Do you use packaging to help determine the quality and value of a product? If so, you are not alone. In marketing, we discuss the four Ps – product, price, place, and promotion. In reality of course, there are more than just four – a powerful fifth P is “packaging.” Packaging has the power to guide and influence consumer behavior. A creative package has the ability to totally change how a consumer perceives a product. Case in point: Suave.
Suave’s mission was to get beauty bloggers to try – and love – Suave’s low-cost shampoo. But instead of telling the bloggers it was Suave, the company repackaged and renamed the product “evaus.” (Suave spelled backwards.) The beauty bloggers were then sent the new product and asked to use it for two weeks. Their responses were overwhelmingly positive. When the bloggers later attended an event in New York, it was revealed to them that they were using Suave, and not a premium-priced shampoo.
The subterfuge helps the company position itself for price-conscious millennial women. It also reinforces the notion that we can’t judge a book by its cover, or a shampoo by its bottle.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the role that packaging plays in marketing a product.
- Show the Suave case: https://secure.suave.com/campaigns/trying-is-believing/
- Divide students into teams. Have each team identify at least three products with packaging they like, and another three products with poor packaging.
- How does packaging influence perception about the product and quality?
- Next, assign each team a common household product and have them design new packaging.
- Debrief the exercise by showing the packaging and asking for responses.