The relevance of packaging on the marketing performance of a manufacturing firm [a case study of unilever Nigeria plc aba]

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Title page                                                                        i

Approval page                                                         ii

Dedication                                                               iii

Acknowledgement                                                 iv

Table of content                                                      v

Abstract                                                                  viii



1.0   Introduction                                                    1

1.1   Background of the study                                1

1.2   Statement of problems                                   6

1.3   Objective of the research                                7

1.4   Research questions                                                8

1.5   Significance of the study                                9

1.6   Scope of the study                                        10

1.7   Limitation of the study                                  11

1.8   Definition of terms                                          12


2.0   Literature Review                                           16

2.1    Preamble/Introduction                                 16

2.2   Conceptional Framework                               19

2.3    Current literature based on theories/

models and research method                         24

2.4    Summary of the literature review                 27


3.0   Research Methodology                                    29

3.1  Design of the study                                         29

3.2   Area of the study                                            30

3.3   Population of the study                                  30

3.4   Sample/Sampling techniques                        30

3.5   Method of data collection                               32

3.6  Validity/Reliability of instrument                  33

3.7   Distribution and Retrieval of instrument      34

3.8   Method of analysis                                          35



4.0   Data presentation and analysis                     36

4.1   Data presentation and interpretation           36

4.2   Findings                                                          45

4.3   Discussion of the findings                              47


5.0   Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations        50

5.1   Summary of findings                                      50

5.2   Conclusion                                                      52

5.3   Recommendations                                          54

5.4   Implication of the findings                              56

5.5   Suggestion for further studies                       56

References                                                      58

Appendix A                                                     59

Appendix B                                                     60

Questionnaire                                                 61




In nowadays competitive marketing environment the role of package has changed due to increasing self-service and changing consumers’ lifestyle. Firms’ interest in package as a promotional tool is growing increasingly. Package becomes an ultimate selling proposition stimulating impulsive buying behaviour, increasing market share and reducing promotional costs.

According to Rundh (2005:672) package attracts consumer’s attention to particular brand, enhances its image, and influences consumer’s perceptions about product. Also package imparts unique value to products and works as a tool for differentiation, i.e. helps consumers to choose the product from wide range of similar products, stimulates customers buying behavior. Wells, Farley & Armstrong, (2007:680) opined that package performs an important role in marketing communications and could be treated as one of the most important tools of promotion. The primary function of packaging is to protect the product against potential damage while transporting, storing, selling and exploiting a product and to ensure the convenience during performance of these activities. Grundvag&Ostil, (2009:220) indicates the importance of packaging in the case of grocery, when consumers buy unbranded  products. Seeing that most consumers tend to touch products before purchasing, they treat product packaging as a tool for protecting consumers from contamination, for allowing them to touch products without restraint, without need to avoid smudging their hands. They propose to use packaging with a “window”, in order to allow consumers to evaluate product by its appearance at the same time reducing “consumer uncertainty regarding quality by branding the product and labeling it” i.e. to communicate to consumer adequate message about product. It could be stating that in length of time a function of identification and communication became of vital importance especially for consumer products in the group of convenience goods.

Packaging as a tool for communication was investigated by Gonzalez et al., (2007:63) Taking into consideration that impulsive buying is proper to many consumers it could be maintained that “packaging may be the only communication between a product and the final consumer in the store”. Consequently the role of package in marketing communications increases: it must attract consumer’s attention and transmit adequate value of product to consumer in the short period right in the place of sale.

The role of packaging has evolved from the traditional function of protecting the product against dirt, damage, theft, mishandling, and deterioration. This functional role is a requirement of all packages. In the modern era, packaging is also utilized as a marketing tool to promote the product, to increase visibility of the product on the shelf, and to provide information to the customer (O’Shaughnessy 2005:105). In spite of packaging use as a growing marketing tool, marketers still view packaging as a container. Known marketing guru, Philip Kotler (2000, 418) defines packaging as all activities of designing and producing the container for a product. Packaging draws the attention of the consumer at point-of-sale through its attractive design and color, gives an indication of its contents, package can be a tool in educating the customer. Finally, the package contributes to the overall image of the brand. It is important to remember, however, that packaging is not the only marketing and promotional tool. Meyers (2001:25)

The increasing importance of packaging in the marketing mix has equaled and occasionally surpassed product advertising and sales promotion in the past thirty years.

The physical packaging of a product can be used for many purposes, from the manufacturing point to the end users, such as the protective and promotive functions where it is called as a “silent protector” Long (2002:52) and a “silent salesman” Pilditch (2003:102). The packaging not only delivers product information and brand identity, it also visually appeals to consumers and due to its protective function delivers the product undamaged. Besides, Packaging plays an important role in helping consumers to recognize and understand the products.

When consumers go to retailers, they usually see the packaging of products before they can see the products themselves. Therefore, the packaging of products can be an effective tool for promotion in real shops Stewart, (2006:208).

According to Cateora (2002:405), a poorly packaged product conveys an impression of poor quality. Supermarkets have many products on the shelves each containing many items of information and there are very few sales people in a supermarket hence most selling is done through packaging. The modern marketer should then see packaging beyond its traditional role of holding contents together but as a promotional tool for his products which is the purpose of this study.


Despite the increasing popularity of packaging in the promotion of goods and services, one cannot but agree that there are areas of problems which need to be studied. Though some business organizations are now using packaging to promote their wares yet many business organization in Nigeria concentrate their marketing effort on the traditional elements in the marketing mix in the performance of their marketing activities. The rate at which wares or products are being advertised, one may be forced to ask questions bothering on the use of packaging.

In the application of marketing mix, many organizations are faced with packaging problems. Some of the packaging problems include; the need to know whether packaging is a good promotional tool. In this regard, packaging alone is not enough for promotion of goods and services. There is a great need to look at other marketing mix elements which usually comes first before packaging, despite the fact that good packaging promotes sales; wrong packaging can lead to the total rejection of goods.

Again, packaging affect consumer buying decision, because wrong\bad packaging can make a consumer not to buy a particular product. In this aspect packaging needs to be suitable for each product in order to attract the attention of the consumers and also make them buy. Good packaging also protects the image of the organisation, but some organisations do not have good packaging system, thereby making their products to appear cheap and of low quality. Packaging is not a good compliment or substitute for advertisement though good packaging helps in advertisement.


The main aim of this research work is to analyze the role of packaging as a promotional tool in the marketing of weavon.The specific objectives includes:

  1. To analyze the extent packaging influences buying behaviours.


  1. Find out the impact of a change in package on the sales of the product.


  1. To ascertain whether brand packaging promote the company’s image.


  1. To know the extent producers consider packaging in their product decisions.


  1. To determine if consumers associate the appearance of a product to its quality.


The following questions will guide this study:

  1. To what extent does packaging influence buying behaviour?


  1. What is the impact of a change of package on the sales of the product?


  1. To what extent does brand product packaging promote the image of the company?


  1. To what extent do producers consider packaging in their product decisions?


  1. Do consumers associate the appearance of a product to its quality?


In analyzing the role of packaging as a promotional tool in the marketing of weavons some tentative statements have to be tested hence the following hypothesis is put forward for this study:

  1. H0: There is no relationship between packaging influence and buying behaviour.

H1: There is relationship between packaging influence and buying behaviour.

  1. H0: There is no impact of change in the package of a product.

H1: There is impact of change in the package of a product.

  1. H0: There is no relationship between brand packaging and company’s image.

H1: There is relationship between brand packaging and company’s image.

  1. H0: The producers do not consider packaging in their product decisions.

H1: The producers consider packaging in their product decisions.

  1. H0: The consumers do not associate the appearance of a product to its quality.

H1: The consumers associate the appearance of a product to its quality.


This study will solve the research questions mentioned earlier and show the importance of packaging as a promotional tool to both the manufacturers and consumers.

To the manufacturers, it will make them adopt a better approach to taking packaging decisions; help them promote the image of the organisation and the brand.

To the consumers, it will show that package is part of the product they buy and may help to reduce dissatisfaction felt after buying a product, stimulate their buying behaviour and help them choose a product from a wide range of similar products.

Also, academic community will not be left out, because this work will serve as a fertile ground for researchers who wish to carry out a study on this topic.


The study will cover the analysis of the role of packaging as a promotional tool in marketing of weavons the researcher intends to use the manufacturers and consumers of darling yaki and expression brands of weavon to carry out this research work. These manufacturers and consumers will provide the researcher with useful information that will be required to effectively carryout this research work.


The main limitations of the study are uncooperative attitude of some manufacturers and consumers of the product of the companies taken into study, inadequacy of time, financial constraints and inadequate power supply. Some of those approached for information declined and refused to cooperate. This affected the volume of information available for the study. Again, limited time allocated for this research work did not provide room for accuracy and reliability of results.


Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc is among the leading multinational companies that exist in Nigeria. And there is no way the history of Lever Brothers Plc can be treated without relating to the existence and impact of Unilever Brothers (Nig.) Plc, its parent and multinational company in London. Unilever’s history is also linked with the founder, William Hesketa Lever.

William H. Lever started at a tender age of 19 years by 1885. He started by buying the “purest” soap from local soap market. In other words, he was the first to start selling the falsest, wrapping it in bar of specific advertising through local newspaper. “No soap does this buyer business than advertising” was his usual slogan.

In Nigeria, William H. Lever bought a Liverpool from traders in Nigeria mainly in timber in 1910. Palm Kernel crushing mills were erected in 1910 at Oposo and Apapa (Lagos). In 1920, Mr. Lever bought over the Niger company for $8.6 million. It is this company that merged with African and Eastern Trading Company to form what, is presently known as the United African Company (UAC) in 1929.


Unliever extended its business activities into Nigeria when it was incorporated as West African Soap Company (WASC), until 124 at Apapa





where laundry soap of key, sunlight and magret brands were first manufactured in -1952. Lux tablet was introduced, magarine factory, which was registered under the name Van Bergh (Nig) Ltd, was opened also at Apapa.


It was named Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc where both WASC and Van Ban Bergh (Nig) Limited merged in 1955. Under the same management in 1957, Aba branch was opened with a soap factory for the production of laundry soap to start.


Presently, Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc has grown in the manufacturing of large varieties of products such as:


  • Cream and lotion products


  • Toilet soaps/laundry soaps


  • Oral care products


  • Baby care products


  • Hair care products


  • Beverages/drinks


  • Detergents


  • Toothpaste


  • Fabric washing/home cleaning


  • Diversely lever/industrial floor care products


  • Cubes etc.





Lever Brothers Nigeria PLc has also bought up the share of Lipton (Nig.) Ltd., makers of Lipton tea bag and Boncape coffee.


The performance of this section is that as early as 1885 Lever Brothers (Nig.) Plc found a need for marketing strategy and has taken innovative steps in penetrating the market for the product.


Source:  An unpublished manual history of Lever Brothers and its


present organization. Department of Management Training and Development, LBN, Aba, 1997.


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