Grégory Bentley | The eighth “P” of the marketing mix: packaging


There is a checklist for marketers called “the eight Ps”. In a module at college many years ago, I remember someone purring about this, but thanks to the combination of cheap beer and late nights my memory is still a bit hazy.

I remembered this checklist a few weeks ago. My wife and I were discussing the names of a new brand I’m working on and she suggested that we take inspiration from academia. With a degree in Marketing and Business Studies, she first became interested in the theories taught in marketing and degree courses around the world. It occurred to me to modify the original eight or just use the first seven and replace the most recent eighth with another – the packaging.

In the 1960s, the first four Ps were created: product, price, promotion, and location. This was extended in the good old 1980s to: product, price, promotion, location, physical evidence, people and process. I may sound a little skeptical, but I can’t help but think that “physical evidence” was not their first choice, but for the sake of the sacred “Ps” theory a compromise was found.

The eighth is more performance, but I think that should be a no-brainer. I suggest that the packaging take its place. And for the contemporary marketing mix, I think there should be five Ps: product, price, promotion, location, and packaging.

I was never one for college studies; I’m much more of the type to do it, feel it and make the rules like a person. However, I am also a packaging nerd and a passionate believer in the real benefits that packaging brings to modern life. If we can integrate the eighth P of packaging into the marketing mindset and approach to product development, we have a much better chance that the packaging solution will be well thought out and add real value to the experience of the customer. consumer.

If brand owners and marketers can put packaging on the table early on in a project and treat it as an opportunity and a tool, rather than an evil necessity, the integrated product and packaging delivered will have more. chances of success. This approach should cover all elements of the package, from cradle to cradle; not just making a packaging that catches the eye of the consumer but a packaging solution that has the least impact on natural resources or active recycling systems.

Today’s consumer has a real appetite for conscious packaging solutions as well as for brands that demonstrate a willingness to embrace sustainable packaging solutions.

The industry is under continuous pressure from NGOs and consumers. Increased national media coverage will not change, but we can. We can change our approach to this wave of criticism and educate consumers on the benefits of packaging, how it can increase recycling and reuse of materials.

Anyone reading this article has a level of interest and passion for packaging (apart from my mom who will only read it because my name is at the end) and it’s our job to share that passion and knowledge at the within our businesses and the wider community. We should not be defensive but informative and ask for support and feedback.

If you are a packaging engineer, developer or technologist and have a project on your desktop, I invite you to ask yourself two questions: have I done everything possible to reduce the impact of this packaging solution on the environment ; and would I pass the red face test with my grandchildren when they ask me what I did to reverse the packaging and plastic waste issues?

We have the power to make a difference. We must influence our marketing teams and our business leaders so that they reorient our view on packaging; make packaging this eighth P and a key consideration in all marketing decisions.

Gregory Bentley is a Packaging Consultant at Bentley Packaging

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