THE IMPACT OF PRODUCT DESIGN AND PACKAGING ON CUSTOMERS PATRONAGE (A CASE STUDY OF LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED)

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       INTRODUCTION
1.1       BACKGROUND OF
THE STUDY   

Product is a universal entity that cuts across all woks of Life. Every organization either profit oriented or socially services do usually have a major focus, which is also the basis for their existence. The major focus is PRODUCT.

Product can be defined as anything that can be offered to the market to satisfy
want or need of the consumer. It is anything that has utility and ability to satisfy consumer’s want. Products are of different types. These include:

  1.  Physical e.g. automobile, book, shoes, etc.
  2. Service e.g. haircut, security agency, estate agency etc
  3. Person e.g. Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Ben. Adebowale, etc
  4. Place e.g. Nigeria, Jerusalem, Mecca etc
  5. Organization e.g. boy scout, Red cross etc
  6. Ideas e.g. family planning, Safe driving etc

The prospect of any product depends Marjory on the design and packaging given to such product. The better the design and packaging given to a product, to better the prospect of such a product. One of the instruments that can be used to measure the prospect of a product is the sales volume of such product, that is the consumer’s patronage. Any product with good design and packaging is most likely to have a higher sales volume than product with poor design and packaging. To select the best design and packaging for the product, the level of the product must be considered. These levels are: (i) Core benefit. (ii) Basic product (iii) Expected product (iv). Augmented product and (v). Potential product.

The core benefit level: This is the fundamental service or benefit that the consumer is really buying. A hotel guest is buying rest or sleep. The purchase of a drill is aiming to buy hotels. Therefore, the product must be designed and packaging to meet the needs or wants of the consumer.

The basic product level: Here, the product must think of converting the core benefit into a basic product and with something, which must accompany it. A designer of hotel room must know that it would consist of a bed, bathroom, towel, desk, dresser and closet.
The expected product level: Here the producer must have the fore knowledge of how the buyer or users of the product is expecting the product to look like, design and package the product in that product will not be rejected.

The augmented product level: It is where the producer will think of producing a product that will meet the desire of the consumer’s more than their expectation and that will also be ahead of the product of the competitors.

The potential product level: The producer has to put all the initial four product level together, design the product across that line and packaged it very well to come out with real product. It must be noted that the design to be adopted for a product must hot be too complex and it must not be too costly to be able to maximize the profit on sales, packaging should also be able to give the product on image for an effective patronage by the consumers.

 

1.1        BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Survival of finest is the mantra of today’s business game. To compete successfully in this business era, the retailer must focus on the customer’s buying experience. To manage a customer’s experience, retailers should understand what “customer experience” actually means. Customer Experience Management is a strategy that focuses the operations and process of a business around the needs of the individual customer. It represents a strategy that results in a win-win value exchange between the retailer and its customers. The goal of customer experience management is to move customers from satisfied to loyal and then from loyal to advocate. This paper focus on the role of macro factors in the retail environment and how they can shape customer experiences and behaviors. Several ways (e.g., Brand, Price, Promotion, Supply Chain Management, Location, Advertising, Packaging and labeling, service mix, and Atmosphere) to deliver a superior customer experience are identified which should result in higher customer satisfaction, more frequent shopping visits, larger wallet shares, and higher profits.
The customer comes to a retailing environment with perceptions about two types of brands: the retail brand (e.g., Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Wal-mart, Macy’s, Best Buy) and the manufacturer or service brand that is sold in the retail stores (e.g., Verizon, Ralph Lauren, Tide, Dell, Private label brand). Here, the discussion is about the retail brand customer experience, although the ideas put forth below could be investigated in relation to the manufacturer or service brand as well.

Packaging plays a major role when products are purchased. After all, it is the first thing seen before malting purchase choices and it is widely regarded that over 50 per cent of purchasing decisions are made at the shelf, or point of purchase. Therefore, packaging which creates differentiation and identity in the relatively homogenous consumer packaged goods industry is therefore highly important.

Packaging has a better reach than advertising does, and can set a brand apart from its competitors. It promotes and reinforces the purchase decision not only at the point of purchasing, but also every time the product is used. Packaging in different serving sixes can extend a product into new target markets or help to overcome cost barriers. Packaging can even drive the brand choice (especially in the context of children’s products). As the market becomes more competitive and shelf space is at a premium, products need to be able to stand out from the crowd and packaging needs to provide more than just functional benefits and information. Under time pressure and in low involvement purchases, less time is spent looking at the detail and information provide on packaging this is especially true in the FMGG category. Research into packaging has found that different packaging cues impact how a product is perceived. Often the packaging is perceived to be part of the product and it can be difficult for consumers to separate the two (the concept of gestalt). Aspects such as packaging colour, typography, illustrations and graphics can influence how a product is perceived. Labeling should not be unnecessarily confusing or misleading in order to hide the poor nutritional/ingredient profile of certain products. The decrease in consumer confidence in food safety is not a result of the number of recalls, but instead the high-profile, long-lasting nature of the food safety is not a number of recalls, but instead the high-profile, long-lasting nature of the safety incidents. Packaging is integral to boosting perceptions of safety and will therefore be an important part of more concerted efforts to regain consumer trust going forward.

 

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This research work is intended to identify some operational constraints of product design and packaging with a view to providing appropriate solution to such problems.

 

1.2        OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The following are some basic objective of the study:

  1. To examine importance of product design and packaging.
  2. To examine the effect of bad product design and packaging on the sales volume of any product.
  3. To examine the impact of good product design and packaging on sales volume.
  4. To identify the secret behind low volume of product sales of the company.
  5. To examine means of increasing the sales volume of the product though good product design and packaging.

 

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The research questions used for this study are as follows:

  1. Product design and packaging increase the sales volume of an organization?
  2. Does product design and packaging increase consumer’s patronage and company’s profitability?
  3. What are the problem encountered in achieving a good product design and packaging?
  4. Is there any significant differences between the product design and packaging and the attainment of the company’s objective.
  5. Are there any effect of product design and packaging on the profit maximization of this organization?

 

1.5       STATEMENT HYPOTHESIS

The hypotheses below are put in place to check whether or not such relationship exists between the product design and packaging and organizational effectiveness.

Ho:      There is no significant difference between the product design, packaging
and company’s sales volume.

Hi:       There is significant difference between the product design, packaging and
company’s sales volume.

Ho:      There is no significant difference between consumer’s patronage and
profitability of the Organization.

Hi:       There is significant difference between consumer’s patronage and
profitability of Organization.

 

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

As a researcher, I believe that the outcome of this project work will widen my knowledge on what product design and packaging really means, and the impact of it on consumer’s patronage and company’s profitability. This work is equally important to the organization. It is worthwhile topic the findings of which will enable all manufacturers to gain an insight into the way by which thy can solve some of their problem they might be facing in product design and packaging. The finding will also be a guide to the organization under study on how to implement product design and packaging to achieve organizational objectives. Lastly, this work will be of help to anybody who has intention for further researches on product design and packaging.

 

1.7       SCOPE OF TUE STUDY

The scope of this research is to examine the impact of product design and packaging on consumer’s patronage with particular reference to LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED Lagos. This is a business organization that has dealing with tangible products. It excludes service oriented business organization so as to allow deeper research into the study.

 

1.8       LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The limitations of this study are in the areas inadequate Finance, time constraint, scarcity of relevant textbooks and uncooperative attitude of the respondents.

Poor Communication: There was some problem on the part of people being investigated. There was communication gap as some people would not understand the English language, the medium of our communication.

Financial Constraints: The financial did not allowed for the staff of Lotus Plastic Nig. Plc. Some staff could be reached while some were always on their field.

Title Constraints: There was no sufficient of time in carrying out the research work by the researcher because of the workload.

 

1.9       HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE CASE STUDY

The name of the company is LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED. This company was fully established in 1991. Before this time, it was a subsidiary company under SCOA NIGERIA LIMITED during this time the name given to it was SCOMODEE PLASTIC INDUSTRY (S PI). In 1991, (S P I) was sold by SCOA NIGERIA LIMITED to Japanese businessman who now renamed it to be LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED. He release enough fund for the running of the company. Research and development was immediately put in place to gain back the lost glory of the company. All competent workers of SPI were retained and other more competent hands were also employed to move the company to a greater height Higher capacity machines were bought to improve and increase the technology and effectives of the company.

LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED has become a household name in plastic both within and outside the country. The name of the chairman and managing Director of Lotus plastic Nigeria limited is Mr Chuctum Chunchung. He is a Japanese by birth and he is a successful businessman in Tokyo with many years of experience. This company focuses mainly on the production of three main products with different lines of product:
The three products produce by the company are: plastic products, laming tube and maggi.

Lotus Plastic Nigeria limited has many customers among them are: Nigeria breweries Guinness Nigeria Plc, Sona Breweries the maker of Maltonic, tusk and Gold larger bear. All these companies buy plastic crates from lotus plastic Nigeria limited.
The company is the major supplier of laming tube to most of the companies that produces tooth plastic, petal cosmetics and Image cosmetics. It is also the supplier of plastic containers to Berger paint and Niger paint. It has gained much ground among its competitors due to the uniqueness in design and packaging of its products. The company also possesses S.O.N and I.S.O. certificates, which give the company an international recognition. This also makes the exportation of its product very easy.

The company has 300 workers as the total working capacity of the company. There is low labour turnover in the company. There is high capacity machines which makes the production faster and of high quality. The engineering department of the company is the one that handle the design and packaging of their product, they make those design and package the product in the way that will make the product looks more attractive to the customers. The company is involved in some social responsibility to develop the area and people living in the area where the company is being located. The company engages itself in the following:

  1. Scholarship award to the best students in the area.
  2. Scholarship of sporting activities.
  3. Donation of relieves materials to the handicaps and motherless homes etc.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART OF LOTUS PLASTIC NIGERIA LIMITED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.10     DEFINITION OF TERMS

Products: This is anything that can be offered to the market to satisfier want or needs of the people.

Design: This is the totality of feature that affects how a product looks and Functions in term of consumer’s requirement.

Packaging: This is the general group of activities in the product planning that involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.

Product Mix: This is known as product assortment. It is the set of all product and items, which a particular seller offers for sale to buyers.

Product Line: It is a group of products that are closely related because they perform a similar function, they are sold to the same customers, group, they are marketed though the same channels or falls within a given ranges.

Product Width: It is the total number of lines of products, which a company produces or offers for sales.

Product Length: This is the total number of items or product in the product mix of a company.
Branding: This is a name, term sign, symbol or combination of them used to identilS’ the goods or services of one company or group of companies product and to differentiate them from that of the competitors.

Line Stretching: Is lengthen the company’s beyond it’s current range.

Sales Response Function: These are term that shows the relationship between sales volume and a particular element of marketing mix.

Competitors: These are firms that are competing with the company’s products. Customer or market share and for the scarce resource.

Sales Forecast: The estimate of firm’s sales or Income for a specific period.

Standardization: It is the agreement upon certain factors affecting an items such as it’s performance, quality and various dimensions.

Simplification: This is deliberate reduction in variety(ies) of a product.

 

 

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