Evaluation of the Role of Product Packaging on Purchasing Behaviour of Consumers

79 Pages   |   19,988 Words

Acknowledgments

 
I would like to thank you my supervisor, Dr Martin Hughes for being very cooperative and providing guidance throughout my research. Without his help it could have become very difficult for me to come up with this piece of research. He enabled me to develop an understanding of the subject, while being exceptionally patient.
 
I would also like to thank my parents for always supporting me with their love and blessings.

Abstract

The research aims to substantiate the magnitude of impact that the packaging of Quality Street plays in influencing consumer purchase behaviour and in turn their purchasing decisions. The nature of the research is primary and a survey questionnaire is relied upon for the responses. The research indicates that packaging is influenced by three variables namely brand communicating ability, aesthetic attributes and the labelling information on the products. These factors directly influence consumer decisions to purchase a product. The most important finding showed that for Quality Street, packaging was not the most important factor, but one of the most important. Hence, this brand was worthy of being researched into in order to deduce how the packaging could be improved, if there was a need. The research consequently, suggested there did exist a need. An extensive primary research is formulated to contribute to the process of analyzing the brand under question and seemingly, policy changes are recommended to augment the performance of the brand.
 
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. ii
Abstract. iii
List of Tables. vi
List of Figures. vii
Chapter 1- Introduction. 2
1.1 Background. 2
1.2 Problem Statement. 4
1.3 Research Questions. 8
1.4 Research aim.. 8
1.5 Research objectives. 8
Chapter 2- Literature review.. 9
2.1 Significance. 9
2.2 Influencing elements of packaging. 11
2.3 Packaging as important Brand communication tool 13
2.4 Usefulness of packaging. 15
2.5 Packaging’s role in behaviour modification. 17
2.6 Improving packaging to increase utility and behaviour change. 20
2.7 Scope of colour and flavour in effective packaging. 22
Chapter 3- Methodology. 24
3.1 Research type. 24
3.2 Research paradigm.. 24
Qualitative research. 25
Quantitative research. 25
3.3 Data type. 26
3.4 Sampling. 26
3.5 Theoretical framework. 27
3.6 Operational Definitions. 27
Packaging. 27
Consumer Purchase behaviour. 28
Brand communication tool 28
Aesthetic attributes. 29
Provision of labelling information. 29
3.7 Techniques. 29
Reliability and Validity of data. 30
3.8 Pilot questionnaire. 30
Additional comments. 30
Chapter 4- Research Findings. 31
Chapter 5- Research Analysis and Discussion. 51
5.1 Analysis of literature review.. 51
5.2 Analysis of primary data. 53
Chapter 6- Conclusion and Recommendations. 60
6.1 Conclusions. 60
6.2 Recommendations. 63
References. 64
Appendix. 67

List of Tables

Table 1-  Level of Education. 31
Table 2-  Employment Status. 32
Table 3 - How regularly do you consume chocolates?. 33
Table 4 - Which brand of chocolate do you prefer?. 34
Table 5 - What do you like about your preferred brand of chocolate?. 35
Table 6 - How frequently do you purchase chocolates?. 35
Table 7 - Describe Quality Street in one word. 36
Table 8 - Rate your preferences in choice of chocolates on a scale of 1-5. 37
Table 9 - What kind of packaging do you prefer for Quality Street?. 38
Table 10 – What is the best way to open a chocolate box?. 38
Table 11 – Would you prefer a more eco-friendly chocolate box?. 39
Table 12 – What part do you think packaging plays in purchasers’ choice of chocolate?. 40
Table 13 – How would you rate the overall packaging of Quality Street; from the box to individually wrapped chocolates?. 41
Table 14 – Which of the following do you think is the most important feature of Quality Street chocolates?  42
Table 15- Which of these factors pertaining to aesthetic appeal affect you the most?. 43
Table 16-  How important to you is the labelling information on a packet of Quality Street chocolates?  44
Table 17 - If you chose any option other than option D, please state as to why it’s important. 45
Table 18 - The purple colour of the packaging influences the decision to buy Quality Street chocolates  45
Table 19 - Which one of the following do you think might increase Quality Street sales?. 46
Table 20- Age of Respondents. 47
Table 21 - Gender of Respondents. 49
Table 22 - Further comments. 49

List of Figures

Figure 1 – Level of Education. 31
Figure 2 – Employment Status. 32
Figure 3 – Frequency of Choclate Consumption. 33
Figure 4 – Brand of Choice in Choclates. 34
Figure 5 – Frequency of Purchase of Choclates. 36
Figure 6 – Preference of chocolate Consumption. 37
Figure 7 – Preference of Type of Packaging for Quality Street. 38
Figure 8 – Way to Open  Box. 38
Figure 9 – Eco Friendly Box. 39
Figure 10 – Packaging Role in Purchase of Choclates. 40
Figure 11 – Overall Packaging of Quality Street. 41
Figure 12 – Important feature of Quality Street. 42
Figure 13 - Aesthetic Appeal Affecting the Most. 43
Figure 14 – Importance of Labelling on Quality Street. 44
Figure 15 –Influence of Purple Colour of Quality Street. 46
Figure 16– Factors might help increasing Sales of Quality Street. 47
Figure 17 – Age of Respondents. 48
Figure 18 – Gender of Respondents. 49

Chapter 1- Introduction

1.1 Background

In this fast paced, technological age the consumers are bombarded with information. With the advent of continually innovating technology and proliferation of mass media, more and more market places are being created, some electronic and over-the-counter; some physical. This also means more and more information being saturated in the consumer mind simply because a wide array of products is now available. With an abundance of information available to consumers, only that information will be retained in their minds that pertain to the products which sets itself apart from others (Campbell and Goodstein 2001, pp. 439-449).
 
Of course, there are many ways of doing it: the product can belong from a niche market, in which there are few products to compare with and hence, chances of consumers being able to retain the information are high. In the words of Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553) aside the development of the product itself, the packaging of the product can dramatically impact consumer perceptions of the product. That can consequently affect buying decisions and thereby, augment sales. In order to effectively communicate with consumers, the marketers are always posed with a challenging job since a lot of pressure is added onto them to enhance communication capabilities. Based on this, immense burden falls on the packaging of the product. Point-of-sales are gaining momentum as do instant buying decisions (Kim et al. 2009, p. 527-553).
 
Evidence from a research indicates that consumers are making the purchase decisions of non-durable products right at the shelves (Campbell and Goodstein 2001, pp. 439-449). Product packaging as means of increasing consumer communication has increased dramatically over the years. In order to effectively gauge the response of consumers towards the packaging of the products, the consumer psyche needs to be understood well (Silayoi and Speece 2007, p.1495 – 1517).
 

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According to Johnson and Myatt (2004 pp. 2-5), the perceived packaging technology tends to have a strong impact on consumer’s plausibility of buying the product. Brand names and brand packaging have been deduced to explicitly impact consumer perceptions of quality.  Most consumers are likely to impulsively buy many products they never intended on buying simply because they find the packaging very appealing. Attractive, sleek, stylish, catchy yet different packaging tends to very strongly influence consumer perceptions about a certain product. This of course, then substantially affects their purchasing behaviour.
 
Relatively less research has been conducted on packaging as compared to that on price and product. Given the limited information on packaging, the marketers are concerned with aggressively promoting the product without offering information that may be deceptive. Therefore, because of the inability of achieving a trade-off between these two dimensions, the government has actively been involved in forming legislations and regulations. The purpose of these regulations that are still in operation is to clarify any confusion of the current or future market place, offer information and provide incentives to marketers to provide innovative products (Kim et al. 2009, p. 527-553).
 Pursuing relationship marketing not only calls for provision of information but also supports complete disclosure of information because customer is the king. Hence, the marketers need to do everything within the realms of this framework to attract, communicate and persuade consumers (Silayoi and Speece 2007, p.1495 – 1517).
 
The product chosen for this research is Quality Street by Nestle. It belongs to the candy industry offering the most delicious assorted chocolates, caramel and toffees any brand can offer. Quality Street is one of the most successful and premium brands of Nestle that are available in the market. The product was launched in 1936 by Halifax confectioner Mackintosh's. This brand was acquired by Nestle in 1988. As a promotional gimmick of the phenomenal product, the more popular chocolates are also sold individually through extensions of the brand. The current varieties of Quality Street include Milk Chocolate Hazelnut with caramel, Chocolate Noisette Pate Chocolate, Toffee Finger, Toffee Penny ,Vanilla Fudge , Strawberry Delight, Coconut Eclair Caramel Swirl, Milk Choc Block , Orange Crunch, Orange Creme  and Toffee Deluxe (TFWA World Exhibition Preview, 2010).
The reason that Quality Street is the item of choice can be delineated by the fact that it is an ideal product for showing the scope of packaging. Not only does the exterior cover show variety and dynamism, but it also contains candies; each one of them symbolizing their own identity and style. There are a few products available in the market these days which pays attention to their packaging so profusely.  United Kingdom is the country of origin for this runaway success product therefore, what better to choose Unite Kingdom instead of any other country (TFWA World Exhibition Preview, 2010).
However, aside the packaging it is the superior taste owed to unmatched ingredients, bright colours, luxury as well as child appeal that has given Quality Street the stature that it enjoys today. These are some of the other factors that can influence consumer purchase behaviour when it comes to purchasing chocolates.
Quality Street is a blockbuster global brand of Nestle that has continued to retain its originality, freshness and taste over the years without compromising on quality even one bit. Since chocolate is a treat that is not age or gender restricted, Quality Street has always been fancied by people of all ages alike. Its individually wrapped chocolates and candies, exquisite packing and distribution of colours say a lot about the brand itself. It promises vibrancy, exhibits dynamism and attaches a certain sentimental value to the brand that tends to play the emotional appeal aspects of the brand (Johnson and Myatt 2004 pp. 2-5).
Quality Street offers scrumptious English candies no one can say no to. The sparkly wrappers and the aura of this product altogether render it as a rare sight to find any candies remaining in the box.
 

1.2 Problem Statement

Quality Street is the brand singularly chosen to which the research has been limited to. Moreover, this research is also carried out to pave way for identifying and strengthening ways of improving packaging of products so as to modify sales. This is owed to the fact that the element of impulsive buying always exists. So if the consumers find the packaging appealing, they are more than likely to buy the product even if they can’t identify any viable need for the product they buy.
In a research conducted by Richards and Curran (2002, p. 63-78) a normative framework is suggested in which a few norms are proposed such as the norm of truthfulness, the norm of sincerity, the norm of comprehensibility and the norm of legitimacy.  According to the research, these norms are keys to designing an effective product packaging. The packaging of a product can serve a many-fold purpose. It can communicate to the consumers the brand name of the company, it can give out the necessary information and it can very effectively define the kind of personality its consumers have, for example in the case of Quality Street: energetic.
This framework of norms can aid the marketers in aggressively positioning its packaging in order to promote its product with efficacy without having to compromise on the provision of information. This approach, which is categorized as aggressive, helps to avoid duplicity of brand communication which would be rendered nothing but redundant (Richards and Curran 2002, p. 63-78).
 
According to Brasini et al. (2005, p. 7-28) this framework provides a benchmark policy makers can use to compare labelling and packaging against, and resultantly, assess any plausible shortcomings. Not only does this lead to the consumers having more knowledge and makes them capable of making informed decisions, but also helps the marketers reduce speculation on the part of consumers. Underwood’s theoretical framework has immense potential for strengthening consumer-marketer relationship which can in turn highly influence the consumer purchasing patterns.
In support of the notions discussed formerly, Stilley et al. (2010, p. 34-47) claims that deviation in known stimuli tends to attract attention. The magnitude of the positive relation can be determined between the attention that a package gets and the degree of variation in the appearance. Based on this, according to that research, a circular relationship exists between the level of variations in the package of the product and the assessment made by the consumer of the product. It is substantiated that in order to derive the right response to packaging, there must exist a trade-off between the attention given to each stimuli and the consumer’s ability to transfer the positive attributes of one stimuli/ packaging to another. This basically calls for the consumers’ capability to identify a connection between like-minded notions. Once that is done, similar packaging can trigger the right response.
A research conducted by Brasini et al. (2005, p. 7-28) tries to establish a relationship between the promotional efforts and consumer purchase behaviour. Sometimes, out of two products having exactly the same features, that product is preferred by consumers which seems more attractive and which they can relate better to. At this point, it is the packaging that helps to develop brand loyalty. The research looks into the role of brand loyalty derived through effective promotion in influencing consumer purchase behaviour. Another motive of this research is to determine whether consumer purchase frequency does in turn influence marketers’ promotional efforts. The relationship is cyclical in nature with consumer behaviour affecting promotional efforts and vice versa.
There are four aspects to the packaging of any product which basically involve four pivotal features. Packaging reflects people’s lifestyle.  It is considered indispensible because of its capability of serving as a protector. Therefore, its first feature is its ability to protect goods. Packaging also serves part of an integrated system. It integrates prevention into packaging development and is more than just about preventing waste. Thirdly, packaging optimization can be achieved in both economic and ecological realms. The recyclable paper bags for instance are an ideal example of how packaging can be advantageous within all perimeters. Furthermore, packaging has attributes of integrating systems and organizations as exemplified by the compliance schemes set up by different members of industry for self help purposes (Reid et al. 2005, p 11-24).
 
Stilley et al. (2010, p. 34-47) shares a similar perspective to that of the other research carried out in this field.  His study investigates the combined effect of brand names and brand packaging on consumer perceptions of quality. It is certain that both impact quality. Therefore, the collective as well as individual impacts of both these factors on consumer perceptions are studied only to deduce that they have a positive relationship with consumer perceptions of quality. The implications of consumer and managerial based research are assessed to gauge how consumers perceive a product compared to those of competitors.
The purpose of the research is to identify what role does packaging play today. Once the value of packaging is determined, the information can be used to realize all the benefits that packaging can seek to attain.  It is crucial that the packaging must be right so it isn’t merely an effort to win a beauty contest. But in fact, is just the right combination of information, style, uniqueness and brand-name-strengthening agent. When consumers are put to compare and choose two products on the basis of external packaging, they are made to over emphasize aesthetics or the differences between two options rather than determining whether the product needs to be bought or not (Stilley et al. 2010, p. 34-47).
 
According to Pinya  and Mark (2007, p.1495 – 1517), the most unique aspect of packaging stems from the fact that it is supposed to spring into action on cultured shelves and has very limited to have the desired effect on consumers, usually about 20-30 seconds. Therefore, only out of the box ideas have a fair chance? Hence, in order for the opportunity to be created, the shelf visibility and ability of the shop needs to be understood remarkably well.  Effective packaging must differentiate itself well from competition. Packaging differs from advertising in the sense that it is positioned directly to its competitors. Since the consumers spend only a measly time on viewing packaging, the package must have a strong ability to communicate on the immediate level.
An effective packaging calls for the consumers’ need for giving their verdict on the entire package under scrutiny, and not just singular attributes that form part of the packaging (Johnson and Myatt 2004 pp. 2-5). This helps to provide an improved accountability and a far better insight. Also, when consumers give their views on part of the product rather than the whole they maybe opinionated and maybe subjected to bias.  A well executed packaged product will always deliver more in less time. It will leave an impact far stronger than that of its rivals and will influence consumer purchasing behaviour positively.
 
Quality Street enjoys the advantage of being the baby under the brand umbrella of Nestle. Already a magnanimous brand, Nestle is well established, has global reach, enjoys brand visibility and its daunting presence stipulated by the unparalleled quality gives most of its competitors a run for their money (Richards and Curran, 2002, p. 63-78). So yes, Quality Street is indeed better off because of being associated to big brand names.
The problem statement can thus be expressed as identifying the scope of packaging in consumer purchase decisions. Based on the magnitude of importance of packaging in consumer purchase decisions, the research can be directed to exploring how consumer purchase behaviour is affected.

1.3 Research Questions

1. What role does packaging play in modifying and improving consumer purchase behaviour of chocolates?
2. How can other exogenous attributes influence the consumer purchase patterns?

1.4 Research aim

The purpose of the research is to assess the magnitude of the impact of product packaging on the purchasing behaviour of customers. The goal is also to ascertain whether consumer purchase behaviour is modified positively by product packaging or not. The aim is also to determine how useful and effective product packaging is in enhancing consumer purchases.

1.5 Research objectives

  1. The Research objectives revolve around investigating whether packaging indeed does play a pivotal role in strengthening brand communication and in turn influencing purchase decisions.
  2. The purpose is to rationalize how Quality Street has ensured that vibrant packaging will optimize purchases for the company.
The areas of research include different marketing modes and means of marketing research. Methods will be adopted to examine the customer response, customer satisfaction and their loyalty towards the brand itself whose packaging is very sleek and exquisite.
  1. The goal is to identify the essential attributes other than packaging that could be intangible, yet extremely influential when it comes to purchase habits for chocolates.
  2. The significance of this research is to evaluate the plausibility of accelerating consumer purchases with eye catching packaging using real life examples.

Chapter 2- Literature review

2.1 Significance

An extensive literature review drafted reviews academic journals covering product packaging consumer behaviour and marketing journals. All relevant material lying within the scope of this research has been carefully analyzed and interpreted.
The purpose of the literature review is to build on the previous findings pertaining to the usefulness, utility and magnitude of packaging in influencing consumer purchase behaviour. In an attempt to enhance the research topic, this review tends to highlight the environmental and aesthetic realm of packaging. Also, light is shed on ways to make packaging more productive for better understanding of the agenda.
Wells et al. (2007, p.677-690) signifies that packaging attracts attention to a particular brand and enhances the brand image in the eyes of consumers. Packaging serves to add uniqueness to the product, individualizing each product so that a difference always stands in the logo and name of like minded products, among other factors. Other than that, some objective attributes to the product are added through packaging.  It is unto packaging to differentiate a product from the rival products in the face of sheer competition. Furthermore, it is the style and execution of the product at the shelves of the supermarkets that stimulate buying behaviours.  This helps to safely deduce what a remarkable role packaging plays in marketing communication where less time to impress and more to deliver the entire offerings is needed. It is thus owed to packaging, that factors crucial to influencing the purchase of a product and buying behaviour become that relevant an issue.
 
According to Yamaguchi (2011, p. 12-21), consumers are substantially impacted by the kind of packaging they are offered for the products that they choose to buy. So much so, that their purchasing decisions tend to take shape from the quality and envrionmental intactness of the packaged product under consideration.  In his research, Yamaguchi concludes that people are willing to pay more for products that have less packaging. A packaging that fulfills its purpose and yet is simple is what is sought after by the consumers. The research demonstrates that consumers associate with recyclable packaging positively as do they with, resaleability.  There is a growing segment these days that is a staunch advocate of environmentally labeled packaging.
As supported by the research above (Yamaguchi 2011, p. 12-21) , no amount of study and analysis can be used to prove the importance of packaging in our lives. Packaging plays a hollistic role; it serves a multiple purpose. Sometimes it soothes the eyes, while at other times, it gives a personalized feel. This gives the product with a more personalized appeal greater likelihood of being picked up from the shelves amidst other fancy brands. Hence, how consumers react to packaging or how they percieve it helps to shape their behaviour.
 
Another way of looking at the significance of packaging is through the ability of effective packaging to minimize waste. According to Langley et al. (2011, p. 161-175) packaging has a pivotal role to play in the optimal utilization of resources, and in doing so it ensures that minimum packing is used so as to minimize waste.  Packaging during its life at a consumer’s home changes perspective from being something of considerable use to something that is no longer of any value, worth or significance. This research emphasizes that there is a need to identify those attributes of packaging that might have an impact on consumer’s transitional usage of products so as to ensure that packaging is reused, recycled or composted with efficacy rather than being gone to waste.
 
Because of the increased health consciousness the world enjoys today, more and more importance is being given to the utility of nutritional labeling. People are willing to pay the extra dollars to get informed about health and health hazards accordingly.  The results of the research pointed to an interesting fact where people who had some dietetic status such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease were more liekly to read the nutritional information available on the packaging. Also noted is the fact that most of the people caring about the nutritional labeling belonged from ages between 36-50 years of age; by and large those people who were more succeptible to health risks. Furthermore, incorporating nutritional labeling would not only allow the food manufacturers to compete in the local market, but would also strengthen their prospects of tapping into the international market through their exports and where adequately informed labeling is legally made mandatory (Ariyawardana and Prathiraja 2003, p. 36-45).

2.2 Influencing elements of packaging

Yamaguchi (2011, p. 12-21) explores the effects of different policy instruments on consumer preferences for less packaging.  It has been proven that there is a relation between green marketing and waste policies. Thus, if environmental friendliness of packaging can be proven through sales promotion, this would help to increase consumers’ willingness to pay as well as increase their frequency of purchase. Moreover, this also increases the competitiveness of the product itself.
 
In the words of Kuvykaite, Dovaliene and Navickiene (2009, p.441-446) packaging elements can strongly affect purchase decisions. They are of the opinion that packaging allows a more detailed analysis of the core product and can help look into its components in isolation that may affect consumer choice.   Kuvykaite et al. (2009, p. 441-446) substantiate that there are six attributes namely form, size, color, material, display and sometimes flavour which must be considered by producers and designers in order to execute an effecient and complete package. This study is also carried out to investigate the efficacy and status of new product packaging and labeling status in manufacturing units. Turns out, most of the producers are using product labels as either mere tags attached to the product or as means of displaying required information and form part of the product.
 
The packaging of fast moving consumer goods is more often than not a tricky job. Inspite of these packaged goods not earning much profit per unit due to low profit margin, they have a tendency to earn remarkably when sold in bulk. Therefore, devising a pragmatic yet appealing packaging that can ensure sales are made and the product retains its functionality becomes excessively crucial and tricky. The packaging needs to be easy to use, strong as well as pleasant to look at (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112). Findings indicate that consumers are advocates of protective, eco-friendly and convenience packaging. In preserved goods, consumers tend to prioritize long lasting packaging so as to ensure that the workability of the product is not compromised.
 
In support with the argument above about the influences on packaging, a research was conducted in order to gauge the magnitude of waste caused by the packaging for which extensive tests were run. This included investigating consumer test methods, current waste and packaging waste studies and packaging design literature.  Other than this, digital diaries, visual surveys and ethnographies were also used in this research to determine the plausible reaction of consumers to packaging of products in and end-of-life scenario (Langley et al. 2011, p. 161-175).  This method can go a long way in interpreting as to what influences consumer decisions regarding packaging. Once that is known, the packaging can be moulded around those decisions in order to minimize wastage. Not only would that lower costs but also would the packaging design and layout be aligned closely to the consumer behaviour.
 
In congruence with other researches conducted on packaging, Ariyawardana and Prathiraja (2003, p. 36-45) have also carried out a research on the impact of nutritional labeling on the consumer purchase behaviour. For the Srilankan food manufacturers inclusion of nutritional labeling is a crucial decision. This research revolves around discovering the market for nutritional labeling. It aims to find whether the market for this form of labeling exists at all and if it does, the research seeks to evaluate its scope. Other than that, the factors affecting choice of nutritional labeling are also assessed. The findings indicate that these include gender, level of education and special dietary status. These three factors are known to positively influence consumer choice for nutritional labeling. However, larger household size has not been known to be more inclined towards labeling.
Thus, households will be attracted to the packaging only when the household size comprises of four people or less because only then will they be able to afford the high cost associated with extensive packaging. Similarly, the research also indicates that the informational labeling can enhance the demand of the food products and can serve as an important strategic goal for the companies in the food business (Ariyawardana and Prathiraja 2003, p. 36-45).
Furthermore, Ariyawardana (2003, p. 36-45) in his exploratory study evaluates the impact of color and packaging as a prime stimulus in the decision making process for low involvement and non-durable goods. The consumers and marketers consider quality, brand and price of product as important factors in deciding which packets of potato chips to purchase. But the younger audience is highly motivated by the color scheme and their favourite celebrity endorsements on the packaging more than anything else.

2.3 Packaging as important Brand communication tool

Silayoi and Spleece (2004, p. 607-628) deliniate that how the use of packaging as means of communication is growing substantially in markets for packaged food products where competition is always a concern. Like other researchers, Siyoli and Spleece also conduct a focus group survey to understand consumer behaviour towards such products. Also analysed are the packaging elements that can affect buying decisions for these consumers. The focus is however on low involvement products where the information displayed is more often than not rushed so as to get merely the work done, and much less emphasis is made on delivering the true information across to the target consumers. Most of the consumers make use of the information given in the labeling of the product, however, they would like it to be further simplified.
 
So the key here is that the marketers understand that the packaging elements are significant communication tools and they integrate packaging into a useful purchase decision model. This would help to modify the research and better negotiate with consumer responses to the understanding of packaging elements (Silayoi and Spleece 2004, p. 607-628).
 
Olga and Natalia (2006, p. 100-112) discuss the dire need of understanding consumer perceptions so as to concurrently design the packaging as well as position the products effectively in the minds of consumers. Ogla and Natalia determine the important graphic variables in the design of the packaging. Other than that, their research helps to associate the packaging used with a positioning strategy. The products were positioned in the minds of consumers using four scales. These were namely alternative packaging colours, alternative pacakging typography, alternative packaging graphical forms and alternative packaging imagery. All these collectively or in isolation influence the positioning strategy that is to be adopted for the consumers since each of these elements tend to have a different response on the consumers.
 
This research contributes tremendously to the field of marketing packaging because it is able to prove that consumers have tended to showcase positive and pleasant perceptions towards product packaging strategies, thereby, exhibiting that these strategies were a success. This could also serve as a breakthrough in the design of packaging because it helps marketers to adequately meet consumer expectations of packaging by not compromising on their level of contentment (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112). For instance, one of the positioning strategies involved consumers to undergo an experiment. One of the strategies was explained by analysing the position mapping of consumers. They were told the price of a certain product and based on that, were questioned on the exact kind of packaging that should accompany the product. The chosen subjects were then shown the characteristics such as colour, imagery, form and typography to choose from. Thus, these packaging alternatives would help the consumers to decide the exact packaging that goes with the price charged for the product.
 
Apart from this, Underwood et al. (2001, p. 403 – 422) carried out a research to help understand the communicative influences of product imagery. The idea of the exploration was to reflect on the ability of packaging in drawing attention to a brand. Results derived from a virtual simulation study conducted under this research show that package outlook tend to increase shoppers’ attention to a brand and thereby, increases the likelihood of them purchasing the brand. An interesting finding of the research indicated that such a generalization is only limited to products which have low familiarity or are relatively unknown. These could include private label brands that tend to have high levels of experiential benefits. On the contrary, the findings of the research suggest that packaging is of pivotal significance to private or national label brands which have strategic goals of enhancing consumer perceptions and have acceptability in the eyes of consumers.
Moreover, Barber et al. (2010, p. 215-237) take the example of the wine industry to substantiate that the quality of a product is pivotal to success when competition is daunting. However, in the case of identical, like minded products consumers will tend to substitute one brand of wine with another. In situations like these, it is more than price and quality that is needed to set the brand apart from the rest. This little extra input can be made through probing other dimensions such as functional and environmental benefits. Integrating the packaging of a product with functionally appealing yet environmentally responsive packaging can help the winery owners achieve an equilibrium between revenue and brand management.
Barber et al. (2010, p. 215-237) further state that such moves could help to achieve customer loyalty as well as doing so could aid understanding the motivational preferences of consumers. Moreover, probing the dimension of packaging can further help to establish relationships between consumer lifestyles.  This research builds towards exhibiting that a concurrent relation between packaging equity and consumer lifestyle, demographic and behavioural characteristics give the marketers a fair chance to gain insights about the consumer eminent needs. Once the perceptive responses have been gained, the marketers can tailor the communication approaches through packaging to appease the consumers as well as augment their revenue generation figures.
It can be noted that several literature is available to demonstrate the efficacy of packaging as a communication tool. In relation to this, Underwood (2003, p. 62-75) has also conducted a research of his own. He tries to extend from the realms of customer brand loyalty, brand relationships and product symbolism to establishing packaging as a supreme attribute of a product. The research digs deep into a symbolic resource base referred to as the mediated and lived experience in the research. Underwood explains these conceptual positioning elements of lived and mediated experience are a direct outcome of packaging. The role of packaging musn’t ever be undermined because it not only transmits symbolism but infact is incredibly helpful in understanding the core brand itsef. Underwood (2003, p. 62-75) further strengthens his point by arguing that symbolism that is communicated by the packaging tends to feature ethics, health consciousness, ethnicity, nostalgia, prestigue, convenience among others. Sometimes the social conotation attached to a brand can serve crucial to the understanding of its sheer existance.
Basing his research on the dynamics of packaging, Underwood (2003, p. 62-75) establishes that a purchased packaged product results into a phenomenon where it lives with the consumer in his home; thereby, rendering the phenomenon of lived experience easy to decipher. An exploratory research is carried out to achieve this purpose and to strengthen consumer-brand relationship for low involvement and/ or consumer non durable products.

2.4 Usefulness of packaging

Furthermore, Birgelen, Semeijn and Keicher (2008, p. 591-611) support the notion that gains can be made through packaging by understanding pro environmental consumption behaviour. This can result in competitive advantages and reputational growth. In this research, a survey conducted on a group of 176 Germans showed eco-friendly usage of goods derives from environmental awareness and the informed environment supportive attitude of the consumers. The analysis undertaken in this research highlights that consumers are socially responsive and active in this time and age that they are ready to abandon all the essential product attributes of the beverages except for taste and price.  The cooperative aspect of the consumers’ purchasing behaviour signifies they are ready to nourish a more ecologically conducive environment. However, as proliferating as this may sound in theory, the truth is it takes a lot more than staunch belief of the consumers to foster a greener world.
 
This basically means that despite the positive findings in the research, the perceived behaviour of the consumers may not necessarily transform into actual behaviour. Hence, there would remain a lag which could be eliminated to satisfy the unproven hypothesis as carried out in the research that positive outcomes of ecological disposal actions may result in actualizing of the eco-friendly behaviour (Birgelen, Semeijn and Keicher 2008, p. 591-611).
 
Murray and Delahunty (2001, p. 419-435) expand the existing research by arguing that the packaging attributes have a remarkable role to play in the consumer purchase process. They are fashioned in a manner to serve as so aesthetically appealing that the consumer cannot refuse buying the product, especially when similar products have occupied the shelf space in the respective case. In that case, it is the packaging only which serves as the point of disparity for a product and makes purchasing items easier for the consumer. The sensory attributes, on the other hand denote those characteristics which exhibit and confirm consumer liking for a product. So while the packaging attributes are of dire significance, they really are useless if consumers are not able to relate with the sensory attributes of the product under question. The research also proposes that sensory characteristics should be conveyed via packaging so consumer expectations can be met.
 
Barry and Murphy (2010, p. 17-33) claim that an effective use that packaging can be deployed to involves it to function as stronger abstaining force and to play the role of a greater authoritarian. Cigarettes can always be sold in smaller packaging which would some what reduce the consumption of cigarettes. Also, strict conditions listed on the packets about no sales of cigarettes being made to minors will ensure that they are not sold illegaly. This would also help to check the usage of cigarettes. However, all these moves will be at the cost of the marketers and producers of cigarettes. Hence, packaging is seen as not fulfilling its purpose in its entirity many a times.
A research aiming to prove that how packaging influences buying decisions formulates a theoretical framework where it begins with the attitude towards packaging. It is very important what consumers make out of the packaging of a certain product. Whether they find it appealing, too flashy, just right, and well executed to allow flow of information or can relate well to the whole concept and idea behind it. Based in this, the consumers are then likely to base their judgements on it. The judgements are logical in genre while emotions play a key role in actualizing the purchase. They are more likely to affect the purchase behaviour of consumers. These factors in combination with the packaging of the product will affect the holistic attitude towards the product itself (Kuvykaite, Dovaliene and Navickiene 2009, p.441-446).
So if the consumers are receptive to the positive impacts of the packaging and emotional, logical appeals; the effect on purchase behaviour will also be positive. This will result in consumers thinking positively about the product and will be encouraged to make the purchase. Thus, the relation between packaging and the product is positive. This then directly shapes the behaviour is consumer likely to adopt. If the consumer gets constructive vibes about the product, his purchase will be modified and made frequent. If the vibes are not strong or positive, then the consumer will repel the purchase. This is a simplistic illustration of how the consumers get affected by packaging and how they react (Kuvykaite, Dovaliene and Navickiene 2009, p.441-446).

2.5 Packaging’s role in behaviour modification

Murray and Delahunty (2001, p. 419-435) administer a descriptive research whereby qualitative means is used to assess consumer response to a brand of cheese. The testing panel tries to derive the results using 20 words by allowing respondents to form word associations. This helped in understanding consumer perceptions for the product.  The sensory characters were explored through 32 aroma, texture, appearance and flavour attributes.  The results showed that  more people rated cheese for sensuary preferance and fewer respondants voted for packaging attributes although the difference between the two was minimal.  Principal component analysis of preference data revealed that consumers had varied packaging and sensory attribute preferences. Consequently, the analysis from the principal components confirmed and explained relationships between sensory and packaging attributes. Hierarchical  cluster analysis was used as well for the same purpose. The profound analysis signified that undoubtedly there existed strong relationships between the packaging, sensory attributes and consumer preferences. However, the patterns of the relationships could only be generalized.
 
Consumer responses and preferences channel their behaviour patterns. Exactly how the packaging tends to have an impact on consumers determines plays a very important role in how consumers are likely to behave later with regard to making purchase of that product.
 
In the words of Barnes et al. (2003, p. 47-51), the design and outlook of a product enjoys tremendous efficacy. It not only provides usability and functionality but also is known for leaving an emotionally rich experience for consumers to remember. The research evaluates the packaging design and presents the experiments which assess the relationship between consumer preference and packaging.  This is executed via questionnaires and focus group study. This study was conducted on confectionary packaging. The findings indicated that a relationship exited between confectionary, packaging, shape and the demographic data of the respective respondent.
 
Barnes et al. (2003, p. 47-51) further suggest that in order to devise a design process which is successful, appealing and enhances the relation with other chosen elements such as consumer profile and shape; there is a need to understand and implement the entire purchase experience. The purchase experience is a long process and involves many elements. It is not limited to the impulsive purchase made in the moment by the consumer. In fact, the purchase experience involves the scope of product purchaser, the product user (since user and purchaser might not always be same) and last but certainly not the least; the reasons for making the purchase. These are the most important part of the purchase process and encircle both the packaging and sensory attributes of a product.
Apart from this, Barry and Murphy (2010, p. 17-33) take the example of cigarette packages to establish that the purpose of health warnings given on the packets is to inform the consumers about the hazardous effects and risks of smoking. However, its efficacy remains questionable largely because of the fact that cigarettes remain a need for the smokers. Since cigerattes are an adictive commodity, the ability of consumers to refuse them no matter what the conditions be, remains dissapointing. Health warnings as pointed out in this research remain alluring for the marketers and producers alike because they are least likely to be affected by the hazards or pricing of a commodity they are addicted to for life. Not only does the marketing of the packaging results in low costs, but also is the reach of health warnings unparalleled to the smokers.
 Although, the packaging of the cigarettes serves as the prime cause of educating and abstaining individuals from tobacco use but the magnitude of the effectiveness of packaging depends on a number of factors.  The size, design, color scheme, logo, position and design all contribute collectively towards incoporating the desired effect upon consumers (Barry and Murphy 2010, p. 17-33).
Barry and Murphy (2010, p. 17-33) also stress that the kind of warning given on the packet tends to have an unsatisfactory effect. For example, unclear and vague warnings will not arouse as much sentiments and concern as would clear warnings with vivid imagery. And if they are associated with solid statistics and factual data, that’s even better. Comprehensive warnings have been known to lead individuals form quiting smoking or atleast be able to make an effort. The motivation and urge to quit, and the recognition of this peril are more pronounced if the visuals are strong and information on the packaging is clear.
In line with the research conducted by Barry and Murphy, Gollety and Guichard’s (2010, p. 82-90) research explores the role of color in the purchasing behaviour of children. It seeks to evaluate that for children, color symbolizes flavour in the case of candies, chocolates etc.  Color plays a pivotal role in shaping consumer decisions because it adds viberance, dynamism and an aesthetic appeal to the product. Fast moving consumer goods targeted to children pay special attention to the visuals, graphics and colors because they are incapable of making a rational purchase decision based on price and quality. In that case, what serves as a plus point for the marketers is that children have a greater scope and chance of being attracted by the colorscheme, visuals and design than many adults would have.
Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553) builds on Gollety and Guichard’s research to propose that the ability of different colors to attract varied attention signifies how effectively they can be used on packaging as effective brand communication tools. Messages represented in color tend to hold superiority over those in black and white. Depending on the desired effectiveness of the message put across, the respective colors are chosen and thus signify the level of superiority they can command.This finding however, is limited only to the parameters of this research and may not be generalized. 
The packaging of children’s products is very strategically designed so as to match their maturity level. It is often more easier to convince and influence the children rather than the adults and hence if the design and attractive gifts to go with the packaging are vested into the final product; the plausibility of children refusing the product would fall to a bare minimum.  Children tend to buy candies or chocolates based on their favourite color or the flavor the color tends to represent.Quality Street is also one such brand which having prided in quality and taste of its chocolate, chooses to make its wrappings bright, discrete and with a glossy finish when it could choose to make it simple yet sophisticated. The point of disparity of Quality Street arises from its brightly colored wrappings, each one signifying its own individual taste. Its like each chocolate has its own identity owing to the different colors and shapes of the chocolates.  It thus, comes as no major surprise that Quality Street has a large target market comprising of youth and young adults keen on flaunting their own fashion statements(Gollety and Guichard’s 2010, p. 82-90).

2.6 Improving packaging to increase utility and behaviour change

Another interesting finding of this research pointed out that for aesthetic products, material usage is most fancied. Contrary to what is usually expected; shape, colour or size are favoured by consumers much less, just like text and graphics. As the results from the research are not conducive to more aesthetically appealing products, there is a need to emphasize visuals on the package, to make the appearance more soothing to the eyes, give the labelling information accurately and invest more in making the design more innovative altogether.  To understand the mindset of consumers is one thing, to manoeuvre it to one’s own advantage is another. Therefore, concentrating on ethics which is one way of doing it is very important (Barber and Taylor 2010, p. 215-237). 
 
A research conducted on cigarette smokers confirms that much of the research on health warnings, product display bans and packaging itself uses an improper methodology. It is considered faulty because the so to speak demand artefact lead to the responses consumers think are right, not necessarily believe are right.  It also assumes that consumers are aware of the influencing factors resulting in their smoking behaviour. In order for the consumer to process a message, it is to be made as relevant as possible (Barry and Murphy 2010, p. 17-33).
 
Moreover, if the essence of the message can be linked with an individual’s identity, self, goals or values; the chances of the persuasive impact of the processed message to fall on consumers increase. Further supported is the fact that health messages can be made more productive through specific content that is to go on the package and in positive framing. Research suggests that health warnings have a more desirable effect if they are transmitted as having positive connotations. For instance, to say giving up smoking will lead to a more fit, productive life is better than saying smoking destroys the lungs (Barry and Murphy 2010, p. 17-33).
 
Yamaguchi (2011, p. 12-21)states in his research that a survey carried out to invesitgate the packaging of body care products involved testing the concsious level of consumers on four aspects. This included price, quality, brand and environmental friendliness. Although the results of this research with reference to the former three were not as significant, the findings indicated that consumers are more attracted towards environmentally sound packaging. So much so that they are willing to pay extra for the products that meet environmental standards. Also pointed out was the fact that consumers are receptive of the demeaning level of the environement and are ready to pay premium for gaining some environmental attributes; the likes of which can be seen in agricultural products. In a nut shell, if environmental friendliness of compact yet sleek packaging can be exhibited via sales promotion, consumer likelihood to purchase would increase as would competitiveness.
In congruence with the previous researches, another research carried out by Gollety and Guichard (2010, p. 82-90) confirms that packaging claims to attract attention when the appearances are not normally within a product glass. Synonymous to this concept is the fact that deviating packages are stronger attention grasping tools than mundane, regular packaging. Likewise, pictures and packages are more effective in gaining attention mainly when consumers are less familiar with the brand. When products need to be launched or relaunced for that matter, graphics and pictorial content stands more significant. Logos, catch lines and brand names with minimum body content are more useful in cases when the product is already an established brand and follows a steady consumer following.
Ariyawardana (2003, p. 36-45) conducted a research which delineated that sponsorship leverage packaging can be similar to the effect of celebrity endorsement on product packaging. The fast moving consumer goods have a fair chance at benefitting from the sponsorship by means of marketing communication. The marketers of fast moving consumer goods can use celebrity endorsed packaging to market the products effectively. Usually an image of a person on the product that the consumers idolize tends to have a substantial effect on the consumer demand that is stipulated by consumer behaviour. For instance, golfing kit endorsed by Tiger Woods will have an augmenting effect on the sales of the company. This is simply because of the fact that consumers tend to associate better with like minded individuals. Hence, golfing fanatics will always continue to be captivated by legends like Tiger Woods.

2.7 Scope of colour and flavour in effective packaging

When digging deep into this research, Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553) bring to notice the fact that bright colors are better attention grasping tools than light or dull colors.  Also, colors like red, yellow and blue appear more prominent than light colored products and that is exactly why when placed at market shelves, marketers tend to hide the less obvious or nuetral colored packages behind the more louder objects.
This research further analyzed colour associations and flavours. The study was used to highlight the capability of colours in assessing the sensory traits. Colours are so significant in understanding sensory perceptions that they can be used to denote flavours to themselves efficiently. For example, it is understood that red colour demonstrates strong flavour, green can be interpreted as spicy and sour, yellow could be spicy and acidic, pink sweet and sugary and orange could be taken to mean peppery. These choices of flavours and the respective associations are especially used in the manufacturing of lozenges, candies, chewing gums etc (Gollety and Guichard 2010, p. 82-90).
Stemming out of this research is a query that needs to be answered. It seeks to figure out according to what logic children associate a flavour to a colour. Also, whether it is the colour preference or the flavour preference that children use to base their buying decisions on, is investigated. Extensive research conducted on the dimension of packaging shows a deviation in terms of activation and stimulation depending on colour choice. This is indicated through warm colours having a greater stimulating impact on children than cold colours could possibly have had (Gollety and Guichard 2010, p. 82-90).
As Gollety and Guichard (2010, p. 82-90) validate, role of colour on packaging is depicted through three modes of significance. Colour can be known to have metonymic logic which basically shows a connection between colour and what it represents such as red colour for tomato packaging. Another usage of colour can be to fulfil the metaphoric logic. This is used to demonstrate an analogy link between colour and the feelings that it is likely to evoke. For example, red colour could signify the flavour strength. The symbolic logic is the last type of logic that colour distribution on packaging can achieve. This means colour can be used to express a connection between itself and its connotation. Similar to other comparisons black colour represents mourning in many Latin cultures and quite contrary to this; elegance in many western cultures. Likewise, pink colour represents softness to touch.
It is hence no surprise that in at least the children dominated market, producers and marketers tend to make use of the metonymic logic. This help children who are otherwise unable to make cognitively sound decisions, because of the lack of maturity they possess, to at least draw associations with the brand and the colour. They are able to identify the relationship between colour and flavour and in turn understand the efficacy of the packaged product available for purchase. An interesting finding further indicated that young girls were more influenced by flavour while young boys considered colour more important. While different visuals are interpreted differently by dissimilar sensory receptors; the core purpose of the marketing remains the same: to draw as much attention by manoeuvring as much visuals and graphic interface as possible.  For this to be done tactfully, the target market must never be compromised. In fact, if anything, the customer base should be broadened (Gollety and Guichard 2010, p. 82-90).

Chapter 3- Methodology

3.1 Research type

The type of research methodology chosen is a mix of quantitative and qualitative research. Most of the questions have fixed option choices to choose from, and only a few questions are open questions. Because of the fixed answer choices, the responses of the interviewees can be easily quantified for the purpose of research. Certain open questions having the answer choice of ‘others’, on the other hand, allow interviewees to answer as openly and freely as they desire. The discrete input of interviewees is essential to better understand the issue at hand. Therefore, the use of qualitative research is also useful alongside the quantitative research (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112).

3.2 Research paradigm

The research paradigm deals with a set of theories, beliefs and practices which direct how actions are performed or work is done systematically (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112). The paradigm involves looking into three broad spectrums of research: ontology, epistemology and methodology. It can safely be said that the research has characteristics of ontology because it contains plenty of factual information. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of things that exist. In proving the validity of packaging as an influencing factor in brand communication, the facts are available to support the existence of ontology. Another way ontology can be supported by is through accepting of the fact that consumer purchase behaviour is important. By integrating methodological inquiry processes, practical problems can be solved with respect to consumer behaviour and packaging can be optimized.
Epistemology on the other hand refers to the study of nature of knowledge. Traces of epistemology can also be seen in packaging and its effects on purchase behaviour can be assessed. The approach under epistemology is subjective in nature since the purchase behaviour varies for different individuals and dissimilar packaging is interpreted by people differently. Understanding consumer purchase behaviour asks employment of strategic policy measures. Moreover, the technique used can have ethnographic attributes since this form of epistemology can use case study based approach. Likewise, methodology which involves a set of principles and regulations being governed in a given discipline is also seen prevalent in this research. This methodology used can integrate qualitative based approaches which can emphasize research questions and conceptual or theoretical frameworks (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112).
The research paradigm most importantly uses features of positivism since all the findings are based on logic and facts. By excluding assumption and guesswork, an attempt is made to make the results as close to reality as possible.

Qualitative research

The qualitative research is the preferred mode of doing research in many cases since the interview questionnaire and case study based method study are of immense efficacy in helping expand the horizons of research. The reason qualitative research method is adopted is to allow demonstration of open questions. This research seeks to integrate as broad responses of consumers on matters of packaging as possible. In order to successfully gauge consumer purchase behaviour the more discrete the responses available for analysis, the better. Since consumer perception tends to take varied directions, the likely responses arising as a result also, ought to be different. The personalized views can go a long way to influence the purchase behaviour which can assist marketers to help shape the purchase frequency of consumers (Hunter et al. 2008, p.290-306).
Results that cannot be quantified or are distinct as in this case of distributing an interview questionnaire, demand the use of qualitative research.  Descriptive elements call for using an approach that is more dynamic than merely quantifying the numbers. This methodology is also preferred when the desired answers must be as realistic as possible. Since the element of speculation is deducted from the practice, only the legitimate data and statistics remain to influence the findings.

Quantitative research

This research makes use of quantitative means as well since most of the multiple choice questions have fixed answer choices and can therefore, be quantified. The discrepancy in the answer choices reflects better understanding of the issue at hand and a stronger consumer ability to interact with the marketers and the brand.  It is essential that consumers are presented variety in the expression of their ideas. And since the knowledge aimed to be gathered pertains to the dynamics of consumer behaviour, a mix of questions being both closed and open questions are optimally desired. Additionally, statistical tools are incorporated into the research to allow pragmatic explanatory analysis of the findings (Hunter et al. 2008, p.290-306). The findings pertaining to independent variables will be analyzed so as to determine how they can be most aptly addressed.

3.3 Data type

The chosen data type is primary since all the findings need to be derived first handedly. For purposes of keeping the research recent and most up-to-date, the primary data type is preferred over the secondary one. This would involve distributing a survey questionnaire across the desired target market to get as realistic responses as possible, also using this type of research guarantees greater exertion of control in the collection of the desired information (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112). It allows efficient spending on information and helps to concentrate on specifics. The questionnaire seeks to ascertain the plausible impact of packaging of world renowned chocolates namely Quality Street on the behaviour of consumers. The idea is to derive their perceptions which will influence their purchase behaviour.
A comprehensive questionnaire having enough information to formulate an entire research plan that can affect the consumer perceptions is to be distributed in UK. The questionnaire would comprise of 20 questions in aggregate, most of which are multiple choice questions. The survey questionnaire will be developed online on Free Online Surveys and will be distributed through social media like Facebook and forums comprising of chocolate lovers members. A maximum of 40 respondents will fill the online survey form.

3.4 Sampling

Exactly who will be asked to fill the questionnaire depends on the sampling technique chosen. For this research, the sampling technique will be random sampling. Out of the designated target market, respondents will be selected randomly. Doing so helps to sustain the validity of the research and eliminates any possible bias. Not only a fair chance is made available to all the respondents, but also is the variation in the responses critical to building on the purpose of the research. This helps to broaden the research scope by adding more possibilities (Hunter et al. 2008, p.290-306).

3.5 Theoretical framework 

The diagram shows a theoretical framework for product packaging of Quality Street
-The role of Quality Street represented by the purple box is the dependent variable
 
-All boxes surrounding the centre box represent independent variables that impact the dependent variable

3.6 Operational Definitions

Packaging

Packaging refers to any discrete outer covering and wrappers of a product which have their own individualistic look. This could include all the design, logo, body copy and imagery on the product. Packaging is defined as anything that sets otherwise similar products apart. Placed on a shop shelf, non durable products usually have impulsive purchases (Campbell and Goodstein 2001, pp. 439-449). Thereby implying that consumers who make their buying decisions there and then are more often than not influenced by the packaging whose aesthetic appeal, choice of colours, carefully crafted imagery and informational content provoke them to make the purchase. Packaging has been defined as the fifth P of marketing; it is this significant to the marketing concept. In other words, it is the material surrounding a consumer product whose purpose is to inform, persuade, contain, identify, describe, promote and be environmentally green as much as possible. The packaging for a product can be enhanced by emphasizing its durability, nature of opening the packaging, size and the kind of information that is marketed.

Consumer Purchase behaviour

Consumers are more informed today than ever. They have more information at their disposal, greater alternatives to choose from and more decisions to take. Where at one point, this may seem tedious; at the other it is the manifestation of the fact that for a product to be successful in the market it is pivotal to understand consumer purchase behaviour. By being able to influence the behaviour, producers and marketers can manoeuvre their perceptions and hence, can direct towards making an impact on their product. In order to understand the ever changing consumer behaviours, one must need to understand why do consumers make the purchases that they make and what factors impact consumer purchases. Marketers pay more emphasis on purchase behaviour than ever before because this directly impacts this business. They want to study the behaviour in order to assess consumer reactions, better predict the consumers’ next move and be able to stress the original concept (Barnes et al. 2003, p. 47-51).

Brand communication tool

Packaging can influence purchase behaviour through its ability to serve as a brand communication tool. Silayoi and Spleece (2004, p. 607-628) claim that packaging is increasingly use to communicate the essense of a brand. In more than one ways, packaging is also seen to replace the role of promotion. Packaging serves to be a brand endorser for a product. The ideal packaging seeks to communicate just the right message to its consumers, leaves an element of curiosity so they come following, is noticeable, helps consumers to relate to the packaging of a product, communicates the main motto of the company to the consumers and modifies consumer behaviour through repeat purchases. Packaging acts as a spokesman for a product. It helps to engage consumers and communicates the purpose, idea and utility of the brand to its consumers. For instance, Apple does a fairly good job in communicating the essence of its brand to its customers which speaks volumes about sleekness, style, quality and class. Similarly, Rolex communicates its brand through persistent quality and a redefined persona of each of its discrete watches, which is carefully alligned with individual personalities wanting to buy these watches.

Aesthetic attributes

Packaging can most impact consumer purchase behaviour through the aesthetic attributes of a product. These include colour, flavour, imagery, smell and most simply the aesthetic appeal of the product. Colours have known to have a profound impact on the consumer behaviour. Light or dull colours do not grasp as much attention as bright colours do. Colours, because of their influencing power can denote flavours even (Kim et al. 2009, p. 527-553). In the case of Quality Street a prominent colour seen is purple. Purple is one colour which seems to have a similar connotation across many other chocolate brands, the likes of which are Cadbury, Dairy Milk and Milk Tray. However Milk Tray has changed its colour from purple to white/ beige now. The lost focus on purple by Milk Tray can also reflect the shifting importance of colour for a certain brand.

Provision of labelling information

According to Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553) aside the impulsive urges to buy the product, many a times consumers tend to buy a product once they are truly satisfied with the labelling information of a product. This is often more likely in the case of high involvement goods than in the low involvement ones. Because a lot of money is soon to be invested in the purchase of a good, it only makes sense that consumers are aware of all the information. From the nutritional information to the place of make of the product; from the date of expiry to the ingredients of the product and carefully spread of logos and catch phrases, all serve important in influencing consumer purchase behaviour. If the consumer is satisfied with the disposal of information made available to him, only then will he proceed with the purchase.
Aesthetic attributes, brand communication and labelling information are used to relate how they are incorporated generally in different cases, and how they strike a similarity with the role that they play in packaging of Quality Street.

3.7 Techniques

The T-statistic will be used to interpret the data. This allows flexibility in analysis since each variable can be evaluated in isolation. The T-statistic is used to gauge the reliability that how credible is the coefficient being tested. This would further help to assess the plausible relation of the dependent variables with the independent variables. The software used will be SPSS as its dynamic and technical nature makes it suitable to be able to run regression on it.  Statistical techniques like that provided by the software can then be used to interpret the arranged data.

Reliability and Validity of data

The validity of the data indicates that it is an accurate data. This means that it reflects as much reality and truth as possible. In order to ensure the literature has been derived from well reputed journals and articles. Furthermore, the validity of the result can be ensured through circulating a questionnaire without meagre traces of bias even (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112).
The reliability of the data exhibits that the same results or findings will be given each time the data is administered in the same settings and by the same people. The reliability of the data is evaluated via internal consistency method which incorporates that similar questions will be grouped together to allow a correlation to be run on it. Using reliable software SPSS to give persistent results each time it is administered is also manifestation of the fact that the data is reliable (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112).

3.8 Pilot questionnaire

Before formally circulating the questionnaire, it will be distributed to a maximum of 10 individuals to gauge their perceptions on the issue and incorporate any modifications if needed.

Additional comments

An additional comments section will be incorporated at the end of the questionnaire as part of the qualitative research entailing the additional features that consumers want in chocolates, the likes of which are Quality Street. This will give open questions discrete enough to broaden the scope of research

Chapter 4- Research Findings
Table 1: Level of education

 
Education Frequency Percentage
Primary 0 0
Secondary 3 0
Undergraduate 19 47
Post graduate 18 53
Total 40 100
Figure 1
The first question of the survey pertained to gauging the education level of the respondents. The finding pointed out that none of the respondents had primary education. The minimum education level of the respondents was secondary education. 7% of the 40 respondents questioned had secondary education while 48% had at least an undergraduate degree. Interestingly, the remaining 45% were post graduates.
Table 2: Employment status
Employment Frequency Percentage
Employed 17 42
Self employed 11 28
Unemployed 10 25
Retired 0 0
Others 2 5
 
                                        Total                             40                         100
Figure 2 
Further demographics were assessed by analyzing other measures such as the employment status. The next question delineated that the majority of respondents had a job and were employed at some place. This represented 42% of the total population. 28% were self employed, 25% were unemployed, while a segment representing others consisted of 5% of the respondents. This included people who were not looking for jobs or were young students. Interestingly, none of the respondents was retired.
Table 3: How regularly do you consume chocolates?
Regularity Frequency Percentage
Never 0 0
Rarely 6 15
Occasionally 9 22
Often 15 38
Very frequently 10 25
 
                                          Total                             40                        100
Figure 3 
The third question sought to answer the regularity with which chocolates were consumed. This showed that there was not even a single person who never consumed chocolate. 15% consumed it rarely, 22% occasionally, 38% often and the remaining 25% consumed chocolates very frequently. The results showed that the largest number of respondents consumed chocolates very often.
Table 4: Which brand of chocolate do you prefer?
Brand Frequency Percentage
Quality Street 10 25
Jewels 4 10
Kisses 1 2
Ferrero Rocher 12 30
Milk Tray
Old Gold
Thornton’s
Celebrations
I have no favourite
3
 0                                      
 0
 2
8
8
 0
 0
  5
 20
 
                                                Total                             40                        100
Figure 4 
After establishing the frequency of consumption, the hunt for the most favourite brand began with this question. Results showed that the most favourite chocolate brand was Ferrero Rocher with a vote of 30%. Quality Street was second favourite with 25% of the respondents choosing it as their brand of choice. The remaining brands stood low on the ranking however, what followed closely was people not having any favourites. Moreover, chocolates like Old Gold and Thornton’s failed to gain any votes.
Table 5: What do you like about your preferred brand of chocolate?
Following were the discrete answers to the question:
 
Packing &taste Nuts Dairy Milk Soft & less sticky Simply love it Taste
Quality Cadbury Quality of chocolate Full of variety, delicious Sweetness Particular flavour
Hazelnet flavour Packing Crunch Yummy taste Simply awesome Yummm
Its smooth Light but delicious Its chocolate, what is not in it to like? Taste and the way its presented    
 
This was an open ended question which aimed to answer what consumers liked about a brand as fully and broadly as possible. Diverse answer choices included the majority pointing out the attributes of the chocolates they desired. These ranged from physical attributes like packaging and ingredients to intangible attributes like quality, taste, flavour and smoothness of chocolates. Preference of favourite nuts in their respective chocolates was also an attribute commonly seen.
 
Table 6: How frequently do you purchase chocolates?
Frequency Frequency Percentage
Daily 6 0
Weekly 29 0
Monthly 0 0
Hardly ever 2 0
Total 40 100
 
Figure 5
The next question sought to determine the frequency with which chocolates were purchased. Results showed that nobody purchased chocolates on a monthly basis. The largest number of people which comprised of 78% of the total population purchased chocolates weekly followed by 16% of the respondents who purchased them daily. Those who were not much of a chocolate fan hardly ever purchased them. This was represented by 16% of the total respondents.
Table 7: Describe Quality Street in one word
Tasty Yummy Nice Quality Awesome Fine
A me-too product Good Perfect pack Not good Amazing Yummiest
 
Yummilicious
 
Delicious
Childhood memories Great quality itself  
Poor
Perfect delight
Another open ended question aimed to reflect what people interpreted from Quality Street. This was supposed to describe the brand as descriptively as possible. The responses cantered on childhood memories, Quality Street being delightful, yummy, and delicious, having good quality as well as some adverse attributes claiming it to be not good enough. A response also pointed it as a me-too product.
 
Table 8: Rate your preferences in choice of chocolates on a scale of 1-5
Preference Frequency Percentage
Taste 23 57
Price 2 5
Calories 4 10
Packaging 7 18
Ingredient/ Flavours 4 10
 
Total                                40                     100 
Figure 6
When asked what the most preferable factor in choosing chocolate was, 57% of those questioned responded with taste. Price was not a substantial factor for many and only 5% considered it important. 10% supported calories as being important, 18% considered packaging to be important while 10% rendered the ingredients or the flavour to be important.
Table 9: What kind of packaging do you prefer for Quality Street?
Type of packaging Frequency Percentage
Rectangular cardboard packaging 15 0
Hexagonal tin packing 11 0
Multi-shaped plastic packing 14 0
Total 40 100
 
Figure 7
When asked about the kind of packaging they preferred, 37% of the respondents replied with rectangular cardboard packaging, 35% of those inquired preferred multi-shaped plastic packaging while 28% preferred hexagonal tin packaging.
Table 10: What is the best way to open a chocolate box?
Way Frequency Percentage
Tabs 15 37
Box flip lid 10 25
Separate take off lid 14 35
Others, please specify
              Just tear it
 
1
 
3
Total 40 100
 

A question about the ways to open a packaging exhibited that the largest following came in the form of tabs. 37% of the respondents supported tabs, 25% preferred box flip lid while 35% preferred separate take off lid. A measly 3% chose packaging which could simply be torn off.
Table 11: Would you prefer a more eco-friendly chocolate box?
Preference Frequency Percentage
Yes 27 67
No 5 20
Maybe 8 13
Total 40 100
 
 
 
 
Another important question of the survey was to determine whether people wanted a more eco-friendly chocolate box or not. A daunting majority of 68% of the respondents responded with a yes, 13% said they didn’t care about eco-friendly boxes while 20% of those questioned said they were unsure.
Table 12: What part do you think packaging plays in purchasers’ choice of chocolate?
Importance Frequency Percentage
Very important 23 57
Some relevance 9 23
Minor importance 6 15
 
Not important at all
 
 2
 
5
Total 40 100
Figure 10 
In this question, many people considered packaging to be very important in influencing consumers’ purchase of chocolates. 57% of those questioned claimed that packaging was very important, 23% felt that packaging had some relevance to the way consumers chose their chocolates and 15% considered packaging to have minor importance. Only 5% of the respondents found packaging to not have any importance on their choice of chocolates.
Table 13: How would you rate the overall packaging of Quality Street; from the box to individually wrapped chocolates?
Packaging Frequency Percentage
Excellent 15 37
Good 16 40
Average 8 20
Bad 0 0
Poor 1 3
 
Total                              40                     100
Figure 11 
An important question of the survey inquired about the overall packaging quality of Quality Street. This showed that 40% of the respondents thought the packaging was good, 37% thought that Quality Street had done an excellent job with the packaging and 20% thought that the packaging was average. No one thought the packaging was bad while only 3% considered it to be poor.
Table 14: Which of the following do you think is the most important feature of Quality Street chocolates?
Important feature Frequency Percentage
Aesthetic appeal 2 5
Ability to communicate 7 17
Labelling information 4 10
Quality of chocolate 27 68
Total 40 100
Figure 12 
The question on the most important feature of Quality Street showed that its quality topped as the most crucial factor with 68% of the respondents voting for it. 17% of the respondents considered ability to communicate as crucial, 10% thought labelling was important while only 5% rendered aesthetic appeal to be of significance.
Table 15: Which of these factors pertaining to aesthetic appeal affect you the most?
Aesthetic appeal Frequency Percentage
Imagery 0 0
Colour of packaging 12 31
Flavour 26 67
Smell 1 2
Total 40 100
 
Figure 13
To this question, the respondents replied with flavour as the most influential factor for them in aesthetic appeal. This included 67% of the total respondents. 31% of those surveyed considered the colour of packaging to be important while 2% of the respondents thought smell played a significant role.
Table 16: How important to you is the labelling information on a packet of Quality Street chocolates?
Importance of labelling Frequency Percentage
Highly important 13 32
Important 22 54
Mildly important 1 2
Irrelevant 5 12
Total 40 100
 
Figure 14 
The significance of labelling was reflected by 54 % of the respondents as important. 32% of those inquired considered it highly important, 2 % thought it was mildly important while 12% of the respondents claimed it to be absolutely irrelevant on a Quality Street packet since they knew about the chocolates already.
Table 17: If you chose any option other than option D, please state as to why it’s important
Because Quality Street is a brand of Nestle so this brand imagery and labelling has higher value in my mind.
So that consumer gets to know how much calories he/she is taking.
Because quality is a major issue for any product for sale hence, it is important.
I am concerned about the information because i want to know about the credibility of the product and the company.
Because labelling is attractive.
Because of loyalty associated with brand label.
So as to know about the ingredients of chocolate.
To easily find my favourite flavour.
It tells what we are eating and what to expect from it.
 
Since most of the respondents considered packaging to be important on various degrees, reasoning as to why it was that important to them was also assessed. This included labelling being important so as to know the ingredients, to understand the credibility of a product, to determine the calories intake, and to manifest brand loyalty and the aesthetic appeal among other aspects.
Table 18: The purple colour of the packaging influences the decision to buy Quality Street chocolates
Purple colour Frequency Percentage
Strongly agree 2 5
Agree 7 17
Neutral 11 28
Disagree 8 20
Strongly disagree 12 30
 
Total                               40                     100 
The responses to this question showed that people were neutral to being affected by the purple colour in their buying decisions. 30% strongly disagreed to the idea that purple colour had an influence on their buying Quality Street. 20% of the respondents disagreed, 28% were neutral, 17% agreed while 5% strongly agreed that purple colour did play an important role in influencing their purchase.
Table 19: Which one of the following do you think might increase Quality Street sales?
Sales Frequency Percentage
Packaging alterations 11 27
Green packaging 8 20
Modern packaging 19 45
None of the above 2 5
Total 40 100
 
48% of the respondents to this question said that modern packaging is most likely to increase Quality Street sales. 27% of those questioned claimed that altering the packaging could augment the sales, as would green packaging which was supported by 20% of the people. However, 5 % of the respondents did feel none of these attributes could increase sales.
Table 20: Age of Respondents
Age Frequency Percentage
10 to 19 years old
 
3 7
20 to 29 years old
 
24 60
30 to 39 years old 3             8
40 to 49 years old
 
6 15
50 to 59 years old
 
60 to 69 years old
 
70 to 79 years oldB
 
Total
4
 
0
 
0
 
40                
10
 
0
 
0
 
100
 
Figure 17 
The results showed that the largest number of respondents belonged from the 20-29 year age bracket and were mainly undergraduates. 60% were in the 20-29 year age bracket, 7 % belonged from the 10-19 year age bracket, 10% belonged from the 50-59 year age bracket, 15% belonged from the 40-49 year age bracket while 8 % belonged from the 30-39 year age bracket. The survey however, showed that there were no respondents 60 years of age or above.
Table 21: Gender of Respondents
Gender Frequency Percentage
Male 21 0
female 19 0
Total 40 100
 
Figure 18 
52% of the people questioned turned out be males, while 48% were females
Table 22:  Further comments
Quality Street is absolutely yummy
Good questions
Questions cover the topic well, no need for further comments
Quality street is a good brand having delicious taste
I am a chocoholic
The pricing of Quality Street should be reasonable
I love chocolates
I love Quality Street
Please reduce the price
Please give free chocolates
Interesting questions
The questions are good enough, no comments
 
In the end, some open ended comments were allowed to gauge the perspective of the respondents with respect to the brand and the questionnaire. The responses showed that the questions were interesting and complete, and only positive comments followed the questionnaire. A few people requested the price of Quality Street to be lowered while others exhibited their love for chocolates. Over all, it was observed that Quality Street was liked because of its quality and taste.

Chapter 5- Research Analysis and Discussion

5.1 Analysis of literature review

The literature amalgamated through different articles points towards the notion that packaging can be made productive by exploiting its aesthetic and environmental realms. The literature is moulded by limiting the scope of research to packaging as a strong brand communication tool, as an aesthetic appeal enhancer and in serving the utilitarian function of provision of labelling information.
 
Packaging is considered a vital component of the four P’s of marketing. No product, however blockbuster and flawless it maybe in its entirety, can be a success unless it is packaged effectively. It is of no use that a perfect product with just the right price fails in the market because its packaging is defected and wouldn’t allow transportation of fragile products in one piece. Hence, packaging is most critical since it adds certain uniqueness, style, is well executed to reflect the brand’s point of disparities and adequately modifies the brand image of a product. Moreover, packaging can aid marketers test the receptiveness of consumers when that on grounds of price, quality and environmental friendliness may be hard to execute.
 
The goal for any marketer is to design a packaging that is simple yet fulfils its purpose. As Kuvykaite et al. (2009, p. 441-446) point out consumers tend to associate well with recyclability and resale of a brand. Therefore, for Quality Street to be successful, the personalized feel must be there in co-existence with an eco-friendly packaging marketed to promote green marketing.
 
Packaging serves an unmatched utilitarian function of providing labelling information. Ariyawardana and Prathiraja (2003, p. 36-45) claim that in this epoch of health consciousness, the efficacy of nutritional information is increasing by leaps and bounds. Depending on the type of illness people are suffering from, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, having access to nutritional information becomes more viable. Moreover, the literature indicates that even though brand loyalists of Quality Street may not need the labelling information in order to know about the flavour, ingredients etc; it is still the preferred choice for anyone wanting to learn about the product. This would aid Quality Street in meeting international benchmarks and would allow consumers to draw comparisons with rivals such as Galaxy, Milk Tray, Ferrero Rocher etc on the basis of content. Ariyawardana and Prathiraja (2003, p. 36-45) signify that it is due to packaging that detailed analysis can be drawn of the core product. Otherwise it would be very difficult to draw successful comparisons.
 
Kuvykaite et al. (2009, p. 441-446)  further support the above argument by suggesting that age, gender and the dietary status stipulate who will be affected by nutritional labelling. Therefore, there is no harm in learning about the scope of the market for nutritional labelling so as to act accordingly. Usually old aged people, sick persons regardless of their age and those suffering from a medical condition are most prone to giving weight to packaging. No fixed conclusions can be drawn on the gender. However, because the importance attributed to packaging tends to vary widely across the gender, some women are more health conscious than men and vice versa.
 
As far as the aesthetic appeal of the chocolates is concerned, the primary factors outlined include colour, flavour and visual display (Olga and Natalia 2006, p. 100-112). While it is true that the external outlook of packaging essentially complimented by colours is most likely to influence low involvement goods, it might not always be true in each case. On the contrary, graphical forms, imagery and packaging colours have been integrated well in the Quality Street chocolates by keeping its focus essentially on purple and the otherwise brightly coloured packaging. Also, minimum imagery that falls within the retention ability of the consumers is made the core focus. This emphasis on imagery increases attention as well as acceptability of consumers towards the brand since they begin to grow familiar with it (Underwood et al. 2001, p. 403 – 422).
 
Moreover, Quality Street has the ability to layer the packaging with sufficient sensory attributes so as to increase energy and vigour (Barry and Murphy 2010, p. 17-33). A well thought out packaging will always be designed to align with the maturity level of its consumers. For instance, the association of colour with flavours within the realm of edible products reflects abiding by the understanding of youth and children. Usually, when a product is established, the significance of visual imagery, logos and graphics tends to magnify since the ability of products to expand the revenues on their own based on fluctuations in pricing seems far from real.
 
According to Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553), colours tend to arouse different responses because they touch different sensory receptors.  Since bright colours are better attention grabbing tools, Quality Street’s choice of scintillating wrappings comes as no surprise. Since colours mean differently to different people, drawing comparisons between colours and the feelings they evoke in the users of those products helps to understand consumer psyche better and can be effectively used to modify purchase behaviour of consumers.
 
The best thing about Quality Street is that it has understood that packaging elements are strong communication tools and hence, are integrated well into the purchase decision model. Once that is done, the positioning strategy can be aligned. This can be done with the help of positional mapping. All these efforts would go a long way in understanding consumer perceptions. For instance, it is through this means that the consumer association of Quality Street with childhood memories came to surface. Exploiting this finding of nostalgia, Quality Street chose to keep its packaging as similar to the original as possible (Kim et al. 2009, p. 527-553).
 
As Barber et al. (2010, p. 215-237) point out; customer loyalty can immensely be stretched through packaging deployed as a brand communication tool. The functional and environmental attributes can be probed during times of cut-throat competition in order to achieve competitive gains and reputational advantages when pricing can hardly be taken an advantage from.
 
The different questions chosen in the survey questionnaire are included strategically to answer carefully designed questions. The purpose is to gather data on the chosen topic as holistically and promptly as possible. For this matter, certain demographic questions are designed so as to evaluate the kind of target market that is being questioned in this survey. Having a fair understanding of the target market would help to diagnose the plausible responses that such a target market can muster.
 

5.2 Analysis of primary data

The first demographic question seeks to answer the education level of the respondents.  Out of the total number of respondents questioned, the majority of the people had acquired undergraduate education. The other major number of respondents included people who had attained post graduate education, while those with a secondary education were a bare minimum. This is a substantial finding in the sense that it helps to reflect on the individuals’ understanding of the issue at hand. It shows that how people will associate the influence of packaging on purchase behaviour based on their education. As it turns out, the more intellectually refined and well informed the consumers are, the more ably they would respond to the marketing gimmicks.
 
Another question reflecting the demographics is that of the status of employment. The purpose of which is again to determine the kind of respondents that have answered the questionnaire in order to assess how this affects their understanding of the issue at hand. The findings illustrate that most of the respondents were employed in some capacity. Therefore, those to have an opinion on the kind of packaging of Quality Street included mostly the employed segment of the population. It is the employed portion of the population which feels that the packaging can strongly impact the purchase behaviour of consumers. Also, they see themselves associating with the decision to buy since they earn now.
 
Most of the respondents were aged between 20-29 years, followed mostly by 40-49 year olds and then 50-59 year olds. 10-19 year olds were less while there were no respondents above 60 years of age. Where at one point this signifies that the respondents are intellectually sound to rationally base their judgments in order to answer the questionnaire; at the other end it also shows that the target market of these world renowned chocolates is not limited to the kids only. In fact the largest portion of the target market was dictated by 20-29 year olds and so was the product immensely popular among middle aged people.
 
Furthermore, Quality Street had more male respondents than female ones. This does not imply that the chocolates could have more male fan following than female. It could be a mere coincidence since the sampling was random sampling and the males outweighed the females very minutely. On the other hand, it is no surprise that out of those questioned; the trend of health consciousness was slightly more in females than in males. This could also be a reason as to why females were minimally outnumbered by males. Nevertheless, the choice of nutritional labelling does depend on gender, age and medical condition of the respondents.
 
Other than this, certain attempts in trying to tabulate the frequency or regularity with which purchases of chocolates made are assessed through different questions. One of these questions ascertains the regularity with which chocolates are purchased. Most of the respondents indicated that they purchased chocolates frequently or very often. A similar question aimed to assess how frequently chocolates were purchased by consumers. The answers reflected that the largest number of consumers purchased it weekly followed by people who purchased chocolates daily. This could be delineated by the notion that consumers like to buy in bulk when they buy chocolates weekly; or their daily chocolate intake and cravings are substantial, if  they consider purchasing it every day.
 
People whose purchases were made regularly aim to reflect the notion that they are well informed about the kind of chocolates in the market and their respective packaging that seems to dominate the market. Hence, they are more likely to take educated decisions that are vested in the best interest of the marketers as well as the consumers themselves.
 
A very important question of the survey aimed to deduce the brand of choice of the consumers. This question is immensely crucial in determining what brand they are most likely to purchase because it is a favourite and hence, whose packaging they will be most interested in. For instance, if Quality Street did not have a very strong brand following, there was not much point in altering its packaging so as to please the customers. However, the results signified that Quality Street was the top choice for chocolate demanding customers after Ferrero Rocher. Although it is true that a big chunk of those questioned did not have a favourite, but out of those who did, Quality Street did stand out. Hence, it is prudent and wise to evaluate the packaging of this brand altogether since the effort will not go in vain.
 
As part of the primary research, it is always worthwhile to have certain qualitative questions coincide with a few quantitative ones. Another question aiming to assess the perception towards the preferred brands was purposely descriptive and qualitative in nature so as to allow as broad answers as possible. The answers cantered on the attributes of their preferred brands. Since the two major favourites were Ferrero Rocher and Quality Street, the discrete answers best reflected these two brands. Generally speaking customers like the objective features of a chocolate. It is the scintillating taste, smooth caramel, generous topping of nuts and the after taste that attracts the consumers. Interestingly, no one talked about the packaging of either of the two brands, both of which are exquisite in their own realms. It can be taken to mean that the exogenous factors were not the highlight in the responses to this question, only the internal attributes were considered important. It could also mean the customers are more impacted by the flavour and taste than they are by the packaging.
 
The question aiming to gather discrete one word responses about Quality Street was an important question since its aim was to understand consumer psyche as dexterously as possible without having to restrict their answers within boundaries. The most honest responses about Quality Street showed that the majority of the respondents spoke in the best context of Quality Street. Aside the fact that most respondents found the chocolates delicious, delightful, tasting awesome and what not; an interesting finding about Quality Street portrayed the brand as having a connection with childhood memories as well. This is a crucial finding in the sense that it shows that this chocolate brand serves to trigger the emotional appeal of its consumers by reminding them of their childhood through nostalgia. This emotional appeal can be exploited by going down the consumers’ memory lane and revisiting the memory of chocolates the consumers had as in their childhood. This is the reason that Quality Street’s initial choice of colors and packaging has not changed substantially because consumers tend to associate well with the brand.
 
A question which aimed to assess the relevance of different factors in the preference of chocolates was very crucial to the entire survey. This question evaluates the crux of the research question because its purpose is to highlight which factor the consumers deem as the most important. And hence, the idea is to directly ascertain the level of importance of packaging so as to know how likely the consumers will get affected. As indicated by the responses of a previous question as well, consumers render the taste of the chocolate as the most important factor in choosing which brand to buy. However, the packaging does play a strong role in being the next most important factor to be considered by the respondents when choosing which brand to buy. Results show that price, ingredients and flavour are not as important as the packaging itself. However, packaging is considerably important in order to base research on this topic.
 
A few other questions are formulated in the questionnaire with a purpose of gauging the consumer perception towards the choice of packaging. The idea is to understand what type of packaging consumers like, what they are willing to pay for and thereby, what is the kind that can influence their purchase behaviour most effectively. The findings showed that consumers prefer multi-shaped plastic packing over rectangular cardboard and hexagonal tin packaging. The reasoning was simple; this packaging came in multiple shapes and sizes and appealed to mass segments. Seemingly another question about the preferred box opening style showed that tabs was the choice of consumers. Clearly they preferred style and convenience to compliment the functioning of the packaging. Separate take-off lids and box flip lids were not found appealing because they may have failed on the grounds of style. Congruent with these questions was an attempt to find out whether consumers chose a particular type of packaging that was more ecologically sound and environmentally friendly. This too was a critical question as it would help to diagnose whether the current packaging of Quality Street was implemented in the right direction because it took into consideration the environmental benefits and whether the same packaging should be used in order to increase and retain clientele.
 
A supremely important question cantered on evaluating the role that packaging played in consumers’ choice of chocolate. The results were intriguing as they indicated that packaging does have a considerable influence in consumers’ buying decisions. The findings can indicate to mean that after the taste of the chocolate, packaging is the next most important factor to consider for consumers. Therefore, it is very important for them how the overall outlook of packaging is. Also, considering that consumers are an advocate of eco friendly packaging, it would not be wrong to ascertain that packaging indeed plays a pivotal role.
 
After establishing grounds for the significance of packaging, the next vital question rests on finding out about the quality of packaging of Quality Street itself. This is one of the questions on which the crux of this research rests since it aims to directly answer the role the packaging of Quality Street will have on consumer buying behaviour. The fact that the quality is good, if not excellent shows that the packaging can indeed have a strong effect on consumer purchasing behaviour.
 
Another crucial finding of the research pertained to finding out the most important feature of Quality Street. As the research progressed, it was proven that the maximum number of respondents held the quality as the most significant feature. While the next best response came for the chocolate’s ability to communicate its message and brand most effectively; aesthetic appeal and labelling information lagged far behind. Undoubtedly, the consumers regarded quality of chocolates as the most important feature when it came specifically to Quality Street. This largely included the flavour and its taste. Labelling information is not considered that substantial for purchasers of Quality Street since they are regular buyers and don’t need to know the different types of assorted chocolates, their calorie count etc. Similarly, for regular buyers aesthetic appeal does not hold as much significance as does the quality of the product itself.
 
As demonstrated through various questions, another question also confirms the research findings that the most important factor in aesthetic appeal is flavour. Not as many respondents consider smell or imagery to be strong influencing aspects as they deem flavour to be. Once again, the colour of packaging follows flavour in the weighting assigned to the components of aesthetic appeal.  Again, the reasoning remains the same: consumers are most attracted by taste followed by features of packaging as far as Quality Street is concerned.
 
Even though the importance of labelling of information ranked low compared to other factors affecting consumer choice of chocolates; in its isolation, labelling is considered important by consumers. It is not considered highly or most important, however, such is the importance of nutritional labelling that the average consumer is more aware today and would pay the extra money to get informed about health and its related hazards. Information about ingredients, weight, expiry, nuts, caramel, chocolate and vitamin content is something everyone wants present on their product, regardless of whether they look at it or not. Since it gives them a feeling of reassurance, they have rendered the labelling information as important.  Most importantly labelling information is the marketer’s ways of letting consumers know what they are eating and what to expect from the product. For instance, it could help diabetes patients draw a line as to where stop consuming chocolates. Other than this, the consumers feel that packaging is attractive, is a form of manifesting higher value of labelling and brand imagery in their minds, ensures persistent quality by displaying the content of the chocolate explicitly and certifies the credibility of the company at large.
 
Probing deeper into the utility that aesthetic appeal has had demonstrated that the use of purple colour could have some hidden connotation. It is very appealing to have purple coloured wrappings for Dairy Milk, Quality Street among other brands. Research showed that although purple was a famous choice of colour for Quality Street; it did not necessarily imply that the colour was the reason consumers made purchases of chocolates. The responses indicated that consumer view towards purple was neutral. Hence, the choice to continue with purple as Quality Street’s primary colour could be because of nostalgia that the company aims to trigger. It might want to associate the brand with the childhood memories people still seem to foster. In short, it could be an attempt to revive the brand via reminder advertising, and one way to do this is through keeping the colour scheme same as that remembered by kids.
 
As a final question to demonstrate what changes in packaging were likely to increase Quality Street sales, the responses showed that out of altering the packaging and making the packaging modern, modern packaging was more preferred. Green packaging did not win as many votes as the latter did. This is the reason why most respondents voted for multi shaped plastic packaging instead of the old tin packaging. This packaging was modern, moderately eco friendly and more stylish than its former counterparts. This question also delineated that its not the choice of colours nor the labelling information that is likely to influence sales as is the change in the layout of packaging itself.

Chapter 6- Conclusion and Recommendations

6.1 Conclusions

The research has ably achieved its goal in answering the question which it sought to answer. It is successful in establishing that the role of Quality Street is indeed pivotal in influencing consumer purchase behaviour. Although it has been established through evidence in this research that the packaging of Quality Street is not a determining factor for the consumers as far as comparisons to other attributes of a product are concerned such as taste, flavour and quality; the importance of packaging can still not be undermined. The research basically develops through its attempt to rationalize the relation between aesthetic appeal, brand communication and provision of labelling information with the purchasing behaviour of Quality Street.
This can be executed through the fact that well executed packaging adds uniqueness and style to the product. In markets of sheer competition, the content and quality of the product alone does not do the charm. It needs to rely on other exogenous factors such as packaging that is so attention grabbing and captivating that a consumer cannot look past the product. Gaining and retaining attention should be the purpose of an effective packaging while ensuring that clientele is attained and maintained, the quality of a product must never be compromised. Similarly, the packaging of Quality Street is designed to manifest simplicity yet strong associations with the world renowned chocolates.
Quality Street is indeed a chocolate brand worthy of being carried a research on, since the verdict of the majority suggests it tops the list after Ferrero Rocher as the most preferable brand. This finding helps to build up purpose and reasoning for research analysis. 
Moreover, the research promptly establishes that packaging helps to check the receptivity of consumers on basis of price, quality and environmental friendliness among other factors. Without packaging as an added attribute of the final product, associations would be difficult to make with price, quality etc.
Quality Street enjoys the advantage of having designed a product that is elegantly simple yet effective, showcases just the right amount of information without making it seem redundant and serves well in delineating itself as a eco friendly brand. To date, it has not had any law suits filed against it with regard to being oblivious about eco friendliness.
Even though no consumer who was surveyed regarded packaging as the core factor or the most important factor in basing their decision on the chocolate that they chose to buy, the efficacy of packaging in helping consumers make informed decisions could not be ignored. Many people suffering from grave illnesses such as diabetes to being lactose intolerant relied largely on the labelling information for the types of chocolate that they were likely to consume. Furthermore, if it were not for the packaging of Quality Street, marketers would be thoroughly incapable of making their brand on par with those of the rivals. It is because of this that the performance of chocolate manufacturers is matched with international benchmarks and performance augmented to surpass those yardsticks.
Interestingly, the findings of the research disregarded the notion that the largest portion of consumers who were influenced by labelling of information were singled out as mostly women or mostly men. The distribution of males and females as being health conscious is certainly not evenly distributed. Hence, to assume that their desire to know about labelling can be generalized across both the genders is to question the credibility of the research. The responses of the research indicated that even though there were more men respondents than women, this was not the acknowledgment of the fact that men are indeed more likely to be influenced by packaging than women.
As far as the aesthetic appeal dimension is concerned no attribute such as colours, corporate imagery and other graphical forms of affecting consumers stood prominent in influencing consumer purchase behaviour. Out of these packaging had the command. Holistically speaking, Quality Street has already integrated these components well into its marketing strategies by being conscious of not overdoing any of these factors. However, the packaging of Quality Street has remained remarkable because it has become a symbol of quality for this chocolate manufacturer.
A question reflecting the connotation behind the choice of purple colour in the packaging reflected that in spite of the purple colour not being an influencing factor in altering consumer purchase behaviour; it indeed was a factor that was responsible for retaining the feel of nostalgia on the part of consumers. Due to the associations consumers had established with the chocolates and the extent of the reliability of the product, the makers of the brand have chosen not to alter the imagery and outlook of the packet substantially.  This is crucial to the success of Quality Street’s marketing because imagery and attention increase acceptability of the brand by many folds.
Moreover, according to Kim et al. (2009, p. 527-553), consumers tend to get more attracted to bright colours instead of bland, dull colours which are not as good attention grabbing tools as the bright colours. This is the reason that ranging from the outer covering to the inner individually wrapped chocolates, the colour scheme for Quality Street is very meticulously designed so that maximum people can be attracted.
Furthermore, the imagery on the Quality Street packaging is designed to match the maturity level of all its consumers. Ironically, the results illustrate that the clientele of Quality Street comprises mainly of adults having attained undergraduate education followed by those with post graduation. The segment constituting the children was the smallest. Despite this, the visuals, logos and graphics have appealed to all segments and that is why the revenues of Quality Street have been on the rise. Also noteworthy is the fact that the more well informed and intellectually refined the customer base is, the more likely they are to perceive the marketing tactics responsively.
In addition to this, the qualitative responses of the consumers indicate that they think of Quality Street very highly. The texture, taste and aroma are worth the money and the other negligible shortcomings associated with the aesthetic dimension are worth the experience.  While consumers favour taste more than price, Quality Street’s ability to activate the emotional appeal well, does the trick. The nostalgia and child hood memories associated with the brand are what set the brand apart.
In a nut shell, packaging plays a decisive role in consumers’ buying decisions because it impacts consumer purchase behaviour very substantially. Labelling of information is certainly not as important as flavour, taste or quality but its efficacy comes in most handy when substitutes are to be compared and health concerns are on the rise. On the aesthetic appeal front, the flavour tops too followed closely by packaging. Despite all this, the packaging of Quality Street has a league of its own and enjoys a status unparalleled by any other factor. It makes all the more sense to research on this topic and paves way for further proliferation of the role of packaging of Quality Street in influencing purchase behaviour. Simply put, without packaging no new, irregular or switching buyers (in addition to certain regular ones) will be attracted towards the product

6.2 Recommendations

Despite the packaging influencing consumer purchase behaviour strongly in its isolation, it fails to be the most important factor in relation to quality/taste and price. Having said that, if making packaging the core influencing factor was the goal, Quality Street would lose on the true essence of the quality of the brand which is what essentially drives consumers towards the chocolates. This is indeed a very productive marketing gimmick actualized well by the marketers.
Since Quality Street has understood that packaging is a crucial communication tool so it must integrate functional and environmental attributes in the right proportion and gear towards the audience at the right time. In congruence with the above argument, the survey findings could be incorporated by bringing into operation multi-shaped plastic packing that appeals to just about everyone. Of course, the difference in size could exhibit difference in pricing as well which is one way Quality Street can cater to different pricing segments without actually having to lower prices or cutting on its revenues. Consumers also preferred tabs in packaging which is again something that can be utilized in order to denote style and convenience (Kim et al. 2009, p. 527-553).
However, as the descriptive responses of the respondents delineated that no one mentioned the unique packaging of Quality Street, it was easily not the most critical factor. Perhaps there is a need for Quality Street to raise the status of its packaging even more so, that consumers tend to not think twice before picking packaging as the most unique, most memorable feature of the chocolates.  Also, the nostalgia and childhood memories can be probed further to engage the maximum audience and boost their loyalty. This can be done in the form of revival of the brand and reminder advertisement to be used during times of intense competition and immersing sales.
The loyalty driven purchases can also be increased if prices can be reduced and the evaluation of Quality Street in relation with Ferrero Rocher, Jewels etc increases by working on the aesthetics and brand communication. The packaging needs to be modern, stylish and eco friendly with more emphasis on orientation than choice of colours.

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