Analyse Semio-Linguistique Des Emballages Et Etiquettes De Medicaments En Vente Libre : Cas D’etude De Nairobi
This is a case study of the Nairobi central business district. The key objective is to determine the semio-linguistic elements used in the packaging of over the counter medicines, their influence on the consumer and their interpretation by the consumer. This study provides a Kenyan perspective on the interpretation of semio-linguistic elements on the packaging of over the counter medicines and their relevance to the Kenyan consumer. The information provided in this study is therefore significant to the marketers of pharmaceutical products in Kenya. It provides relevant information in picking semio-linguistic elements that best represents the company image while communicating relevant information to the consumer thereby increasing sales of the product. We used two sampling techniques for this research. Purposive sampling technique was used to select pharmacies where 60 photos of packaging were taken. The 30 chemists in these pharmacies responded to the questionnaires for chemists. Stratified random sampling technique was used to identify respondents for the questionnaire and interview targeting consumers. 30 men and 30 women were selected to respond to the questionnaire. For the interview, 5 men and 5 women were chosen randomly. The research was carried out along the streets of Tom Mboya, Ronald Ngala and Mfangano in the central business district of Nairobi. Two theories were used in this study: the theory of semiotics and the theory of social representation. The semiotic theory was useful in the analysis of the packaging on the photos taken at various pharmacies while the social representation theory was useful in the analysis of the interpretation of color by the consumer.The results show that text and color were present on 100% of the packages examined. Image was present on 83.3% of the packages. English, Kiswahili and French were the languages preferred by manufacturers of these packages. English was used on 100% of the packages while Kiswahili appeared on 26.7% of the packages. French was used on only one of the 60 packages. Of the ten most frequently used colors on the packages, 7 colors had positive associations while 3 had negative associations. The results from the consumers and chemists indicate that the brand and quality of packaging attracts consumers to over the counter medicines. Since none of the semio-linguistic elements influence a big number of consumers, it is our recommendation that manufactures combine color, image and text for the branding of over the counter medicines. The packaging manufacturers should also conduct research on the meanings associated to a color by the target market niche before using the color to represent their brand.