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Branding, Packaging & Labeling


There are several products of the same kind but from different manufacturers. A manufacturer, therefore, should differentiate his product from other producers’ with an intention to make it identifiable to the consumers so that they can differentiate it from the products of other competitors in the market. For this purpose, the manufacturers give their products a brand name which may consist of words, letter, group of words or letters, sign, design or a combination of them.

Branding, therefore, is the management process by which a product is branded. It is a general term conveying various activities such as giving brand name to a product, designing a brand mark and establishing and popularising it.

What is a Brand

A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors (American Marketing Association). Examples of brand are Lux Soap, Star beer, Mercedes Benz, Omo, 404, 504, 505, 406, are brand names of various models of products in the Nigerian market. Inherent in a brand are brand name, brand mark, and trade mark.

Brand Name: Brand name is a part of a brand consisting a name which may be vocalized or pronounced, e.g. Sharp Television, Newcline Refrigerators, Omo, etc.

Brand Mark: A brand mark is the part of brand which appears in the form of a symbol, design or distinctive colouring or lettering. It could be recognized only by sight but may not be pronounceable. E.g. symbol of Nigeria Airways, symbol of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), etc.

Trade Mark: When a brand mark is registered and legalised it becomes a trade mark. In that sense all trademarks are brands but not all brands are trademarks. Trade mark is therefore defined as a brand or mark that is given legal protection. Thus, the trade mark is essentially a legal term protecting the manufacturer’s right to use the brand name or trade mark.

Choosing a Brand Name

Names are in one way a necessity for they serve to create identity. Identity is essential in competition because without a means of identification there is no way of making a choice. It is here that brand name enter the scene of marketing.

Brand name selection is an art.’ Very often manufacturers invite brand names from consumers, dealers and agencies. The following as some of the characteristics of a good brand name.

1.   The name should be easy to pronounce.

2.   The name should be easy to read and understand.

3.   It should be easy to remember

4.   The name should be appropriate for the product.

5.   It should be different from other brand names

6.   It should not be offensive.

7.   It should be short and simple

8.   It should be adaptable in advertisement

9.   It should be economical, sp that it could be easily printed or embossed on packages

10. Should be pleasing when read.

11. Should be heart touching so as to influence the mind of the customer and catch his imagination.

12. Should be able to suggest something about the products* benefit and qualities

13. It should be legally protectable

Types of Brands

Brands are generally classified into two broad categories: Manufacturer’s Brand and Distributor’s or Middlemen’s brand.

1.   Manufacturer’s Brand Consist of:

National Brand: The same brand used on a national level.
Regional Brand: Brand for a particular region.
Advertising Brand: Brand stressing symbols.
Blanket Brand or Family Brand: One brand name for all the products of a manufacturer. In fact a family brand involves several items under a single brand. And in most cases the brand name is equally the company’s name. E.g. IBM, UAC, etc.
Multiple Brand or Individual Brand: Brand name given for each variety of product, e.g. Joy Soap and Premier Soap, all from Patterson Zachonis (PZ) Industries.
2.   Distributor’s or Middlemen’s Brand consist of:

Private Brand
Store Brand
Dealer Brand
House Brand
The distributor’s brand stress the identity of the retailer.

Advantages of Branding

The advantages of using brand names could be easily recognized for each group of participants in marketing, viz, manufacturers, consumers and distributors.

To the manufacturers:

It identifies the product and distinguishes it from other competing products. Thereby protecting the interest of the manufacturer.
It saves advertising cost if the brand is popular.
If properly promoted, brand name creates confidence and goodwill for the product.
It widens market for the product
It helps in full control over the market if it is popular
To the Consumer

It affords an easy way for purchase by easily identifying a product and the buyer can easily compare the products of two manufacturers or producers.
It stimulates repeat purchase by developing brand loyalty.
The brand name indirectly assures certain quality by identifying the manufacturer behind the product.
The brand name assures certain fixed prices. Even the distributors cannot unjustifiably increase the prices.
To the Distributors

Widely popular brands ease the selling processing for the distributors and lead to larger sales.
Distributors will be more willing to stock branded products which are successfully promoted.
Distributors can easily find out the quick moving products.
It helps in advertising and sales promotion programmes
Special selling efforts need not be undertaken. This reduces the cost of distribution and hence the final price.

Brand restricts the pricing freedom of retailers
Branding prevents dealers from having control over the brand
Brand names do not always assure good quality. Manufacturers sometimes place inferior goods in the market under a glamorous brand name, and it generally happens when brand names becomes popular in the market.
Branding increase the cost of the product.

Packaging is a major element in the marketing mix for a product. In the past, management of different organisation considered packaging significant only for the purpose of containing the products thereby assigning the responsibility of packaging to the manufacturing department. However, a marketing manager regards packaging as a source of supplementary promotion for his brand.

In modern marketing, a well designed packaging is done to attract consumer’s attention at the point of purchase, to furnish consumers with needed information about the product so as to provide on the spot persuasion and incentive often vital to make a sale or required to propel consumers into buying.

In many industries, utilities and performances are taken for granted and the public demand is for product that are good looking, attractive in appearance, and is often accepted as itself an index of quality and many a product outsells a more efficient competitors mainly because of a better and more pleasing appearance.

A good package, therefore, is the representation of the artistic combination of the designer’s creative skills, product, marketing and sales knowledge of the management team. The development of packaging is the sum total of the talents of the designer, the researcher, the technician the advertising man, the marketing expert, the sales department and top management.


Packaging may be defined as the group of activities in product planning which involve designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product (Stanton). It also refers to any material used in wrapping and protecting goods from hash climatic conditions and contaminants. It can be simply defined as the use of any form of container in storing, packing, protecting,   preserving,   presenting,   distributing   and   selling products to the consumer.

With the coming of modern science, and advances in technology, packaging has become a sophisticated and specialised field requiring skilled manpower. Qualities of packaging materials and their functional efficiencies have both witnessed remarkable improvements since the industrial revolution for all types of consumer items. These include both durable items (like electronic materials) and non-durable like drug, soaps, detergents and of course agricultural products and most processed foods.


The following have been identified as the functions of packaging, protection, convenience, economy, promotion, identification and information.

Protection: Packaging protects the goods from being damaged as it moves from one point to another. The goods are protected from various kinds of damage such as
>   Damage by mechanical handling   –

>   Product loss-petroleum, products are lost if it remained exposed.

>   Pilferage

>   Spilling and spoilage.

Convenience: Packaging convenience in case of handling goods.   Such as convenience in warehouse, shop, house and convenience in use.
Economy: Packaging ensures economy by preventing loss in quantity and providing opportunities for re-use.
Promotion: The packaging of a product goes a long way to promote the product.
Identification: Packaging enables customers to identify the product from among other products.
Information: Packaging goes further to give the consumer the idea of what to expect of the product. It also gives the consumer the idea of what its quality will look like.

Kinds or methods of packaging will depend largely on the contents in terms of their value, physical composition and durability. The length of the distribution channel, the amount of handling which the container will receive and variations in climatic conditions which may be encountered between the point of manufacture and sales are also taken into account.

In physical terms packaging can be divided into two categories-primary and secondary.

PRIMARY: The primary ones are those which come into direct contact with the product. Therefore, their chemical and physical compositions must be in conformity and compatibility. Those in this category include cellophane, polythene and paper packages, wrappers, lacquered metal tins, plastics containers, glass jars, and bottles. They are used in packaging confectioneries like biscuit, bread and sweets. Others are soft drinks,-sugar, fruit juices, beer, beverages and evaporated milk.

SECONDARY: Secondary packages are larger containers used to carry* -many units of primary packages, ready for transportation and marketing. These include corrugated cartons and crates for specific number of primary packs. For instance, a broad paper carton (secondary) is used for twelve bottles (primary) of-beer (product). Whereas, a plastic crate (secondary) contains twenty-four bottles is however a general one as there may be instances of both secondary and primary merging.


1. Family Packaging: The products of a particular manufacturer when packed in an identical way is known as family packaging. The shape, colour, size and so on packaging will be similar for all products. Family brands are made meaningful by using family packaging also. In such cases materials used for packaging, the appearance and so on will be one and the same for all the products of a manufacturer.

2.   Re-use Packaging: Packaging that could be used for some other purposes by the consumers after the packed goods have been consumed is known as re-use packaging.   This aspect increases the sales value of the product considerably.

3.   Multiple Packaging: It is the practice of placing several units in one container.  This helps to introduce new products and increase sales.


1.   Glass: Glass has the advantage of the balanced forces of compression and tension.    It is transparent to light and impervious to contaminants.    It also have the beauty of shape.   These attributes make it the best for marketing soft drink.    However, it has the disadvantage of being easily broken. Its transparency may also be disadvantageous when certain chemicals inside it experience autolysis due to long exposure to harsh sunlight.

2.   Plastic Containers: These are becoming most popular due to their low cost, good appearance, convenience and ability for re-use.  Plastic containers also have the desires attributes of strength combined with highness and imperviousness.    It gives adequate protection to packaged food like sugar, evaporated milk and fruit juices.    However, it has the advantages of low resistance to high temperature.  Some are also not transparent, as with glass bottles, which allow for easy identification of products.

3.   Metal Tins: These are used for packing liquids like oil. Metal   tins   have   the   advantages   of   tensile   strength, sealiability, printability, imperviousness and high resistance to heat. Metal tins is used in packaging beverages like Bournvita, Milo, Ovaltine, as well as for tomato puree, Sardine, baked beans, canned beer and soft drinks. The high advantage of sealiability protects the packaged product from easy spoilage.

4.   Card board containers; they are also known as corrugated paper boxes. These are mostly used in speciality goods which are not bulky.

5.   Wooden  boxes;   they  prevent breakages  due  to  rough handling of fragile products.


Packaging is in the socio-economic fore front today because of its relationship to environmental pollution issues. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing packagers is how to dispose of use containers, which are a major contributor to the solid-waste disposal problem. Consumers’ desire for convenience in the form of throw-away containers conflicts with their desire for a clean environment. The socio-economic criticism of packaging are:

1.   Packaging deplete our natural resources.   This criticism is being offset to some extent as packagers increasingly use recycled and biodegradable materials.   Another off setting point is that effective packaging reduces spoilage.

2.   Packaging is excessively expensive. Cosmetics packaging is often cited as an example.   On the other hand, effective packaging reduces transportation costs  and losses from product spoilage.

3.   Health harzards occur from some form of plastic packaging and some aerpsol cans.    Government regulations have banned the use of several of these suspect packaging materials.

4.   Packaging   is   deceptive.      Government   regulation   plus improvements in business practices regarding packaging have reduced the intensity of this criticism, although!! is still heard occasionally.


Labeling is a subset of packaging. It is closely related to packaging and perform both promotional and informational functions. A label may be part of package, or it may be a tag attached to the product. Obviously there is a close relationship among, labeling, packaging and branding.

Apart from the promotional and information functions, labels also performs the following functions: identifies the product or brand; grade the product and describe the product.

Consumer confusion and dissatisfaction over such incomprehensible descriptions as “giant economy size”, “king size”, and “family size” led to the passage of the fair packaging and labeling Act in 1966. The act requires that a label offer adequate information concerning the package contents.

Food” and Drug Administration required processed food producers to include nutritional labeling that clearly states the amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates and calories contained in , as well as., their vitamin and mineral content.

Consumerist have lobbied for additional labeling laws to require:

>   Open dating – to describe product freshness.

>   Unit pricing – to state the product cost.

>   Grade labeling – to rate the quality level.

>   Percentage labeling – to show the percentage of each important ingredient.

TYPES OF LABEL: Labels fall into three types:

1.   Brand Label: A brand label is one that identify the product or brand e.g. some clothes carry the super print wax label.

2.  Descriptive Label:   A   descriptive   label   gives   objective information about the product’s use, performance and other pertinent features.

3.   Grade Label: A grade label informs the consumers about the quality of the product with a letter, number or word. e.g. corn and wheat are grade-labeled 1 and 2, others are grade-labeled A,B, and C.

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