|dc.description.abstract||The exact nature of the point of sale can vary considerably, from huge hypermarkets
to roadside stalls and cafes. At each of these, the consumer is faced with a dizzy array
of products to choose from. In all of these instances, packaging can provide the trigger
for differentiating the product and hence to purchase it.
In the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry, almost 70% of the purchase decision
are taken at the point of sale. Effective packaging at the point of sale can render huge
opportunities for a company, as this can allow the product to stand out against
competitors, evoking emotions from the consumer to purchase their product.
Unilever is the second largest consumer goods company in the world. Predominate
product categories include the food and home care businesses. In South Africa they
dominate the laundry market with well-known brands such as OMO, Skip, Sunlight,
Surf etc. As part of their growth strategy, much focus is placed on harmonisation of
product and packaging development. Apart from aligning product formulations, this
strategy also includes aligning pack designs. It is therefore critical that before any
decision is made on changing pack designs to conform to global standards, that an in-depth
study be undertaken in order to assess how changes in packaging elements
affect the South African consumer. It is also important that all involved in the local
packaging value chain, ie artwork agencies, packaging suppliers, company brand
development members, are in tune with what the local consumers want.
The objective of this research is to establish which (combination of) packaging
elements (ie colour, shape, materials and design) in laundry products are most
effective in influencing consumers purchasing decision. The study focussed
specifically on Surf LSM 7-8 consumers in Durban.
The research further looked at which packaging elements associated with the Surf
brand influence purchase decision as perceived by members of the packaging value
chain (artwork agencies, packaging suppliers and company's brand development) and
compared this to findings in the consumer segment. This was done to evaluate how
effective the packaging value chain is in delivering an effective package to the target
The research was carried out as follows:
1. A literature review to gather knowledge about packaging elements and its
communicating capability of messages in order to identify which elements have
2. A quantitative study to gain insight into which attributes of packaging elements
are most effective in communicating specific product attributes associated with
the Surf platform.
3. A semi-quantitative study to gain insight into which attributes of packaging
elements are effective in influencing a consumers purchasing decision
It was found that respondents from brand development had a good understanding of
Surf consumers' current image of the brand. Artwork agencies and packaging
suppliers need to become more involved with consumer research and immersions in
order to bridge the gap in better understanding what the brand stands for.
The colour blue still remains the main visual cue linked to the Surf brand. There could
be an opportunity for the colour red to be used effectively in order to depict
brightness. There is also a possibility that flexible packaging would be more
appealing provided that opening/closing could be improved.
Holographic designs should definitely be incorporated onto a Surf pack.||en