Is packaging important?

Last Updated : 08 October 2015, 02:31 IST

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Just conceptualise the following scenario: It is your birthday, and you have notched up the most fabulous, fun-generated birthday party.

You are agog with excitement as you sight your beautiful array of birthday gifts. Of these, which are the birthday gifts you fancy the most and would, therefore, open first?

Obviously, you might open the ones which are the biggest, the most fastidiously wrapped or perhaps the ones wrapped in the most colourful, eye-catching wrapping paper.

After all this ordeal, you may be in for a bit of chagrined disappointment, as you discern that the biggest gifts or those wrapped in the most careful way may not necessarily be the ones you cherish the most. On the contrary, the gift of the miniature but elegant diamond pendant wrapped in simple grey wrapping paper could turn out to be the most precious gift and more valuable than all the other gifts put together.

This above example, as is obvious, is about the worth of what is in lingo termed "packaging". Indeed, all human beings do get enamored and carried away by packaging. This is because it makes for the "first impression", and human beings generally do go in for first appearances, for, as they say, 'love at first sight'.

One does indeed get carried away by that pretty face, the perfect figure, the TV actress with matching accessories, the statuesque model, and the wannabe Miss India contestant who has honed her skin and hair-managing skills. So, though one does elicit a clichéd understanding that "beauty is just skin deep", one will be surprised to note how deeply it colours one's perspective.

So, though one can deduce that packaging does serve a purpose and is important, one should not get sidelined by it nor should one underestimate the importance of content.

A book with a beautiful cover will get only first week sales, and after that it has to be sold on the strength of its content. A person who is well groomed but does not possess even a modicum of "inner beauty" has lost the lesson. Packaging, though creating initial hype and euphoria, has to be coupled with content, as packaging alone can be a façade which masks, fools and beguiles people of its intrinsic worth and calibre.

So, in this analysis, where then does packaging matter? The following example will help you understand the argument of Packaging Vs Content clearly.

There were two projects of exactly the same merit. The teacher in charge has to necessarily give the first prize and second prize to these two projects. Since the merit of the content is more or less the same, she would award the first prize to the project which has a neater appearance, better handwriting and more effective presentation. Here is where the value of packaging comes in. It is very much like a 0. By itself, it is valueless, but when put to the right side of any number, it gives that number much value.

Published 08 October 2015, 02:31 IST

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