Ithraa workshop focuses on product packaging

MUSCAT, JULY 16 – In today’s congested business world, packaging has become a critical factor; it can often make or break a product. And in an effort to help Omani exporters explore the importance of packaging and design, Ithraa teamed-up with the International Trade Centre (ITC) — a joint WTO — UN agency dedicated to supporting the internationalization of SMEs — to hold a four-day packaging workshop at July 10-13 at the Scientific College of Design and at Ithraa’s head office in Shatti Al Qurum.
It is generally accepted that 70-80 per cent of a consumer’s purchasing decision is made at the point of sale. In supermarkets, for example, research shows shoppers spend an average of less than 10 seconds in any single product category, so decisions are made quickly and often based on what a product looks like.
“The look and feel of the product, design, colour, labelling, price and the name of the product itself are all things that trigger us to stop and look at items on shelves. Most of these triggers either are, or can be influenced by packaging,” explained Nasima al Balushi, Ithraa’s Director General of Export Development & Investment Promotion and organiser of the four-day programme.
Consumers will touch, rate and even smell a product simply based on its packaging. With so much at stake, having a product packaged creatively will increase the likelihood of it being bought and re-bought if it lives up to its name.
“If the packaging is right, people will buy a product without even trying it because most associate superior packaging with quality,” pointed out Nasima. However, attention to packaging is a crucial step that is often neglected in business.
Packaging is important but many firms only think about it at the end of the development process and when the new product is launched, when in fact product development and packaging go hand-in-hand.
“If packaging is so important as to influence 70-80 per cent of a consumer’s purchasing decision, then it must be continually reviewed and tested,” pointed out Al Balushi
Commenting on the success of the four-day programme, Ithraa’s Director General said: “We’re delighted to partner with ITC. Indeed, it’s clear that the 40 participating firms clearly understood the marketing importance of packaging, design and branding and that it’s an aspect of their business that can’t be neglected.”
Most consumers judge a product by its packaging before buying. So it is logical to assume attractive packaging is crucial in order to get the first time buyer to choose your product.
Concluding, Frederic Couty, Senior Adviser, Packaging at ITC said: “It’s difficult to sell a good product in poor packaging. However, it’s much easier to sell a poor product in great packaging, at least to the first-time buyer.”

Business Reporter