in marketing of products and its positive results when embraced as a marketing tool.
From the study results based on the views of marketing analysts of PZ Nigeria PLC, it will be possible to make particularistic conclusions on its efficacy in terms of interaction between consumers and the company products as well as the changes in sales of products. As a result, managers and stakeholders of PZ Nigeria PLC will be in a position of clearly understanding the essence behind packaging in marketing thereby set the pace for organizational marketing changes. It is worth noting that there is need for the company’s policy makers to be keen in establishing better packaging approaches that will increase efficacy in marketing of its products. The study will therefore be a key factor in assisting them to make marketing and packaging policies.
Technologically, this study will be of great essence in seeking harmony between the applied marketing methods of packaging and the existing changes and demands in the marketplace. From the results, it will be possible to explore better marketing systems that can be able to further enhance advanced interactions between consumers and PZ Nigeria PLC products.
An understanding of the operational environment is cited by marketing strategists as a key requirement in developing effective marketing moves that are relevant to the goals that are being sought. The role played by packaging in the current business environment PZ Nigeria PLC operates in makes it an important operational variable that businesses are left with little option but to ensure that it is effectively addressed. Packaging as a new age approach to expansion of the marketing segment that a business operates in plays a critical role in ensuring availability appealing products to consumers. Its profitability is also cited as being central to the high level of awareness that investors have on this segment.
This study was limited to Nigeria where PZ is assimilating major strategies for packaging of consumer products for marketing and profitability. In this respect the researcher sought to gather the perceptions of the country’s resident on the company’s products. To generate the most viable results, the researcher integrated white colour working class, blue colour working class, house wives and organizations students. However, it was limited to only those within the age range of 18 to 35 years as they were considered to have the most influence in the company’s products.
An understanding of the correct theoretical consideration behind every study assist in gathering an intrinsic evaluative capacity for the process being used and the later analysis of the results. Global competition in the market place mainly has resulted to reduction in profitability for majority of the international companies. New methods and strategies being assimilated require strong local derivation and high level appeal to gain the consumer preference. This competition is indeed bound to be higher in unstable markets like the developing countries raising the general uncertainty in profitability of the companies. t is from this consideration that companies should try to assume highly dynamic strategies that are in harmony with the present market demands to maintain profitability.
While issues of packaging in marketing of products in regional and global markets have been discussed in different research literatures at great length, studies of their application in a market environment are relatively few as it has not been fully embraced. Many businesses still believe that the quality of products out does their packaging and as such becomes critical in influencing consumer perception and attitudes. Therefore, this study examines qualitative factors that may lead to the further development of packaging as a marketing strategy for PZ Nigeria PLC.
This is an age in which the use of packaging as a method of marketing is increasingly growing popular such that organizations are now using it to reach new markets and continues capturing existing customers. PZ Nigeria PLC is no exception and this study will help to unearth the product marketing potential in packaging that still remains unexplored. As indicated earlier, the relevance of packaging in marketing has continuously received less focus from researchers, a consideration that has led to the limited availability of related literature compared to other conventional methods of marketing. As Abdel and Douglas (2010, p.1097) point out, this has been linked to the fact that the packaging system is relatively new and not fully embraced by majority of the institutions globally. As a result, this study will be an invaluable contribution to this practice. Taking into consideration that this study employs scientific research procedures in collecting and analyzing the data, its recommendations will cite specific areas that need further research to enhance further understanding of the system operation.
An understanding of the theoretical aspect and the nature of the business environment are just as important as determining the internal organizational systems in developing effective operational strategies. An understanding of any environment is therefore incomplete if an understanding of the operational environment and the factors that may affect it is not developed. This understanding of theory is largely used by the study in seeking to discern the areas that businesses err in implementing their packaging systems.
The primary research questions for this study will be as follows:
- How does packaging impact on marketing of customer goods?
- What is the relationship between the buying behaviour of consumers and the packaging elements?
- Does packaging dictate the profitability of an organization?
- How effective is attractive packaging for a company that is experiencing decline in sales?
- What is the attitude of consumers on the company’s products’ packaging?
- What is the effect of packaging on company’s brand image?
- What are the perceptions of businesses involved in marketing of products via packaging?
- How effective is the practice of packaging in winning the appeal of customer and new markets?
- Is the packaging as a marketing approach better than other marketing methods? How can it be improved to generate higher levels of efficiency in within the Nigerian market?
- How suitable should the application of packaging be implemented to win new markets?
- Should packaging be adjusted to reflect the market demands and changes in
The following hypothesis has been developed to aid in addressing the research questions:
- Ho: Packaging does not bear any significance on the process of marketing customer goods.
- H1: Packaging plays a critical role that affects marketing of customer goods.
- Ho: There is no relationship between buying behaviour of consumers and the packaging elements.
- H1: There is a positive relationship between the buying behaviour of consumers and packaging elements.
- H0: A company’s product packaging does not dictate consumers’ positive attitude to products.
- H1: A company’s product packaging determines the development of positive attitudes by consumers.
- Ho: Most businesses prefer other means of product marketing to packaging due to cost issues.
- H1: Most businesses feel packaging is an effective means and prefer it most.
- Ho: Packaging is ineffective for small businesses
- H1: Packaging is very effective as a marketing tool for businesses at all levels
The study has largely been motivated by the role played by packaging in the current business marketing environment. No one can deny the role played by globalization in affecting the dynamics in business marketing operations as it structures how a business defines the requirements of its operations. Packaging as a means of marketing provides a platform upon which a business can be aligned with the effects of globalization and gain from advances that are being made in marketing. The role played by an effective marketing system in ensuring effective customer relationship with products makes packaging as an important tool that businesses can use to develop customer loyalty that can sustain their operations irrespective of the nature of their operational environment.
It is thus apparent that the study whose main aim is to discern the areas that PZ Nigeria PLC needs to improve in implementing its packaging and marketing activities to ensure that it actively contribute to meeting consumer needs, aligning to market demands and enhance sales. Economic development especially in business have over the years shown close correlation to the level of growth that are displayed in the quality of product marketing practices. The existence of gaps presented by the practice of packaging is evidenced by the occurrence of issues related to globalization, fast-paced changes in technology and cost. There is need to set in place systems which will aid businesses in developing better marketing platforms.
The existence of gaps needs not to be the case considering the role played by research in adding to development that is being made in practice. It is evident that businesses will greatly be aided by research in addressing marketing obstacles they are faced with and areas that businesses err in developing their strategies. Such an understanding not only aids businesses in developing effective strategies that may not suffer the failure of previous businesses but also aids future researchers in addressing areas that are important to businesses. There is no doubt that the dissertation is important in ensuring that developments are made in packaging and marketing in business fields. Such developments are important in ensuring consumer satisfaction is maintained through effective packaging activities, and which is important in moving a business closer to the ethical requirement that have been out in place by the society. Any development in business that is aimed at meeting the needs of consumers must be appreciated if ethical requirements are to be met.
The following are some of the technical terms that have been used in the research:
This is the real product given to a customer or a factor of production.
Refers to the practice of enclosing items bought by consumers with materials intended to make products clean, easily identifiable, protected and marketable.
Refers to a process whereby views from different parties are accommodated to find a derivative.
This is one of the element of marketing mix which specifies the attention given to publicity, direct marketing, sales promotion, advertising and personal selling.
Refers to making a name or a logo associated with a service or a product.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to research the relevance of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods by PZ Nigeria PLC in Nigeria. Packaging has become an ideal way for businesses to enhance the interaction between consumers and their products. This study will focus on the involvement of PZ Nigeria PLC in the marketing processes of packaging to assess its effectiveness in enhancing its sales. Besides, the study aims at providing results that will aid the other businesses to have the correct view of packaging and therefore create the necessary supportive frameworks that will reflect improving accessibility, reduced costs, and higher quality
The preliminary or background survey reveals that though tremendous development has been attained in addressing the obstacles that my limit the application of packaging in marketing, practical implementation of the roles is far from attaining efficiency that researchers seek. Dynamics that are definitive of technology and practical factors that have to be considered in the business environment are some of the factors that appear to affect businesses in implementing marketing plans. It is thus evident that there is need for a critical review of packaging to determine both the practical and theoretical systems that have been put in place and what should be done to address the areas that are lacking.
This chapter is a major section of this study as it forms a major link and a holistic overview of the external outlook and implications of all the related facets. In this case the chapter inculcates the relevant information that seeks to ensure strong support for the different findings of the subsequent chapters. To effectively anchor the feasibility of the thesis statement, this chapter explores the available literature on how much competitive advantage can be created by implementing packaging strategies and environmental strategies in the marketing of consumer goods. To add to that, through exploration of the different theoretical perspectives, the chapter evaluates varying business packaging strategies that have been applied PZ Nigeria PLC. It gives a holistic criticism by analyzing the challenges and strengths of the different approaches that the firm has assimilated with time.
Understanding the relevance of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods has become one of the most important ways through which a business can enhance sales and develop relationship with consumers. Consumers of products in a market perceive and develop attraction to various products offered to them depending on the nature of their packaging. Brett (2005, p. 79) indicates that from the design of products and packaging, consumers develop attitudes and the latter is certainly a critical factor that impact on an organizations product and marketing decision. He adds that indicate that understanding diverse needs of customers leads to making important product decisions that ensures services and products are competently offered to meet the desires and needs consumers have.
In agreement, Brown (2011, p. 44) indicates that as over 15000 new products are being introduced into new market every year, established brands can only compete favourably through right packaging. The idea of packaging in marketing has been lauded by many analysts as a move that pus a business way above others in terms of competition. One such company is the PZ Nigeria PLC that its management has fully understood and adopted packaging as a marketing tool. Ki, Choi and Lee (2012, p. 267) note that an understanding of the value of packaging in marketing is critical in reaching out to consumers.
Besides, knowledge about the attitudes consumers have on products presented to them by a business is central to organizations whose marketing objectives are to reach out to new markets and win consumers. This reflects the finding by Lucio and Giuliano (2010, p. 142) and Brett (2005, p. 79) on their study on the effects of packaging on meeting consumer needs. They indicate that an understanding of what consumers want is critical in knowing what products to provide them with. Marketing through packaging has numerous benefits including the ability to link an organization with consumers. Besides, their study concludes by lauding the role played by packaging by highlighting that it is an avenue that whereby a business markets its products develops customer loyalty and leverages demand for continued dominance within a market competitive landscape and for profitability.
The ability of a business to grow and excel in its product marketing strategies via packaging demands setting up effective strategies with the target consumers in mind and focusing on product attributes. According to Martin, Oliver and Jacquelyn (2010, p. 190), a business must be able to draw commitment among buyers of its products through creativity in packaging. This is critical in marketing in that it not only raises the levels of satisfaction among consumers, but also reduces cost of marketing by creating value for time and resources. Packaging marketing practice therefore puts customer value before everything else.
Studies indicate that many consumers associate brands and products with certain distinctiveness like packaging which reflects a products superiority and quality. In agreement, MRaab (2011, p.27) indicates that consumers tend to derive identity and prestige from the design of packaging a product has. It is from that perspective that many businesses adopt unique packaging designs using modern technology that derive an overall sense of identity for their brands and satisfies various consumer needs. Besides, the studies also reveal that social responsibility in packaging that is observant of environmental concerns is critical in marketing as consumers like associating with products that do not pose threat to the environment.
The concept of packaging in marketing
Stuart (1998, p. 405) indicates that the practice of packaging in marketing is not new in the business arena as it has existed for many years among different businesses. Today the strategy of marketing products through their packages has grown and became a source of competition among businesses. An inception of great directional change in packaging strategies has tremendously grown in organizations’ marketing practice. Marketing analysts have termed the paradigm shift by businesses to packaging as an important change towards product marketing. In agreement, Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310) highlight that packaging of consumer goods in marketing just like relational marketing is a relevant practice and concept that enhances customer relationship with product and an organization. In addition, packaging of consumer goods provides end users with maximum value. Businesses marketing through packaging employ customer centric thinking and create strategies that are relationship oriented.
Additionally, the relevance of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods has been considered by market analysts as a major move adopted by businesses whose main purposes are capturing new customers, markets as well as retaining already existing consumers. This notion reflects the position taken by Philip Kotler a famous marketing guru who posits that one of the relevance of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods is that it creates a mutual bond which not only connect consumers with an organization’s products, but also ensures that a business benefits through brand promotions. Just like relationship marketing, the use of packaging plays a critical role of expressing the knowledge of a product through provision of relevant product information such as ingredients necessary to attract buyers’ interest. In agreement, MRaab (2011, p.27) indicates this practice has developed among functionally specialized businesses. The latter have used packaging to develop sales performance and build product-consumer relationships held together by marketing methods based on quality, well designed packaging and trust.
The model of strategic intent by Hamel Prahald clearly indicates that the strategy of packaging in the marketing of consumer goods and its adoption on the mainstream business has to some extent created a paradoxical nature in the current marketing trend. This trend has seen many businesses develop marketing decisions which are customer oriented. In support, Kim, Hibbard and Swain (2011, p. 530) indicate that the trend in the market today has put pressure on businesses to focus on making the product information they are selling known to consumers. They add that businesses that seek to compete favourably and competitively in today’s competitive market environment must effectively develop keen packaging strategies that ensure customers easily identify their products. Even so, ethicists in business point out that the strategic intent of marketing products through products should be done carefully by integrating environmental and health concerns of consumers.
Packaging as a marketing strategy
Packaging of consumer goods as a strategy of reaching out to consumers and new markets as well as building customer loyalty and retention is a practice that has been identified by marketing scholars and practitioners as a major step in successful selling. Manzerolle and Smeltzer (2011, p.330) view packaging as a move that effects the communication of product information presented to consumers through colourful and well designed products. In agreement with Manzerolle and Smeltzer, MRaab (2011, p.27) indicates that consumers who interact with the products of a company are able to derive required information regarding products. This as a strategy in marketing aids a business to effectively promote and sell its products. MRaab (2011, p.27) adds that the effect of thorough and proper communication that packaging of products presented to consumers does is a critical most viable strategy to use in marketing. It is important to underscore the fact that even while there are numerous challenges facing product packaging strategies, the benefits that come from the interaction of well designed products with entities in a marketplace such as a good reputation, creation of better sales and customer retention out do the challenges.
Following the above argument, it is critical that organizations organize their marketing strategies so that they do not miss out on the significant marketing share due to packaging that their competitors enjoy. The latter explains why PZ Nigeria PLC has strongly embarked on effective marketing strategies and is putting more emphasis in packaging of consumer goods to build effective communication avenue for the purpose of developing customer loyalty confidence as well as retention. The company has been able to provide its well designed packaged products with a mission of attracting more buyers and spreading information on its brands. Thus, through an effective strategic customer relationship management and efficient visionary planning, it has been able to retain its customers and enhance maximum profitability.
In their publication, Sun and Wu (2011, p.340) indicate that recognizing factors which motivates customers to buy products is a central pillar that enables a business to recognize brand switching behavior of customers and how to retain them. It is imperative highlight that many consumers tend to develop preference to well packaged products and as such incline their loyalty to such brands through repeat purchase and commitment. In agreement, Uematsu and Mishra (2011, p. 18) indicate that a well designed product enhances the image and outlook of a product and forms a key marketing component for businesses relying on packaging.
Kaj Storbacka, Tore Strandvik, and Christian Grönroos point out in their loyalty business model that when there is lack of relationship marketing, stakeholders and customers may fail to be satisfied by products and services. The impact of this practice make a business lose key customers who may exhibit lack of intention to re-buy, preference or a liking towards a brand where there is stiff competition can be realized when a business embraces strategic packaging marketing as this fosters effective communication of product quality to consumers. One such company that values customer retention is PZ Nigeria PLC which advertizes its products online and employs diverse marketing methods which include packaging largely due to its flexibility and viability in reaching out a wider targeted market.
Developing a packaging marketing vision
Numerous researchers have unanimously indicated in their studies on business vision that the latter is an important variable which ensures that the needs of an organization in marketing or other related operations are accurately addressed. Strategic marketing principles using packaging require that businesses have a long term goal. However, depending on the scope of the operation and the target market, a business can also develop effective short term goals. Sustainable marketing practices as MRaab (2011, p.27) explains should be inculcated and fostered carefully to ensure that a business achieves the intended marketing objectives. It is worth noting that this objectivity is essential in overcoming the views that product marketing through packaging is costly and has no returns to an institution. In this respect, all the tangible and intangible returns should be evaluated and quantified to foster acceptance by the management and other stakeholders.
Visioning in PZ Nigeria PLC has been developed in such a manner that it ensures the businesses marketing practices have a sense of direction while ensuring that all stakeholders in that organization gain. Abdel and Douglas (2010, p.1097) indicate that vision as a tool presents an effective platform upon which strategies that are appreciative of sustainable development can be attained. In its operations, PZ Nigeria PLC has constantly sought to promote its packaging strategies in the marketing of consumer goods by entrenching in its mission the need for minimizing costs, building n quality packaging and cooperating with consumers within Nigeria to determine their needs and preferences The management of PZ Nigeria PLC understands that the packaging strategy of its products must be developed in such a way that its products relays the message of quality, freshness and innovation, and addresses the needs of the local and regional communities.
In his publication, Brett (2005, p. 79) notes that a vision that does not relay the elements of sustainability fails in developing an appreciation of the need to continually generate value in organizational operations. A business must therefore develop effective marketing visions that not only determine where they are headed but also how they will ensure that they generate value in a manner that benefits an organization and its customers. Without engaging a marketing team and consumers in determining the needs within the market and coming up with an organization’s vision there is little chance that such a vision will be representative of the needs of the society and therefore be reflective of what is required to be successful in operations. Business’ marketing unit needs to be informed of the vision to employ product packaging marketing techniques and be appreciative of the strategies that they will employ in seeking capture new and existing markets. This is one of the key success factors that play a role in determining value generations within organizations and may in fact be critical in determining organization that fail from those that succeed in developing their marketing operational strategies.
Visioning which is a process of coming up with goals businesses will seek in operations is an important factor in addressing the goals that a business seeks in its operations. It is apparent that a clear understanding of the marketing goals that a business seeks in operations is an important factor that determine the potential that business have in generating value and ensuring that this value is sustained and carried on to their operations. Exclusive approaches that do not include employees or stakeholders of a firm in addressing the goals that businesses seek in their operations may result in losses and are a key threat to sustainability considering the role played by the vision in determining cultures and even the levels of success that business will attain in operations.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In his publication, Brown (2011, p. 44) refers to the model of corporate social responsibility as self regulation by a business to enhance its impacts to a community and or the environment in which it operates in. In the practice of packaging of consumer goods and subsequent marketing, corporate social responsibility is aimed at indicating the levels of ethical standards and the required culture in a society. It is a method of a business giving back to the community part of the profits that it assimilated from them or their resources. According to Brown (2011, p. 44), this term has vastly been interpreted with most businesses employing it to fit within their marketing context and therefore build their image in the eyes of consumers. It is from this consideration that this term has come under great criticism to determine whether its application should only be strongly a business case or should be embraced in other business operations.
The society in general is reflective of the market that an organization seeks for its products. Organizations that ignore the needs of the society they are situated amongst and operate in have themselves to blame if their marketing operations and even products are rejected by the market. Without ensuring that ethical operations is attained and presenting goods that are of value to the market, there is little that can be attained with respect to attaining packaging and presentation of such products to a society. While many organizations have developed marketing systems that seek to ensure effective customer relationship management, ethical considerations in packaging with regards to health, quality and environmental concerns and even operations are still yet to be accurately addresses by some companies. Ki, Choi and Lee (2012, p. 267) indicate that most organizations especially in Nigeria exploit their consumers through low quality and poor packaged products. The consequences of such actions are negative perceptions of a business operation and may negatively affect its reputation. Such businesses owing to the negative picture that they develop of their operations in the market are prone to failure under unbecoming operational environment especially with entry of new competitors.
Packaging as an approach to gaining positive product and business reputation
Packaging greatly affects how consumers view an organization’s products, organizational marketing operations and the overall outlook of the brand in the market. This according to MRaab (2011, p.27) impacts on the flexibility and the muscle an organization needs to attain in its operations. Ignorance of an effective marketing approach via packaging has been ruled out as being a potential causative factor for low returns, a consideration that has made many businesses to employ highly informed marketing executives. It is imperative to highlight that lack of responsibility in product packaging and use of technology has been cited by many researchers as being central to the poor response that some organizations get from consumers of their products. Poor appreciation of the potential that sustainability has in affecting their operations and lack of responsibility are the key issues that push such managers into adopting approaches to effective operations.
Many organizations have a notion that packaging of products as a means of marketing is an expensive and wasteful practice and does not ensure value is generated. There is no doubt that the cost of developing measures that are aimed at packaging and distribution of products can be quite high. Even so, failure to devise strategies aimed at capturing the market through packaging and promoting products via marketing puts a business seeking to excel in the global competitive at a great loss. Such losses result from the fact that operating in an environment where the cost of operations is so high and the level of volatility in the operational environment are unacceptable presents a complex operational framework. It is this awareness that is lacking in organizations that use outdated packaging designs and do little to replace them or seek less costly approaches to operations that greatly affect the image of their products.
Lack of awareness on the effects of globalization and needs within the marketplace have also been cited as one of the factors that greatly affect product marketing approaches that some businesses employ in addressing consumer needs. Most businesses have been observed to adopt marketing approaches that do not reflect the demand of the society such as health, product education and environmental sustainability among others.
Awareness on the role played by reputation in the current business environment is blamed for this observed trend. Reputation as a factor greatly affects the potential that businesses have in generating value. Internal processes and marketing activities have been cited as some of the factors that greatly affect the reputation that an organization will develop in an industry. Branding and customer relationship management are just some of the approaches that have been developed to ensure that businesses generate and maintain reputation in the segments that they operate in. Others include environmental awareness and social corporate responsibility.
On the other hand, there are businesses which have been blamed for painting a picture of sustainable packaging operations although their operations relay little efforts towards seeking sustainability. Such organizations seek to develop a reputation for being sustainable despite the fact that their operations negatively affected the society through, for example, pollution. These organizations are unwilling to bear the cost of sustainability yet willing to reap their benefit which in most cases negatively affect the environment and does little to address issues that are of social interest. By addressing immediate issues that affect communities and formulating promotional strategies organizational reputation is developed despite operations that may impact on their operations. Industries have proven to be masters of creating an image of what they are not for the sake of developing a good image or meeting regulations developed by the central and state governments while their operations do not meet or even seek sustainability goals. By ensuring that each and every member of an organization is appreciative of the risks presented by poor packaging materials and lack of awareness on issues that affect the society that sustainability can accurately be addressed.
Researchers have pointed the three dimensions that are used in addressing and analyzing sustainability. Social-political, economic and environmental dimensions have been taken in addressing sustainability issues with differential approaches depending on the sectors that an organization operates in and their abilities. Organizations with large resource abilities have generally taken on more robust approaches whereas organizations with limited resource ability generally tend to stick to low cost approaches to environmental sustainability.
Good corporate management where all stakeholders in an organization are appreciative of the means used by an organization in generating profits and have a feeling of being part of success made by an organization is an important factor in ensuring economic success. Organizations that lack appreciation for the potential that environmental sustainability has in disrupting their operations through depletion of input are at greater risk of implementing projects that place them at greater risk of failure. This has been cited as being one of the key factors that greatly affect organizational potential for development in that by developing only one area mostly via unilateral decision often results in the collapse of an organization. It is further apparent that organizations that are ridden with internal wrangles are in a poor position to even seek sustainability; the same can be said of organizations that employ survival tactics in their operations due to the difficulties that they face in communicating sustainability strategies. These are some of the factors that have been highlighted as being definitive of the potential that businesses have for improving productivity, profitability, and image in its particular areas of operations.
Volatility is definitive of the current economic environment due to the highly improved information systems and the high levels of awareness that industry players have of risk. This presents a complex environment to operate in which forces most players to seek approaches to operations that may improve? Diversification of operations, expansion of the market segment that an organization operates in and effective customer relationship management approaches are some of the alternative that businesses turn to. These approaches are largely reliant on organizational approaches to their implementation and even approach to assessment to be successful. However, such approaches though having a shielding effect do not necessarily address the potential that businesses have for generating profit and expanding their operational efficiency. National policy makers have a role in ensuring that the level of competition and activity of any segment is monitored to determine any threats that are present and ensure resource ability is determined before businesses are presented with permits or licenses.
Ensuring that value is generated to consumers of packaged products is also cited as an important avenue through which organizations can ensure sustainable economic development. Such value can only be generated if an organization takes heed of all its areas of its marketing operations and takes steps to ensure that they are all well conducted and managed. Value developed as a result of an effective marketing structure plays a role in ensuring high level of motivation and leads to an organization whose operations cannot fail due to issues that affect only one area of operations. This is cited as an area that businesses fail in as preference is awarded to departments or operations that are directly related to value generation for instance sales and production while other critical department for instance research and development are ignored. Each and every aspect of an organization collectively adds to generation and sustainability of value. Such organizations are often characterized by poor inter-department relations and even subjective planning which often results in failure in developing value through organizational operations.
Developing sustainable packaging operations
From a marketing perspective, developing sustainable packaging operations refers to the ability of a business to enhance its marketing of consumer goods in a manner that can be used to infer longer periods of productivity and thus profitability. Stuart (1998, p. 405) indicates that sustainable packaging in the marketing of consumer goods embraces the notion of consumer satisfaction which includes the society in which the industries and the companies operate in. Stuart (1998, p. 405) adds that the notion of carrying capacity becomes very critical in facilitating the understanding of the necessary rates that could be assimilated in maximizing productivity and maintaining high profits.
Owing to the need to ensure effective and sustainable packaging, this practice of marketing and its implementation within a market require considerable organizational commitment that will ensure that set goals are met. A cultural dimension to sustainability is cited by some as a key requirement to sustainability while some are of the view that the current three dimensions are enough to incorporate all other issues. Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310) indicate that the key motivation to those seeking the inclusions of culture as a key pillar of sustainable development is the notion that sustainable development involves seeking satisfaction from intellectual, moral and spiritual dimension thus culture which encompasses this aspects should be incorporated as a key pillar to sustainable development. Besides, Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310) indicate that packaging and marketing of consumer goods that take place in existing cultural setting and must fit within this context to generate acceptability. In a mixed cultural setting like Nigeria, it is critical for businesses to articulate their marketing and packaging strategies with cross-cultural ideals in a bid to gain cohesion in the operations and thus productivity.
Packaging and environmental Sustainability
The effect of packaging in marketing of consumer goods cannot be complete without looking at its impact on environmental sustainability. Environmental sustainability is one of the areas that have widely been discussed in seeking to develop an understanding of the packaging. Environmental degradation from packages of products is more visible to a society than social and economic degradation. This has led to studies that have created a high awareness on the effects of pollution due to used products packages and depletion of natural resources. Most materials used for packaging come from natural resources and the more products being packaged the higher the depletion of natural resources.
Policy makers and even organizations have been accused of being active in highlighting environmental issues but doing little to either prevent further degradation or remedy areas that can be corrected. This is a worrying situation that has been blamed on lack of responsibility and awareness on the potential that environmental degradation has on business. It is important to note that awareness on sustainability is not a recent development in the business environment rather the high awareness on issues like global warming is a result of the observable effects that it has on human activity. This leads to an important yet grim picture on the dynamics that define sustainability where it is only after the negative effects of unsustainable operations have been experienced that corrective measures are sought.
Leeflang (2011, p. 80) indicates that several unilateral approaches seeking sustainability have been cited as lacking for they do not address the three dimensions of sustainability. By seeking to address issues relating to environmental sustainability and ignoring other areas relating to sustainability, an integrated approach cannot be attained. There is no doubt that the risk presented by environmental pollution and even depletion of energy resources greatly affect the potential that nations have in ensuring that value is generated in their operations. This understanding is cited as being central to the numerous issues that are being highlighted with respect to environmental conservation, global warming and even environmental pollution. The high level of awareness on these issues has however not been translated to effective environmental strategies.
Trade and business in general has witnessed considerable change due to the effects of technological development and globalization. Globalization is cited as being central to the high level of competition that is witnessed in various areas of the economy. Globalization as a factor affects not only the level of competition but also dynamics within industries which has led to an increase in awareness on the role played by reputation and an increase in awareness on the interdependence between factors which has unfortunately led to a highly volatile operational environment.
The last decade has seen an increase in awareness of sustainability in the business environment. This is due to several factors. One of the key issues that underpin sustainability is increased awareness in business operations and the role that it plays in ensuring that social issues are accurately addressed. Over the years, publicity on the need of articulating sustainable development has become a major facet in determining how a business is viewed especially internationally. Attaining of sustainable development as indicated earlier, is tied to the demands of the community attainment by articulating their societal values in business operations. However, entrenchment of the societal requirements has often been riddled with sycophancy and sabotage as businesses seek to maximize their profits. In this case, the societal demands are seen as part of the business liability and an obstruction to maximization of profitability. Besides, the global competition has anchored the need for diversity and therefore reduced prices and higher quality products in the market.
Sustainability has been painted by organizations as what they seek in their operations while their operations reflect a completely different agenda. Most of the current multination businesses and few local organizations have developed or are endeavouring to paint a picture of seeking sustainable development either through socio-corporate responsibility or organizational processes that are aimed at ensuring sustainable resource use. However, there are few that actually engage in seeking sustainability. This creates a gap between rhetoric and reality that that is not result of lack of awareness but rather due to a lack of responsibility and the rule of capitalism which push organizations into seeking profits without considering the impact that they have on the environment. The result is that sustainability is used by businesses to develop a good name in the regions that they operate in while little is being done in seeking sustainability as a key issue.
Numerous researchers have pointed to the fact that natural capital cannot be substituted by economic capital due to the different roles that they play in ensuring that the needs of the society are accurately addressed. Sustainability can only be attained if the different constituents that add up to sustainability are accurately addressed and the positive affects noted and maintained. However, Lucio and Giuliano (2010, p. 142) argue that for sustainability to be effective, it is critical that the practices assimilated are spread beyond their regional consideration to enhance holistic development of globally. As indicated earlier, it is clear that the earth systems are highly dynamic and therefore link should be viewed in totality as opposed isolation to reduce externality affects. Notably, Most of the businesses do not factor the understanding of the different resources cyclic dynamics and therefore they tend to maximize their own niches upon which they are fiscally assessed on the basis of how much they are able to exploit as opposed to how well they can be able to enhance resilience.
For example, the hotels in the ozone layer have been central to discussions relating to global warming. As already mentioned, the ability to understand as well as appreciate the importance of packaging in the marketing of products is critical in branding of products. The process is also instrumental in formulating final decision when managing an organization. As a matter of fact, packaging is vital in branding as well as increasing the appealing nature of products that have been dispatched to various markets. Indeed, business organizations that are operating in various industrial backgrounds can significantly benefit or lose out on market presence depending on the value attached to packaging of consumer products. In addition, proper packaging of products assists in adequate differentiation of similar goods that are being produced by either the same company or other close competitors in the market. It is worth noting that when products are easily noted by consumers in the market, it becomes a lot easier for marketing managers to position specific products in the market especially in regards targeting them with given products when carrying out marketing campaigns.
The uniqueness of packaging, its effect in differentiating available goods both for consumers and immediate environmental benefits has indeed changed the practice of marketing that is being conducted by various organizations operating in different industries. The relevance of packaging in marketing campaigns for products has indeed developed due to competitiveness in the global market arena. As such, packaging becomes a major marketing strategy aimed at improving the overall product outlook and aids in ensuring that a firm competes favorably with already established competitors.
In addition, it is imperative to mention that packaging as a means of marketing consumer goods is one of the most vital procedures any other organization engages in bearing in mind that it acts as an important mark of a brand besides protects it for longer period storage before consumption. Sustainable packaging therefore prevents wastage and reduces the overall going back for more resources. Changing of packages for products presents a new quantity or form in the products thus making them more satisfactory to new target markets or regular customers.
This chapter offers a clear insight of the methodology that was applied by the researcher to achieve the different objectives outlined in the first chapter of this dissertation. It is considered to be the most essential section in any study in that it acts as the major link between the theoretical basement, the research hypothesis, and the real occurrences in the field. According to Lucio and Giuliano (2010, p. 142), the ability to apply the correct methodology during the research process determines the overall acceptability of the results presented at the end of the study.
In this case, the chapter offers the method used by the researcher to evaluate the relationship between product packaging and its relevance in marketing. To add to that, it offers an intricate critique of the process that was used to establish the study results. Owing to the emerging needs for the different trends in marketing that calls for modernistic methods of enhancing knowledge accessibility, the chapter therefore gives the reader a better platform for understanding how the results presented to them were actually achieved.
Purpose of the study
Effectiveness of marketing through packaging of products as indicated earlier in this dissertation has been considered by analysts and various scholars as highly inconsistent among many businesses with reference to the issue of cost of packaging and constant changes brought about by globalization. Whereas various structures of modern marketing defies the traditional models of direct face to face interaction, there is need to derive a holistic pattern and standard marketing patterns for greater positive effects. Using various theoretical perspectives, this study seeks to establish the effectiveness of the process in the overall packaging approach. This has been emphasized by taking into consideration of the complexities involved in the study.
Some scholars have over the years indicated their overall dissatisfaction with the fast development of marketing processes in relation to the effectiveness of packaging as well as emergent ethical issues on environmental concerns, corporate social responsibility and the interaction between products and consumers. On that note, the study will seek to establish the significance of this interaction and derive possible ways of improving the same in form of recommendations given after the data analysis. To effectively derive viable conclusions considering that marketing through product packaging is fast evolving in approach and scope, the study will seek to establish the future of this trend and its overall impact on marketing processes.
It is evident from the background of the research and review of literature that despite the development in packaging that have been attained in the business community as noted by PZ Nigeria PLC, sustainability of the practice due to cost and technological issues are yet to be fully appreciated and addressed by researchers and businesses. There are areas of product marketing through packaging that businesses ignore and in some cases businesses seek its sustainability as a marketing gimmick and not an issue that could greatly affect their potential for generating value if no well addressed. It is therefore evident that an understanding packaging and the various areas that businesses go wrong in and what should be done to address these issues with applications of technology and environmental matters should be developed. These are some of the issues that greatly affect the efficiency of packaging strategies which businesses seek to ensure sustainability goals in their operations. An understanding of the issues that affect businesses in their endeavour to market products through packaging is important in ensuring that the practice is accurately addressed.
Research approach and strategy
A case study analysis is the main approach that has been used in this study. Pz Nigeria PLC marketing operations via packaging in Nigeria and its relevance has been identified as a suitable case. The choice has be en mainly motivated by the nature of the organisation’s operations and the level of awareness that it has for marketing via product packaging. The latter has been central to PZ Nigeria PLC marketing operations though there have been some concerns from the literature review that these goals are not being driven at. This reason why many businesses have not fully adopted this practice is the fact that they lack resources and adequate technological expertise for designing attractive packages with regards to product marketing.
Since marketing through packaging is still a relatively new concept to many businesses in the marketing realms, its application has been much limited to the level of resources owned by a business. Brown (2011, p. 44) indicates that its limited application could be due to the nature of technology and design expertise required and most often demands such operations to be conducted effectively. Therefore, this issue provides a better niche for exploring the relevance of packaging consumer goods in marketing. To achieve the study objectives, the researcher will seek to draw the sample from various businesses including PZ Nigeria PLC that apply product packaging as a marketing strategy. The sample will be identified through the social networks like Facebook and Linked-In and later use of email to send the survey questions to them.
Use of online method to get the target respondents is considered to be effective as it reduces the level of bias for the choice of respondents. Besides, by using the social networks to identify the target respondents, the research will gain more specificity in that it reduces the chances of non-online responses to the study.
Taking into consideration the increasing positivity of product packaging to consumers, surveys will be employed in capturing the interplay of compatibility, friability, and complexity of the marketing practice in enhancing its relative advantage to a business sales activity. The surveys will be sent to the respondents through email addresses collected from the social networks. It is worth noting that use of email to send the surveys and communicate with the responding population will assist the researcher in reaching them easily far clarifications and reminding them of time lapse to reduce delays.
Technological dynamism since the onset of the information age in 1990s has brought vast changes in the marketing realms. As indicated earlier, the general development of the use of packaging as an emergent marketing practice system has changed the mode of reaching customers and new markets, a notion that is believed to have a myriad of impacts to the marketing practice of businesses and overall sales performance. Owing to the fact that social networks do not require the researcher to physically move to the respondents’ areas of location as it happens with convention surveys, the online surveys are considered to be more cost effective and less time consuming.
Preparation is an important phase in ensuring that data is collected in a manner that is appreciative of the potential that businesses have for generating value. It is apparent that without developing a clear picture on the relevance of packaging of consumer goods and highlighting what has been done by researchers and areas that are lacking the research may be incomplete in addressing issues that are of economical interest. An understanding of the requirements in sustainable product packaging and marketing is important in ensuring that the areas that have not been addressed are accurately identified. This is an important factor in ensuring that analysis is done in a manner that is appreciative of the existing principles and even relationship derived from existing researches. This ensures that the study not only addressees the issues that it set forth to address but also plays a role in ensuring that the research contributes to the existing knowledge base.
Research setting and methods
The ability to select the correct niche for a study not only serves as an indicator of the expected results, but also predefines the overall setting and the expected progress of the study. Packaging of consumer products as a method of marketing has evolved with time as a factor of clear advancement as well as emergent of online businesses that share the general understanding of the process at all levels. With many businesses indicating its effectiveness in linking products to consumers and branding of an organization, the researcher will seek to confine this study to Nigeria only. To ensure further precision of the study and thus the viability of the findings, the study will further reduce its scope to PZ Nigeria PLC.
Brown (2011, p. 44) indicates that developing a clear understanding of the research method to be employed is critical in determining accuracy levels to be assimilated. It is essential that the research method employed become harmonic with the study’s objectives. This was the reason why a survey approach was considered for this study. Packaging in marketing as indicated earlier is a concept that is strongly affected by different operational factors in its application. The study will seek to apply a highly qualitative nature in approach and assimilation of the study data.
Time factor is a major aspect in determining the ability to collect the most viable results from any research. Allocation of enough time to respondents are highly committed with busy schedules which made it very essential to offer them with ample time to respond to different questions provided for in the questionnaire. To add to that, the researcher dealing with a understanding the relevance of marketing realms will need time to analyze the primary information from the field to effectively draw the most effective conclusions and recommendations. It is worth noting that timing is a very crucial element in any research activity bearing in mind that every activity has to be accomplished within a given time frame if any positive results are to be realised.
Samples and sampling techniques
As a result o emphasis on accuracy that seeks higher levels of integrity as a factor of acceptability for the study findings, the researcher diligently applied strategic sampling to identify all the respondents who were to be served with the questionnaires. Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310) indicate that strategic sampling has been applied globally in different research with high levels of efficacy. To effectively generate the most effective results for the study, it will be essential that the sampling techniques assimilated cohere with the demand for objectivity. In this respect, the researcher will employ strategic random sampling method to increase the possibility of narrowing only to the PZ Nigeria PLC and the consumers of its products. Through application of this system, it will be easier to specifically target the sections that the company excels in and reduce the general bias on the results assimilated from the study. Besides, the sampling will also gave the researcher ample space to strategically adjust for non responses among the different respondents.
The use of social networking sites as the source of the population from which the sample of the study was obtained is quite justifiable. To begin with, social sites are quite popular among many consumers of PZ products and who form a major component of the study. Again, network sites are bound to attract more responses given the large number of people that visit these sites. Facebook.com which will be used in this study for example attracts 20 percent of all internet users in the world and records a total of 70.2 million new visitors every month.
LinkedIn.com which is taken to be the largest business network is visited by 0.6 percent of all internet users in the world and registered users are over 40,000,000. People visiting these sites do so with a high frequency such that the possibility of missing a request to participate in the study is quite limited. Social networks have become a useful source of information due to the interaction and the advertisements that are placed in these social sites. Many people in Nigeria have turned to social networks to find out about products from other users. Information passed on between friends on the networks to a great extent influence buyer decisions about certain products. This means that the social sites influence products marketing. Interactions made in these sites could turn out to be useful to PZ Nigeria PLC whose attractive packaging can attract consumers.
Data and data collection tools
Data collection methods in any study are directly related to the levels of efficiency that can be attained and therefore are major factors in achieving required results. It is of critical importance that data collection be developed in a manner that appreciates the nature of the research and enhances high levels of accuracy. According to Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310), the data to be collected for any study should touch all the major elements of a study as this will aid in the analysis and validation of a research hypothesis. Therefore the collected data bridges the theoretical considerations of the study and practical operations in the field.
The use of questionnaires will form a major tool for primary data collection in this study. The questionnaires to be used will be designed in a manner that appreciates the process of data analysis in line with the study objectives. The data will therefore be collected from marketing managers and teams in PZ Nigeria PLC and consumers of PZ products in Nigeria. In this respect, the questionnaires will be structured in a manner that responses from various respondents will be easy to interpret for analysis purposes. As earlier noted, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn will be used as linkages used by for communication to identify respondents. Pictures of packaged products will be placed on the social networks were not selective and therefore response was highly voluntary for the participants.
A total of 600 surveys will be sent to the respondents one month prior to the study. The purpose of sending the large number of questionnaires will be to reduce the possibility of having inadequate responses to support the study. The expectation is that out of the 600 surveys sent at least 400 of the respondents will send back the surveys with the details. The research estimates that the ratio of response by the respondents to the number of sent surveys will be 1:2, and therefore considered 600 surveys to be enough to comprehensively support the study.
Twenty structured questions will be contained in the survey with respondents expected to select the answers to their questions. The selections will include not important at all, somewhat important, neutral, important and extremely important. In addition, the twenty questions will comprehensively include the views of consumers on their interaction with PZ Nigeria PLC products.
As indicated earlier in the scope, this study will take a period of six months during which all aspects of the study will be harmonized. To effectively conduct the study, the researcher will divide it into two major parts which included initial phase focusing on study preliminaries and the final phase centering on data collection and analysis. It is in the second part that data and data collection issues will be handled. Brett (2005, p. 79) indicates argues that data handling is as important as data itself. All the responses by the respondents will be categorized inform of surveys, or questionnaires were effectively numbered on the basis of their return dates and stored in soft copies.
Data analysis and presentation
All the data collected will be analyzed using the SPSS software assisted system which will greatly aid in raising the levels of accuracy from the research by minimizing possible errors. Besides, it will be able to handle vast amount of data with great control of the process, a notion that reduces the total time to be used while promoting the possibilities of making the most effective decisions. The findings of the research will then be presented in form of charts, graphs and polygons reflecting the actual outcome of the study. It is worth noting that at this point, the researcher will strongly use the theoretical and other backup information from the literature review to enrich and support the subsequent discussions and recommendations derivations.
Analysis of the data collected will be mainly through is mainly by comparing data retrieved regarding PZ Nigeria PLC packaging strategies and the existing theories with respect to the research question. By identifying the areas in which PZ Nigeria PLC s approach to packaging in marketing are effective or ineffective, and the probable reason as to why, will aid in ensuring that areas that it errs in with respect to generating sustainable marketing practice are addressed. It is important to note that the accuracy with which the research question will be addressed will be important in determining the level of validity of the research and play an important role in determining acceptability of the findings to practice and even existing knowledge.
Research variables and their measurement
Research results acceptability and reliability is highly dependent on the variables that will be used during the study process. Indeed, through the variables applied in the study, the researcher will be able to monitor and guide the process to effective completion. As indicated earlier, this study will be pegged on the main purpose of comprehending the relevance of packaging in the relevance of consumer goods in Nigeria. All the variables will be directly oriented towards achievement of the same goal.
The measurement of the different variables in the field during the study will reflect the ability of the researcher to harmonize the complexity of this study for assimilation of the set objectives. With the study being qualitative in nature, the measures will be developed in a format that appreciates the nature of the study and guided by the questions of the study. Thorough understanding of the different variables involved in this study will be very essential in development of the most effective measures to assess the relevance of packaging consumer goods during the study.
To add to that the measures will be designed in a format that the collected information will be easy to test the viability hypothesis of the study. It is in this respect that the researcher will employ the Likert 5-Point scale to categorize the information to be gathered from the respondents. Likert 5-Point scale has been extensively applied in scaling majority of the qualitative research globally. This model employs use of weights which indicate the position of the respondent in relation to the different questions under considerations. Weights 1,2,3,4 and 5 will be employed to indicate strongly agreeing, agreeing, not sure, disagreeing, and strongly disagreeing respectively.
Application of this method is considered to be very effective in that it reduces the complexities of different aspects being tested during the study. Notably, a researcher appreciates the overall concerns from other researchers on the restrictive nature of this type of scaling for the different respondents in the prior studies, a notion that is compensated by increasing the number of samples in the study to reduce the possibly created bias in the process. Though the study of marketing through product packaging as MRaab (2011, p.27) exemplifies involves conducting measurements at highest possible level, Likert 5-point scale has the capacity to omit many details from the respondents due to its highly assumptive nature.
Research data quality
Reliability and validity
This study poses a cohesive and cumulative system based on the established study objectives which seeks to link them to the result findings of the study. To ensure high levels of accuracy, different measures that include multiple literatures as applied in the literature review and as defined by the demands by consumers of well and attractive packaged products will be assimilated. From the onset of the study, the approach assimilated will indeed be very relevant to the previous qualitative objectives which will guide the whole study thereby creating relevance and accuracy in the generated findings. To ensure coterminous measurement and evaluation of the findings, different study methods will be applied from the onset to the end of the study as a notion that greatly promoted cohesion and further reliability.
In addition, the study variables measurements will be carefully selected to reflect on the most important aspects that not only touch the relevance of packaging in marketing, but also sought to infer the peripheral effects of the PZ involvement in the process of offering packaged consumer goods to consumers. According to Gabisch and Gwebu (2011, p. 310), the ability to apply strategic random sampling without inferring any bias to the results forms one of the major systems of promoting general viability and acceptability of study results. Taking into consideration that marketing is a highly dynamic system, the researchers’ application of strategic random sampling system will be a major factor that will aid in factoring specificity and therefore greater reliability from the respondents. To further reduce the overall bias of the results assimilated, the researcher will seek to use a global stand point during the period of collecting the primary and secondary data.
Leeflang (2011, p. 80) contends to the possibility of making errors which may affect the overall results obtained. This study will apply the most viable data collection and interpretation methods to ensure that type I and type II errors will be minimized to the best level possible. Ensuring that the data interpretation is well done will avoid primary errors that may culminate in the final report such that this will be avoided as much as possible. The problem of abnormally distributed variables that may result following the use of multiple regressions was minimized through the data cleaning to remove univariate and bivariates. Normality could have been removed by the use of transformations such as inverse, log and square root. This however carries the risk of complicating the interpretations. As such, SPSS software will be used to address this assumption instead.
Ethics in the study process
Confidentiality of the study process
The ability to gather precise data and correct information for analysis in any study is strongly attached to the capacity of the researcher to guarantee respondents the highest levels of confidentiality possible. It is worth noting that from the onset of the study, different respondents identified by strategic random sampling system as applied in this study possess variant views some of which may be directly against either the packaging system of PZ or the personalities in the system. It is from this consideration that views of the respondents will be considered to be highly individualistic and subject to analysis and application to this study only.
From the above consideration, the researcher will get in touch with all the respondents before administering questionnaires to emphasize and clarify the study’s high regard for confidentiality. Questionnaires will be formulated in a manner that they did not indicate the names of the respondents or their particular positions or areas of work.
Time allocated for the research
As indicated earlier, this study will take period of approximately 6 months during which the researcher will have to affect all the aspect of the study from the initial stages to the completion of the same system. Leeflang (2011, p. 80) points out that the element of time is one of the key factors that dictate the ability of the researcher to assimilate highly viable results at the end of the process. It is from this consideration that the researcher feel that time allocated for this study could be very limiting especially due to the massive delays that were accrued by the global online learners’ responses.
Limited information access
Though there are only a few researches that have been conducted on this topic earlier, this study will only use exclusive available materials at different stages of its development. This will be a major factor of promoting bias on the information used by the researcher. To add to that, there is a high possibility of replicating the past errors that could have been assimilated by the previous researchers in their processes. Though the consideration for lack of information could have been taken to mean that the research results received are on the same platform with the current studies, there is a high possibility of omitting major issues that could have been accrued during the different time lapses in online learning process. The researcher will address the problem by combining the present trends with the past researchers findings to establish the most effective recommendations in the field of online learning globally.
From the onset of the study, the researcher will expect some non-response and delays by different respondents. It is worth noting that majority of the respondents are highly committed professionals in their daily busy chores and therefore will have to get time to respond to different study demands. It was from this understanding the researcher will seek to maintain the objectivity of the study by structuring the questionnaires to ease the overall demand from the respondents. The researcher will also utilize the online system of administering the surveys as they were much easier to fill and submit by the different respondents. This online system will also better in that the respondents could answer the question from any particular location. Understanding that non-response could negatively affect the final viability of the results, the researcher will utilize all the available extra and convenience time of the respondents to get the necessary responses. Finally, effective follow ups in form of email reminders will be made to remind the respondents of their expected responses in the study.
A qualitative design that employs a case study analysis is the main approach that will be used in the research. Data on packaging of consumer goods in marketing in Nigeria by PZ Nigeria PLC will be collected regarding and the findings inferred for use by PZ and other organisations within the defined experimental framework. The choice of the methodology is due to the nature of the research and the question that it seeks in that there are many variables that have to be factored in and there is a high probability of erroneous reporting. Use of multiple resources and cross referencing made possible by a qualitative approach to research is therefore suitable to seeking the research goals.
Research methodology serves as a major section that is used to determine the validity and acceptability of the research results. Of greater importance is the ability of the chapter to bring out the different samples and how they will be applied to generate the results for later analysis. It will be particularly effective in bringing out the essence of interlink between the primary data sources and the available secondary materials owing to lack of enough research on the same topic. Furthermore, by providing the ethics as observed and applied in the study, the limitations and how they will be addressed, the chapter will raise the overall acceptability of the results achieved during the process. It is from the above consideration that the researcher holds that the methodology used will be effective in addressing the earlier stated problems and therefore draw the most effective conclusions.
Results and Findings
Presentation of results plays an important role in ensuring that they are easily understood and is an avenue through which research findings can aid in developing a deeper understanding of a problem. This chapter presents the results which will then be followed by analysis and discussions with the sole aim of ensuring that the objectives and the questions that the study sought are addressed.
The study entailed collecting primary data using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, analysing and using the result to address the research questions then draw conclusions. A total of 600 questionnaires were presented to the designated marketing managers, retailers and consumers interacting with PZ Nigeria PLC products for collection of primary data. Of the 600 questionnaires, 580 were taken by designated individuals in the organisations for filling. From the 580 questionnaires taken, 470 of them were returned to the selected collection points set location, of which 50 were found poorly filled thus could not be used for analysis. This was because as they did not meet the set standard. With exception of the 50 poorly done questionnaires, the rest were forwarded for qualitative analysis. Considering the number of administered questionnaires and those that were returned filled correctly to the required standard the rate of response was slightly more than 60%. This was considered a commendable response rate considering the various operations carried out by respondents. Majority of the respondents were caught up in their duties to such an extent that it was a major challenge to fill in the questionnaires.
In addition to the questionnaires, interviews were conducted which involved the management and other selected employees of the organisation. Secondary data was collected from the company websites, journals, internet, and magazines. Through data collected from the questionnaires, interviews and the secondary sources of data, a considerable number of respondents constituting about 55% of the total sample were found to be attracted by packaging designs of products, a consideration that prompted them to purchase and re-purchase them. It is also imperative to underscore that from the study, it was evident that packaging was not very common among businesses that feared its cost in spite the fact that most organisations understood its significance in marketing. The vast majority of the organisations did not have a packaging framework in place, but had a hierarchical structure for controlling and managing marketing operations and activities. Organisations with a no framework in place constituted about 70% of the total sample indicating that the vast majority of businesses in the Nigerian Industry are still using the traditional method of marketing.
The aspect on whether packaging of products enhanced the ability of buyers in Nigeria to by products from PZ Nigeria PLC led to interesting findings regarding the perceptions that the respondents had on packaging of products. 155 respondents of the respondents were of the view that packaging improved the appeal of products in the market. This figure is representative of 61.8% of the respondents while only 38.2% of the respondents were of the view that what could appeal most was quality and not package. The ratings of the perceptions that respondents had on packaging is presented in the table below.
|Rating||Total Number of respondents|
The findings clearly show that a majority give the assertion a higher rating though 29.3% of the respondents give the assertion a rating that is less than half which is reflective of their negative perception of the statement.
A look at the findings that have been developed as being representative of the respondents’ perceptions of the risks associated with known form of environmental degradation shows little difference from their perception due to packaging. The results presented are reflective of the close correlation between the ratings and the perceptions of key threats that e-commerce businesses institutions are faced with.
Discussion and analysis
Presentation of research data plays a crucial role in ensuring the results obtained are easily understood and in addition to that provide a platform where research findings can be used for development of an in-depth understanding concerning the problems at hand. In addressing the research problems adequately an understanding of the results is essential. Conversely, analysis and discussion of the results is important in ensuring that the research takes the right direction and the research questions addressed adequately. This section seeks to address the research questions and objectives, thus contains findings and analysis of data.
The main issues that the research set forth to address are the importance of strategies related to marketing of consumer goods in Nigeria by PZ Nigeria PLC. It is evident that an analysis of the results is required to be able to address issues that have been highlighted as being central to the research. The use of averages as an analysis method is employed in research in developing a clear picture of the observations.
An analysis of the main environmental threats that businesses and the community are faced with due to product packages uses both the perceptions that have been developed as the three main risks and the ratings of the risks by the respondent. This multiple mechanisms is mainly aimed at ensuring accuracy and reducing chance of erroneous entry by ensuring that random errors are randomised thus the research is minimally influenced by external forces. It is important to note that though no formal approach to sampling is employed by the research, analysis employs a basic sampling approach where the respondents involved are representative of the general perception that professionals in marketing and the environment have of threats that the community using packaged products is faced with.
The ability to colonize a market in Nigeria by PZ Nigeria PLC has been based on its capacity to integrate consumer demands within the product packaging design and therefore improve the utility of the products being supplied to consumers. It came out clearly from the study results that PZ Nigeria PLC products were familiar to majority of Nigerian residents and some of those who were conversant with them used them mostly for leisure purposes. It was also clear that bulk of the residents had special preference for the brand, the cost of its products and the quality it brought with it. Of greater consideration was the sense of comfort and style of PZ packaging designs. It was also evident that the market preferred products of PZ Nigeria PLC and strongly believed that the company would improve its productivity in the business realms. Besides, reports from respondents in the study indicated that they would prefer to buy PZ products that had more and newer features that would enhance their usability.
Equations used for the analysis of the study
Data analysis techniques
The data collected fro this study will be put into tables and reflected in percentages. The latter will be ideal for the process of analyzing obtained responses. The percentages will be used to derive the number of respondents that agreed or disagreed with the question.
For the purpose of this study, one of the data analysis techniques that will be employed will be the chi-square of independence and homogeneity. The distribution of Chi-square (X2) is used to test a sample of items. This is done for reasons of deciding whether or not the items in the sample are distributed according to expected distribution guides and pre-conceived patterns. These methods are often referred to as goodness of fit test. This is because they are used to test whether or not a distribution population conforms to contain pattern.
X2 is computed as follows:
X2 = ∑ (Of – Ef)2
Where X2 stands for Chi-square, ∑ for summation, Of for observation frequency and Ef for expected frequency
The chi-square calculated (X2cal) is often computed with the value of chi-squared (X2tab) before inferences can be made. In determining the appropriate X2tab, the degree of freedom (df) and a level of confidence (significant level) are usually determined first, df is computed as follows (R – 1) (C – 1) where C is the total number of columns and R is the total number of rows.
The level of confidence () is usually tied to the researcher’s best judgment. For the purpose of this study, it shall be put at 0.05. This means that the researcher expects a 95% level of confidence that the same result would be obtained if the analysis were to be carried out again given the same data and prevalent conditions at the time of the research.
After comparing X2cal with X2tab, if X2cal> X2tab, the decision rule is to accept the alternative hypothesis (H1) and reject the null hypothesis (Ho). However, if X2cal< X2tab, the decision rule is to accept the null hypothesis (Ho) and reject the alternative hypothesis (H1).
Mann-Whitney U Test
This non-parametric test assesses whether two outcomes are obtained from a single distribution. The test examines two independent samples from the same population. A null hypothesis with the proposition that the probability that one observation, (X) exceeds another (Y) is 0.5. This is represented as P(X>Y) = 0.5. Alternative hypothesis is set as P(X>Y) <0.5, P(X>Y)>0.5, or P(X>Y)≠0.5. The value of U is calculated as follows
N and M are the observations represented by X and Y in the hypothesis. The Mann-Whitney U Test will be used in measuring the relationship between independent variables in the study. Every two independent variables will be given the M and N as the main representations. The data will then be assimilated from the statistics collected from the respondents.
Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test
The Wilcox on statistic is defined as follows
This test is commonly used to compare data before and after manipulation of an experiment in order to compare whether the results are similar. It is most effective where there is abnormal distribution. This equation will be used to test and compare the data before it is manipulated incase abnormal distribution will be recorded in the field. Therefore its application will be dependent on the normality of results that will be assimilated from the study.
Kendall’s tau rank correlation
Kendall’s tau test measures the degree of correspondence between two variables through assessing the significance of how the two are correlated. To present the outcome, Kendall’s tau makes the use of 1, -1 and 0. 1 represents perfect agreement between the two rankings. This is an indication that the rankings are similar. -1 shows that there is a disagreement and that their relationship is inverse. 0 represents rankings that are completely independent. Increasing values towards 1 from -1 indicate increasing ranking agreement. The Kendall tau coefficient is calculated as follows:
This method will be employed to test major relationship between dependent and independent variables to establish their agreements with the hypothesis. Therefore, any two variables results will be assessed to nullify or disqualify the hypothesis of the study.
Spearman’s correlation coefficient
Just like the Kendall tau rank correlation, Spearman correlation uses 1, -1 and 0 to evaluate the relationship between two variables. It is represented by rho (ρ); a Greek letter and is calculated as follows
di represents the difference between the two variables under examination (Xi and Yi)
n is the number of values being studied.
A value of 1 represents perfect agreement between the two rankings which means that the rankings are the same. -1 shows that there is a disagreement or reverse relationship. 0 represents rankings that are completely independent. Following the establishment of the different responses through the Likert scale, Spearman’s correlation coefficient will be used to establish the agreement of two variables in relation to the established hypothesis. If the result of two variables (dependent and independent) indicates -1, this will be a disagreement with the hypothesis while +1 will indicate a positive correlation.
Recommendations and future studies future studies
Due to the levels of competition brought about by the vast globalization demands and awareness on the packaging as a marketing strategy, sustainability of the environment a business operates in as an issue has become one of the key factors that greatly affect its marketing growth and development. Corporate social responsibility strategies have been developed to ensure that an organisation’s product packaging with relations to marketing is as beneficial to its stakeholders, consumers and the environment as it gains from them. It is however evident that poor business and government policies and reputation targeted packaging strategies all present a breeding ground for poor practice with respect to sustainability.
There is need to refocus on the demands that a community has in order the nature of packaging its members prefer with regards to health, purchasing power and cultural issues. It was clear that most of the communities in Nigeria still live well below the poverty line. The packaging practice conducted by PZ Nigeria plc may impact on cost of products making them expensive to the poor. PZ should establish the necessary programs that can reduce the cost transferred to products due to packaging.
The government should play a bigger role in the whole system to ensure that the company assimilate the necessary internationally recommended standards of relating with its neighbours and it assimilates the full responsibilities that relate to all the externalities arising from its packaging operations. Particularly, selective licensing of organisations and ensuring that all organisations are appreciative of the environment that they operate in and operate in a manner that is in line with objectively developed social, economic and environment policies should be factored in the PZ Nigeria PLC strategies to enhance its commitment towards addressing the emergent problems.
In conducting the study, the companies’ social, cultural, management and economical environments were not fully covered in spite of them having a significant effect on the model of marketing being used by PZ Nigeria PLC. Every nation has its own culture which dictates the society norms thus controlling the choice and preference of a product. The influence of culture on the society might be passed on to the companies within the country thus affecting the way strategize their packaging designs and conduct their promotional activities in the market. Furthermore, each company may have own culture which has been there for a long time in helping it maintain compliance with the laws and regulations as well as for providing it with a competitive edge. This is therefore indicative that culture might have a significant influence on the packaging and marketing practices of companies in Nigeria thus raising the need for future studies to focus on the effects of culture on the marketing models used by PZ Nigeria PLC.
Additionally, social factors may also have a direct or indirect effect on packaging of products presented to consumers by PZ Nigeria PLC since they influence the customer’s purchasing behaviour. This in turn affects the operations and processes within an organisation through decisions being made focused on meeting the needs of the customers in time as well as attract more customers. Social factors inclusive of the level of literacy and poverty in the country might have an impact on the marketing models adopted by PZ Nigeria PLC. The use of packaged products especially those with information regarding products or brands might be influenced by the two social factors. High literacy level might be indicative that sophisticated technology used in designing packaged goods may attract knowledgeable customers and significantly raise their demand in the market.
However, the reverse might be the case with high illiteracy level. High illiteracy level calls for simple goods and services to meet the customers’ needs. Poverty on the hand might have a significant impact on customers’ purchasing power as high poverty level would imply low purchasing power. Poverty and literacy level might therefore have an effect on the decision made concerning the technology used by an organisation to produce and design packages for goods. This in turn might have a significant influence on the packaging and marketing models implemented by an organisation. Consequently, the two also influences the type of model implemented by organisations as meeting customer needs forms part of the core objectives of the organisation. As a result of their influence on the business processes and model type, further studies needs to focus on the impact of social factors on the models being used by PZ Nigeria PLC.
Management of the environment was also considered in the study. A lot more needs to be done as the more an organization packages its products, the higher the chances that the packages like plastics may find their way into the environment and cause pollution. Decisions concerning the models implemented in an organisation are normally done by the management as decision making within organisations is amongst the responsibilities of the management thus indicative of the importance of management in choosing safe methods to be implemented in the organisation. Management in most organisations is normally divided into three senior, middle and lower management.
The three entities play an important role in the adoption and maintenance of ethical marketing practices and in the formulation and implementation of marketing strategies. Coordination between the three levels of management in an organisation is important in ensuring that the models chosen meet business and environmental needs. Furthermore, in spite of the senior management being the prime decision maker the relationship with other management personnel can influence the decision made significantly. It is therefore imperative for further studies to be conducted focusing on the effects of the management environment on business marketing and packaging strategy alignment. This is because a management plays a critical role in organisation which should not be neglected as without adequate management organisations might not be able to meet their needs in time as well as their services may not be of the required quality.
Furthermore, economic trends within a country might influence business activities and marketing operations in an organisation. Economic trends vary geographically and from time to time thus implying different nations may have different levels of economy. Businesses and economies usually have relationship which to a significant level might be considered mutual as businesses influence the economy within a country which on the other hand affect the operations and activities of the enterprise. Low or depreciating economy might require companies to adopt frameworks which lower business expense thus saving cost.
In addition to that, low economy will limit business growth since it is reflective of a low market thus not imperative to expand business operations and activities. High and stable economy on the other hand might be reflective of adequate room for business growth as a result of a growing market. As a result of the significant impact of the economy on businesses, decision made within an organisation concerning its business processes are usually aimed at maximising the benefits availed in the market. Since the study never focused on the economic environment despite its significant impact on business operations and processes, future research needs to concentrate on the impact of economic on the models being used by PZ Nigeria PLC.
All factors which were missed out inclusive of those not discussed in this section could be considered in future studies concerning the packaging methods applied by PZ Nigeria PLC. Considering all the factors particularly the critical ones would enable more customised solutions to be prepared for each organisation by evaluating their capabilities, revenues, model cost, market share and potential market capacity, and the demand. Future studies would therefore play an important role in bridging the gap in this study as well as in equipping organisation with more knowledge and skills considering the models which are appropriate for aligning business functions and product packaging systems. Furthermore, research studies normally have limitations which influence their results adversely however carrying out numerous studies ensures that the limitations are considered and ways of eliminating them put in place thus increasing the level of accuracy, precision and in addition make the results reliable.
The ability to colonize a market in Nigeria by PZ Nigeria PLC has been based on its capacity to integrate consumer demands within the product packaging design and therefore improve the utility of the products being supplied to consumers. It came out clearly that PZ Nigeria PLC products were familiar to majority of Nigerian residents and some of those who were conversant with them used them mostly for leisure purposes. It was also clear that bulk of the residents had special preference for the brand, the cost of its products and the quality it brought with it. Of greater consideration was the sense of comfort and style of PZ packaging designs. It was also evident that the market preferred products of PZ Nigeria PLC and strongly believed that the company would improve its productivity in the business realms. Besides, reports from respondents in the study indicated that they would prefer to buy PZ products that had more and newer features that would enhance their usability.
It is from the above results that PZ Nigeria PLC marketing strategy has a very high potential due to the readily available market in the country. With over 70% of the respondents indicating that they are exposed to related products through the internet, magazines, and stationary adverts like bill boards, the company should invest in similar strategies to popularize its products. An integrated system that seeks to create more value with a local appeal should be assimilated to enhance further acceptability of the company’s products in the country. Finally, the company should strongly move forward and expand its market in Nigeria to reach more people, increase the sales, and profitability too.
The study involved collection of data from both the primary and secondary sources. The primary sources included use of surveys, questionnaires, and interviews for the different respondents. Accordingly, the use of primary data aids in provision of first hand information that is highly reliable in addressing marketing issue at hand. On the other hand, secondary data was used to generate deeper understanding of the packaging practice in terms of the theoretical orientation. Besides, since earlier research on the same provided an insight into similar cases related to the relevance of packaging on marketing of consumer goods, secondary sources prevented repetition which is considered to be wasteful in research.
Following the nature of the study in question, the research assumed a highly qualitative nature as it related with the efficacy of the strategies being employed by the company. Indeed, as indicated by the questionnaires, the study sought to generate the perception of the respondents within the sample population in determining the effectiveness of the strategies being employed. The questionnaires questions were developed in a manner that it was easy for the respondents would understand them easily and the researcher would be able to effectively analyze the response. SPSS special software was employed to analyze the findings and generate appropriate recommendations. Employing SPSS method was considered to be effective in this study as it made it possible to reduce the error margin for the study and therefore raising the overall viability. The uniqueness of packaging, its effect in differentiating available goods both for consumers and immediate environmental benefits has indeed changed the practice of marketing that is being conducted by various organizations operating in different industries. The relevance of packaging in marketing campaigns for products has indeed developed due to competitiveness in the global market arena. As such, packaging becomes a major marketing strategy aimed at improving the overall product outlook and aids in ensuring that a firm competes favorably with already established competitors.
In addition, it is imperative to mention that packaging as a means of marketing consumer goods is one of the most vital procedures any other organization engages in bearing in mind that it acts as an important mark of a brand besides protects it for longer period storage before consumption. Sustainable packaging therefore prevents wastage and reduces the overall going back for more resources. Changing of packages for products presents a new quantity or form in the products thus making them more satisfactory to new target markets or regular customers.
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