The Silent Salesmanship of Products and Services

Branding is a practice which involves an enterprise or a company giving an identity or name to a group of its products. The purpose of branding is to make the product well-known. It also makes the product unique and distinct it from other similar products.

Brand Name is the name given to a product by the company that makes it. For example, the brand name of Nestle Company’s food beverage product is Milo. Other common brand names include Eveready Battery, Toyota, Benz, Nokia, Mon Ami poster colour, Crayola crayons etc. Some products, apart from the brand name, also bear the names of particular shops and companies that produce or sell them. It is an offence punished by law to use someone else’s registered brand name for your product.

On the other hand, packaging is a collective term that refers to all kinds of containers in which goods are packed for easy and safe handling, distribution and sale. It embraces the designing and testing of containers and the looking out for suitable materials as packages. It is usually referred to as the “Silent Salesman” due to the fact that itself can sell or market the product without the producer campaigning for it. Packages are varied. Examples include boxes, cartons, wrappers, labels, baskets etc.

A wide range of materials can be used in the designing and production of packages. Some of these materials include cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, fabric, straw, polythene, Styrofoam etc. The choice of any of these materials for the building of a package is dependent on some factors. Such factors include the kind of product the package is intended to protect, its transportation, the period or duration for the safe keeping of the product etc.

Also, in the selection of a suitable material as a package for a product, the artist should consider seriously the size, shape, and design of the product as well as the background of the intended buyers or market group. This largely dictates the choice of material to be used for the designing and construction of the package.

A well designed and constructed package plays various key roles for the product, manufacturer and even the consumer. Some of the roles are:

1. Protection: It protects the product from external destructive influences such as water, gas emissions, spoilage, light, heat etc.

2. Identification: It assists greatly in the identification of the product. Without it people cannot distinguish between the product and its competitors. It prevents imitation of the product and ensures that right standards are maintained.

3. Information: A good package is informative. It informs consumers about how to use the product, store and prolong its lifespan. It also gives them information as to where and how to contact the manufacturers should they have a query about the product.

4. Convenience: Packages help in the smooth transport of products from one destination to another without difficulty. It makes the product easy and safe to handle, carry about, keep, shelve, display and open with ease.

5. Quality: A good package also enhances the quality of products. It adds an extra market value to it and ensures the promotion of its sales.

There are three main categories of packages. The type of material used for the construction of the package, the role it plays for the product and its lifespan helps us to know its category.

Primary packages are the first package that is next to the product. They usually wrap and/or seal the product and sold individually. Examples are toffee, a bar of chocolate, a box of matches, a box of chalk and a pair of socks.

Secondary packages are the second package next to the product after it has received the first or primary package. These individually packaged goods are put together (sometimes in dozens) into a large container as a unit for the market. The large container therefore is a secondary package. Examples of secondary packages include a carton of milk, a crate of minerals (Fanta) and a sachet of wrapped toffees.