Product Packaging Designing Kimberly Clark Company

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The report relates to Kimberly Clark Company which deals with production of a wide variety of consumer products. One such product includes Huggies which are disposable diapers. The firm’s management team recently made a decision to conduct product packaging designing for its Huggies product. The core objective is to improve on its competitive advantage by increasing the level of its sales. In order for product package designing to be effective, it is vital for the management team to consider a number of factors. Some of these factors include number of units to be included in a single unit, consistency of the design to be used, supply chain and environmental consideration. Determining the number of units will enable the firm to market its products to a wide range of customers. On the other hand, consistency will enable its products to be well positioned in the market. Product packaging designing should also consider environmental issues such as pollution. The material used should not result into environmental pollution. Other parties in the supply chain such as retailers and wholesalers should also be considered since their decision to carry a particular product is determined by effectiveness of its packaging (McNeal & Ji 400). The legal environment gives an analysis of how the entrepreneurs can benefit through packaging designing. The report also outlines the benefits of the research. In addition, the report also gives the procedure to be undertaken and possible problems and limitations to be experienced. Finally, a conclusion and recommendations are given.

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Introduction

In the 21st century, the business environment has witnessed numerous changes. This has culminated into an increment in degree of complexity in the process of business operations. One of these relate to the rampant rate of evolution in relation to branding. This transformation can be associated with the high rate at which firms are incorporating the concept of product packaging redesigning. Firms in different economic sectors are increasingly integrating the concept of product packaging in their operation. This arises from a decline in product lifecycle due to changes in consumer demand. The resultant effect of changes in consumer behavior is an increment in the rate at which consumers are seeking new and improved products in their consumption pattern.

Kimberly Clark is one of the firms that have recently considered incorporating the concept of product packaging designing. The firm deals with production of a wide variety of paper products. The firm’s management team has come to a consensus to incorporate product packaging design on its Huggies products (disposable diapers).

Pride, Hughes and Kapoor (p. 377) define packaging to include all activities that are undertaken in ensuring that graphics are integrated in the container in which the product is packed. These scholars assert that packaging is a vital element in the process of product development. This results from the fact that packaging leads into an improvement in product safety, safe to use and makes the product to become more versatile.

In an effort to ensure that product packaging is undertaken more effectively, entrepreneurs are increasingly incorporating the concept of product designing. Over the years, product packaging has proved to be effective in firm’s operations. This is evident in that it has enhanced firm’s communication and engagement with its customers. In addition, product packaging design has had the capacity of influencing consumers purchasing patterns. Product designing refers to the process of determining and specifying the various parts of a product and how they are interrelated so that they can become unified. According to Calver (p. 26), product packaging design does not occur in a vacuum. Considering the current development with regard to increased integration of product packaging, there are a number of factors which guide the process. Some of these factors include need to increase sales level, attain a high market share and to become re-focused to consumer demands (Calver, p. 26). In order for firms to succeed in the long term as going concern entity, it is vital for them to integrate the concept of product packaging design.

Purpose

The report is aimed at analyzing how entrepreneurs can effectively incorporate the concept of product designing by ensuring that their products are well packed in an effort to survive in a market characterized by a high rate of dynamism. In addition, the report will also analyze how product designs developed can be protected through incorporation of design patents.

Scope

The report is organized in a number of sections. The first section entails an analysis of the factors to consider in product package designing. These include number of units, consistency, supply chain and environmental consideration. The legal environment in relation to product package designing is also analyzed. The benefits of the research to the consumer and the firm are discussed. In addition, the report also gives the procedure to be undertaken and possible problems and limitations to be experienced. Finally, a conclusion and recommendations are given. However, the report does not vive the actual cost to be incurred in conducting the product packaging designing.

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Issues to consider in product package designing

Number of units to include in a package

There are a number of considerations that the firm’s management team should consider in the process of developing product packages. Packages can either be in single or multiple units. There is a high probability of the firm enhancing demand for its products by incorporating multiple units packaging. This results from the fact that the amount of products available in a single package enhances its demand at its consumption point. In determining their product design strategy, the firm’s management team should also consider consumer product usage.

Multiple packaging should not be used for products which are infrequently used. This arises from the fact that consumers do not want to tie their money by storing such products for a long time (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, p. 378).However, multiple packaging makes it easier for product storage and handling to be conducted. By incorporating multiple packaging designs, it will be possible for the firm to incorporate other marketing strategies aimed at increasing sales. An example of such strategies includes pricing strategies. Multiple packaging enables firms to incorporate special price offer for instance the 2 for 1 sale strategy. Multiple units packaging may also result into repeated product purchasing amongst the consumers. However, incorporation of multiple packaging for some products may result into a reduction in their demand. This results from the fact that they do not have an option to purchase a single unit of the product (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, p. 379). Therefore, entrepreneurs should make an effective decision on the number of units to include in a single package.

Consistency

It is important for the management team to make a decision on the number of designs that will be incorporated for all its products. In some cases, a firm may decide to use a single design or incorporate a particular major element in a design in promoting all its products. This concept is referred to as family design. This should be incorporated if the firm wishes to improve its public image. According to Machando and Cassim (p. 85), family packaging is mainly applied if a firm has incorporated products mix. This enhances product design in an entire product line. Example of firms which have incorporated family packaging design includes Planter nuts, Weight Watchers Entrees and Campbell Soup. Considering the fact that most firms deal with a wide range of unrelated products, it is important for them not to adopt consistency policy in designing their products. This results from the fact that the different products are for diverse target markets.

The supply chain and environmental consideration

It is important for entrepreneurs to consider other parties within the supply chain in the process of designing their products. Some of these parties include retailers and wholesalers. For example, the entrepreneur should examine whether the packaging design adopted facilitates product transportation, storage and handling. Such consideration arises from the fact that some resellers may not prefer carrying particular products if their handling is cumbersome.

Product packaging designing should also consider various environmental issues. This means that firms should balance between their commitment of ensuring that consumers attain convenience and protecting the environment. This means that it is important for firms to incorporate environmental responsibility in conducting product packaging designing. This can be attained by considering the packaging materials to be used. Pride, Hughes and Kapoor (p. 379) assert that approximately ½ of garbage collected consists of plastic packaging materials of carryout bags or soft drink bottles. Considering that plastic packaging materials are not biodegradable, these packaging materials result into an increment in the rate of environmental pollution.

Legal environment

Incorporating effective product designing in the process of product packaging can result into a firm attaining a high competitive advantage in the firms’ operation. This results from the fact that the legal environment supports various forms of product development such as product design. This has been achieved through incorporation of various forms of protection such as use of design patents, trademarks, copyright laws and trade dress. This is achieved if the products meet the criteria stipulated by law. Legal production of product design takes various forms such as the color used, scents and unique product shapes. According to Chasser and Wolfe (p. 54), protection of product designs demands their owners to have a well developed marketing budget. The budget should be aimed at establishing a strong relationship with the consumers. As a result, the consumers would able to associate certain unique features on with a particular product. In most cases, product design’s lifetime is usually 14 years from its issuance. However, trademarks have a longer lifetime since they can last for the entire period in which the product will be in existence in the market. In most countries, the legal environment enables entrepreneurs to integrate design patent for their existing or new products developed. Design patent is aimed at protecting the appearance of the product (Chasser & Wolfe, p. 54).

Effectiveness of design patents can be enhanced by integrating trademark law. The resultant effect is that exclusivity in the design is attained. In cases where it may take long to attain consumer connection with the design in order to be granted trademark protection, a firm should initially apply for design patent. Later, intensive marketing and advertising should be undertaken. This should be aimed at developing iconic consumer connection with the design developed. The ultimate result is that the firm will be able to apply for a trademark.

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Importance of the research

Through this research, entrepreneurs will gain knowledge on the various aspects issues through which integrating product design in their operation can improve a firm’s efficiency of operation. In addition, the research is promoted by the need to understand the benefits presented to consumers by product packaging designing.

Product packaging designing can be utilized in improving a firm’s promotion process. There is a high probability of a message printed on the product container, its shape and appearance having an effect on the consumers purchasing decision. This can be attained through incorporation of verbal or non-verbal symbols. For example, incorporation of well designed labels can make the consumers purchasing process to be more effective. Product labeling refers to the information presented on a products package. This can either be the product trademark, registered trademark symbol, list of ingredients, package size, content or manufacturers address. It is important for entrepreneurs to consider federal requirements in branding their products (Sharma 3). These requirements differ in accordance with the nature of the products such as edible and non-edible products. Product packaging designing can result into creation of effective market awareness. For instance, it is possible to inform potential customers on the product’s usage, advantages, features and associated hazards. Effective product package designing enables a product to be well positioned both in the domestic and international market (International Trade Center, p. 2).

Product package designing can also enhance customer product loyalty. This can be attained through incorporation of customers’ preference in terms of color, shapes, designs and textures (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, p. 379). Through product package designing, it is possible for entrepreneurs to incorporate aspects such as richness, exclusiveness and luxury. This means that it is possible for a firm to improve on publicity of its products through product designing.

Procedure

To ensure that it integrates product packaging designing more effectively, a number of issues will be considered.

Consumer market research

In their operations, all firm’s activities should be focused at attaining a high level of customer satisfaction. In conducting product packaging designing, a comprehensive market research will be undertaken. One of the variables that the firm will consider is the target customers who are mainly mothers. Through consumer marker research, it will be possible for the firm to design its Huggies products effectively. This results from the fact that the firm will be able to gain insight on market requirements. Some of the issues that will be considered include consumers’ preference on packaging materials to use, color, shape and texture. In addition, the materials to be used will be well described so as to ensure that they can effectively protect the product. As a result, product packaging designing will be able to address market requirements. The necessary materials will be ensured that they are within the firm’s reach. This will culminate into minimization of the cost involved in product packaging designing. Handling materials should be well inspected and maintained to ensure that they meet the stipulated standards.

Competitor market research

A competitor research will also be conducted. This will be aimed at identifying gaps in their product packaging. By capitalizing on these gaps, the firm will be able to effectively position its products in the market through product differentiation.

Problems and limitations

A significant amount of resources will be required in order for product packaging designing to be successful. For example, in conducting consumer market research substantial amount of finances are required. Due to the effects of the current economic down turn, a large number of firms are experiencing financial constraints. This arises from a reduction in their sales volume due to changes in consumer demand. One of the measures that firms have undertaken is cutting their market budget. This presents a challenge in conducting the research. Product packaging designing will also require integration of the current technologies. If the firm does not have such technologies, it will be required to outsource which will come at cost. In addition, the research will also be limited by time constraints.

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Conclusion

Incorporating product packaging designing for its Huggies will enable Kimberly Clark to improve its market performance despite the effects of the current economic recession. Through product packaging designing, the firm’s huggies products will appeal to the market requirements. This will arise from incorporation of some elements of consumer preferences such as color, texture, number of units packed and shape in packaging the products.

Recommendation

In undertaking its product packaging designing, Kimberly Clark Company management team should consider the following recommendations.

  • The firm should consider alternative packaging materials. The materials selected should be biodegradable. Utilization of biodegradable materials will enable the firm to meet environmental requirements. Integration of environmental view point in the process of conducting product designing is vital for a firm’s success in product designing (Chitale & Gupta, p. 222). In selecting the materials to use, the firm should also consider the consumers safety. This will serve in eliminating accidents in the process of using the product.
  • In order to integrate product exclusivity, the firm’s management team should ensure that it incorporates both individual and multiple product packaging. This will enable consumers of different income classes to purchase the product.

References

  1. Calver, Giles. What is packaging design? London: Rotovision Publishers, 2004. Print.
  2. Chasser, Anne and Wolfe, Jennifer. Brand rewired: connecting brand, creativity and intellectual property strategy. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2010. Print.
  3. Chitale, Andrew and Gupta, Charles. Product design and manufacturing. London: PHI Learning PVT Limited, 2007. Print.
  4. International Trade Center. “Export packaging: the importance of packaging graphic design for exports.” Journal of international trade. 27 (2000): 1-22.
  5. Machando, Richard and Cassim, Simon. Marketing for entrepreneurs. Chicago: Juta and Company Limited, 2004. Print.
  6. McNeal, John and Ji, Mark. “Children’s visual memory of packaging”, Journal of Consumer Marketing.20 (2003)5:400-427.
  7. Pride, William, Hughes, Roberts and Kapoor, Jack. Business. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
  8. Sharma, Bed Nath.New Consumer Products Branding, Packaging and Labeling in Nepal.” The Journal of Nepalese Business Studies. London: Prentice Hall. 5 (2008) 1: 1-16.
  9. Writing A business plan. The Product Lifecycle. N. d. 2010.

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