Strategy is coordinated actions. In the 3P model it means the product, promotion, and placement depend on each other.
Recently I was in a mall which is a collection of “try things on” stores. The 2022 mall is the placement of items, the products are clothes, jewelry, and food. That’s coordinated actions, here are three more examples.
RXBAR switched from (left) an original design done in PowerPoint to something simpler. The new design communicated what the bar was and helped it stand out on the retail shelves.
Aldi cereal has long barcodes because the Aldi aim is affordability. The company sells white label products with long barcodes to speed up the check out.
Haven’s Kitchen offers QR codes on the store boxes. Founder Alison Cayne learned this lesson when she taught cooking classes: teaching people what to eat did not help them figure out how to do it. The QR codes offer extra communication.
Packaging strategy does not mean product will sell but it makes it more likely. This isn’t just sampling bias either.
First, we can think like an economist and look at the market: what works? If for many years many products across many categories have optimized their package design then it has some importance.
Second, we can think like an investor and invert the question: can packaging be bad? Yes!
Great packaging is overrated but packaging strategy is not. The product, placement, and promotion have to fit with each other’s tradeoffs.