Packaging: The multifunctional marketing tool
Packaging is an effective marketing medium which helps to build consumer relationships through possession and usage. Packaging innovation, design and value packaging are used to promote the product, distinguish products from competitors, communicate brand values and target specific consumer groups. These packaging strategies, together with the visual and structural aspects of packaging design, such as colour, size and shape, influence consumer perceptions and purchase and usage behaviour, and give packaging an important role at point-of-purchase and also post-purchase. Packaging also has a close relationship with the product.

Packaging: A tobacco industry and retail perspective
Tobacco packaging has multiple functions for tobacco companies, beyond that of brand identification, navigation and selection. It is used to promote the product using the same strategies employed by other consumer goods manufacturers, specifically packaging innovation, design and value packaging. Packaging is viewed as a key marketing tool for tobacco companies, according to both their own internal documents and also the retail press. Packaging has a wider reach than advertising and is the most explicit link between the company and the consumer.

Perceptions of packaging and plain packaging: A focus group study
Research exploring young people’s perceptions of tobacco packaging found that youth appear to be attracted to tobacco packaging design. Branded packaging presented positive user imagery and functional and emotional benefits to young people. Conversely plain cigarette packaging was perceived as unattractive, reduced emotional attachment to the packaging and enforced negative smoking attitudes among young people. Plain packs with different shapes were also found to influence young people’s perceptions, suggesting that a standard shaped plain pack is most effective at reducing the ability of packaging to communicate with young smokers and potential smokers.