Muhcina Silvia “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania, Faculty of Economic Sciences, E-mail address:, Condrea Elena “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania, Faculty of Economic Sciences, E-mail address: Popovici Veronica “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania, Faculty of Economic Sciences, E-mail address: Tomescu Ada University of Oradea, Romania, Faculty of Economics, E-mail address: Abstract To be known on the market, to exist for the consumers and to influence their behavior, to be positioned from competitors, to have a distinctive image, the organizations must realize an efficient marketing communication policy. Included in the large sphere of communication tools, package is, in the same time, an important tangible element of the product, and also, one of the most visible mean that is used by the organizations to communicate with the public. In the marketing approach, together with label, the package of agro-alimentary products has multiple functions. The goal of this paper is to show some of different aspects concerning the importance of package for marketing communication process. Key-words: agro-alimentary, marketing, communication, package, label

The specific of agro-alimentary market requires a special marketing approach. The agro-alimentary marketing has some personal features, generated by various causes, such as: the high importance of natural and biological factors on agro-cultural production, sector, the seasonality of vegetal production, the specificity of demand for different agro-alimentary types of products, the low level of farmers’ information concerning the international markets trends etc. Going from its functions, the objectives of agro-alimentary marketing approach can concern the fallowing aspects: the agro-alimentary market research, the environmental analyze, the behavior study of agro-alimentary products’ consumer, the elaboration of agroalimentary marketing-mix, strategic planing, etc. Between the constant preoccupations concerning the product policy formulation and implementation, the price policy and the distribution of the agro-alimentary products, one of the important preoccupations of marketers is the marketing communication activity with the different categories of publics.

1. The importance of agro-marketing communication policy
Into the large sphere of communication process, the marketing communication has a specific goal, fallowing the marketing objectives’ achievement. As a permanently message source, the organization try to inform the publics, to sensitize the potential clients, to influence the consumers’ behavior in a favorable meaning. To create marketing communication strategy is a difficult process that has to be realized considering the organizational global strategy. Like in the case of any other organizations, the organizational suppliers of the agro-alimentary products are confronting with major decisions which are concerning different aspects, such as (Popescu, 2003, p. 174): • The organizational long-term orientation 994

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The organization activity’s definition The environmental connection of organization’s activity

• The correlation between organization’s resources and its activity. Even for agro-alimentary organization, the communication strategy must be correlated to the organizational mission and goals, to the communicational targets, to media communication, the messages’ contents and the process of resources’ allotment. The system of marketing communication of the organization involves several elements: • • • • The transmitter or the source of information (the enterprise) The message (the idea, the information) The channel that allows to spread the message (the support of the message)

The receiver of the message (the consumers, the clients, the representatives of public authorities, the media etc.). The process of communication is submit to various interferences, such as different barriers (culture, language etc.), filters, noise etc. Through their contents, the messages that are manipulated by specific marketing communication tools, allow the enterprise to promote and to sell products, underline, support and promote the agro-alimentary brands, create a specific image of the organization. As any other organization, on theirs turn, the suppliers of agro-alimentary products can use the fallowing marketing techniques (Popescu, 2003, p. 25): • Promotional communication techniques, that are utilized in some planned marketing communication campaigns. This category of communication tools includes advertising, sales promotion, public relations, marketing events, sale’s force and direct marketing. Considering the marketing goals, targets and message’ content, in the communicational campaign can be used one single promotional tool or can be used a combination of promotional tools (promotional mix).

Continuous communication techniques, such as brand, package or design, in to a process that involves the utilization of some stabile elements, that confers steady-fastness to message’ content. The promotional policy is important because has the role to communicate, to inform the customers about new or improved products, to educate consumers’ tastes, to stimulate and drive the organizations’ and peoples’ demand. The promotional tools that are used in agro-marketing are the fallowing: • • Advertising, important and impersonal form of communication about ideas, goods, services, an identified sponsor pays that. Advertising messages are usually transmitted through the fallowing supports: news-papers, magazines, television, radio, by direct mail, outdoor billboards, printed materials (flyers, calendars, catalogs etc.). The producers and the distributors of agro-alimentary products must respect the law frame, because these products have a direct influence on human health. To protect the consumers, in the majority of European countries, the fallowing procedures are considered abused and, in consequence, are forbidden: false indication about the products’ nature, their prices, the quantity or the provenience of goods, advertising for unhealthy products, advertising through subliminal message, or transmitted to children etc. Generally, in the majority of European countries, advertising for alcohol and cigarettes is not allowed. Personal selling is a person-to-person type of communication in which the receiver provides immediate feedback to the source’s message. The sales force has an important role in agroalimentary marketing process, because it has two functions: on one hand, represent the “engine” of sales activity (the sales volume, the profit, the market share dimension etc., are depending on sales men activity), and on the other hand, the sales force has important responsibilities in marketing communication activity (through their behavior, through attitude and body-language, through theirs’ communicational abilities etc., they represent the image of the organization) 995



Sales promotion, a marketing activities assembly concerning the consumer purchasing stimulation (price-off deals, rebates, premiums, in-store displays, sampling, coupons, contests etc.). For consumers, in retailer network shops, one of the most used tools in the sales promotion of alimentary products is sampling, people being invite to taste different types of products (sausages, cheese, coffee etc.). The big wholesalers stimulate the merchants especially through discounts or advantageous prices for bigger quantities Public Relations, a promotional activity that aims to communicate a favorable image of the products or of the organizations, which offer them, and to promote goodwill. These activities are directed to some certain publics’ categories: employees of the organization, mass media, opinion leaders, representatives of public authorities etc. Sponsoring, that means to give a material or financial support for non-profit activities or organizations (in sport, in education, in health system etc.)


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Trade shows and exhibition participation, important means to communicate about the offers, to negotiate future contracts, to promote products, to enter on new markets etc. The agroalimentary suppliers can participate on general trade fairs or on specialized trade fairs (such as INDAGRA, in Romania). In marketing specialists’ opinion, the assembly of tools and techniques communication that are used by the organization in to the process of marketing communication, expresses the content of marketing communication mix (Balaure et al, 2005, p. 348).

2. Package, element of marketing communication
Important element of agro-alimentary product structure, package is, in the same time, an important and traditional communication tool used by the marketers, with a strong impact on the consumers. Invested with multiple functions, package assures a strong contact between consumers and products, and together with the label, communicate important information about products and the organizations that offer these products. Because is one of the most visible communication way, package policy is very important for agroalimentary organizations. Considered as a continuous marketing communication tool, package has the capacity to add a considerable value to the product through shape, design and graphics (Popescu, p. 166). Today, through its communicational valences, the design of package is an important way to stimulate the products selling, and it’ s considered in the marketing strategy grounding process. Package is a material support that has the function to protect the product during the transportation, storage and handling processes. Its importance is considerable too for the protection of environment in the case of products that can affect, through theirs’ characteristics, the integrity of the environment. Considering the package destination, in practice are used the fallowing package types: • • • Sales packages, that represent for consumers, sales unity on acquisition point Group packages, conceived as to unify a certain sales unity or to stuff the shelf from the sales points

Transportation packages that facilitate the products handling and transportation and prevent products physical damages The package has complex functions, such as: • • • • • • To protect the content in case of products transportation, storage, manipulation and utilization; To protect the environment from the possible novice actions that the production can cause it (chemical substances, medications etc.) To facilitate the products’ storage and manipulation operations To facilitate the products’ batching and stowing operations To stimulate the sale policy To promote the products, through messages communication free of charge action a.s.o. 996

The package communication function refers to product capacity of draw attention, to differentiate the product from competitors’ similar products, to convince consumers to by the product. In the same time, package informs consumers about the products through text’s elements, expressive, trademark and brand personality. All these elements serve to identify the product, to guarantee the product quality, to make easier the product sales, especially in the case of self-service in supermarkets, to accelerate sales through a quick identification of package and product (Dubois, Jolibert, 1994). From a historical point of view, the relationship between marketing and package develops in a different ways. Manny years ago, package function have limited on keeping products in safe. Once with marketing concept evolution, the connection between marketing and package has become more complex, and marketing has a positive involvement even from research and product design process. Today, when package industry gets a significant position in national economies of developed countries, package’ s design has become an important way for sales stimulation, being considered in marketing strategy grounded process. Because of its communicational impact, specialists considered that some package’s attributions has transformed in secondary functions, such as (Popescu, 2003, p. 166): • • • • • • To draw the consumers’ attention To convince the consumers regarding the advertising promises and the real quality of the product To build brand personality To increase the consumers’ loyalty To educate the consumers regarding contents, product’ s composition, requirements in product’s utilization a.s.o. To indicate the origin of the product (the place of manufacturing)

• To educate the consumer regarding the way of using products Package adds value to the product through the nature of materials that are used to manufacture it and also through design. Selecting a certain material for package realization process is influenced by different phenomena such as (Popescu, 2003. p. 167): • • • Cultural environment evolution, especially the eco-orientation (now, are more and more used the materials that are bio-degradable, The existence of various alternatives of materials for manufacturing the packages The technique development

• The progress of logistics and supply chain a.s.o. Considering the communication function of package, basic elements of package design are the fallowing (Ingold, 1994): • • • Shape Color Graphics

• The informational message Through color, graphics, illustrations, text, the package communicates in a symbolic way. Using an appropriate design, from artistic and structural point of view, allows to obtaining a maximum valorization of package potential. To be successful, the package’s promises and information must concordant to real quality of the product. An alimentary product is characterized not only by its nutritional value, but also by the informational elements that allow to be recognized. Together with package, the label contributes to a good communication, because, generally, the first contact of customer with the agro-alimentary product is facilitate by the presence of informational elements that are wrote. The informational content of the label must be synthetic, accessible, and must offer sufficient information of the agro-alimentary product, to present it and to represent it in an adequate way (Diaconescu, 2005, p. 159). 997

A good design fallows marketing specification’ s goals, and is appreciated from the point of view of these criteria and from sales’ dimensions. In the same time, through shape, color and graphics, package is the ideal way to create a product’s image.

To elaborate a successful marketing strategy, marketers must decide what image they wish to project on the product and its package, in to a unitary vision. When image it is not clear or includes contradictory elements, the package will have more difficult tasks to transmit messages, the consumers are confused and the communication process will not be successfully. Very important also are the aspects that refers to the package’ s shape and the package’ s image, and also a significant role will have the analyze of what opportunities can be incorporated into package, as advantages for consumers. The package has, also, an important role to brand positioning operation, because valorize the product, fundaments and strengths the brand and consumer relationship. Through its power of drawing attention on the product (especially in the case of self-service stores), through its effect to unleash buying decision, package is a real „dumb salesman” (Smith, 1994, pp. 470471) of the products, and a basic marketing communication tool. The agro-alimentary products are better positioned and knew through an adequate package, that associates a clear image of these products.

1. 2. Balaure, V. (coord.), „Marketing”, Ed. Uranus, Bucureúti, 2000 Bibiri, E., „Culoarea, grafica, ambalajul úi publicitatea – elemente componente ale strategiei de marketing”, în Revista Marketing-Management, nr. 4/1993, p. 27-30 3. Constantin, Marian, ú.a., “Marketingul produc iei agroalimentare”, Ed. Didactic úi Pedagogic , Bucureúti, 1997 4. Diaconescu, M., “Marketing agroalimentar”, Ed. Universitar , Bucureúti, 2005 5. Dubois, P.L., Jolibert, A. „Marketing. Teorie úi practic ”, Ed Universit ii de ùtiin e Agricole din Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, 1994 6. Hiam, Alexander and Schewe, Charles, D., “The Portable MBA in Marketing”, John Wiley&Sons, Publishers, 1992 7. Ingold, Ph., „Guide operationnel de la publicite a l’usage des entreprises”, Dunod, Paris, 1994 8. Mehedin i, Lucian, “Agromarketing”, Ed. Funda iei Universitare “Dun rea de Jos”, Gala i, 2002 9. Popescu, I.C., „Comunicarea în marketing”, Ed. a II-a, Ed. Uranus, Bucureúti, 2003 10. Smith, P.R., „Marketing Communications. An Integrated Approach”, Second Edition, Kogan Page Limited, Londra, 1999


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