C&D plc manufactures breakfast cereals. The packaging used is bright and colourful and has the brand name clearly printed on the front of the packet in large letters. The outer packet is made of cardboard to keep its shape, so it will stand up on the shelves in shops and prevent the contents from being crushed. The side of the packet contains information about the nutritional qualities of the product. There is also a special offer printed on the outside of the packet to encourage consumers to buy the cereal. There are tokens on the packet to be cut out, collected and then sent off to receive a free gift. The cardboard packet has inner packaging to keep the product sealed in and fresh until it is purchased and consumed by the customer.

a)    Comment on the packaging strategy of C&D manufacturers.

b)   What other sales promotion techniques can be used to increase the sales of breakfast cereals?

c)   What is branding? Give the essentials of a good brand.                             

Expert Answers

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This packaging strategy follows the marketing model that considers:

  • safe- the materials do not shatter, like glass, and make the product less heavy to the touch. Moreover, the nutritional facts posted on the back let the consumer feel safe that they are in control of what they eat.
  • reachable- the position on the aisle make the product easier to each and, again, the packaging materials are not slippery, nor do they react to the room temperature, which means they will not feel too cold or too hot to the touch.
  • functional - especially for environmentally-aware consumers, the packaging does more than merely contain food: it offers specials, nutritional facts, and redeemable points. It is like re-marketing the product all over again.
  • easy to remove- offers clear instructions of usage.
  • promotional- makes the customer engage with the product via special savings, loyalty points, and cut-out activity.
  • unique- the bright colors are representative of the brand and help the consumer remember it. 
  • re-branding- again, the promotional nature of the packaging sells the brand twice: once by selling the product, and twice by engaging the consumer with it with "extracurricular" activities at home. 

Branding is at the heart of marketing. It is the making of a brand into a household name that can be remembered in everyday human dynamics. You know that you have "branded" when people use the name of your brand to refer to OTHER brands. For example, when people use "Coke" to refer to any cola product. The color, motto, productivity, taste, logo, and particular traits of the brand must be integrated into the consumer "psyche" through commercials, billboards, and other media communication...this includes even offering free and sampling promotions. It is no different than the strategies used in politics, but for a different purpose.

Other ways to promote a product, such as the cereal, to improve the branding of it includes:

  • crowd sourcing (think about websites such as Crowdtap whose mission essential is branding with potential consumers)
  • influencing (think of platforms such as Influester, Klout, and Perk, whose mission is also to integrate a brand into communities and make them household names)
  • contests
  • loyalty/rewards programs- to ensure that consumers "come back"
  • community service- when brands seem to care about youth, social issues, and lower socioeconomically affected groups, the consumers are usually quite moved. Again, it is almost like political campaigns.

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