I read the Chinese version of a econimic book named “The Economic Naturalist in Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas”. When it was published in China main land, the title of this book is translated into “牛奶可乐经济学”， which means the ecomony about mike and coca.
Based on Chinese version, the publisher pick up a very interesting question from the book as a special selling point:”Why the container of milk is a rectangular paper box but of coca is a round metal can?” Robert H. Frank, the author of this work, answered it in details.
Generally, as i remembered, milk is always pilled into cups as breakfast. People purchase a big volumn of milk several times a month and drink them everyday. Therefore, putting milk into a paper box can allow a bigger volumn. However, people usually do not pill coca into a cup, instead, they just hold it by hands and drink it directly. The round shape is much easier to hold than rectangular.
More importantly, milk has to be stored in a ice-box, otherwise, it will be spoiled soon. In contract, coca is not easy to get spoiled and do not require special conditions to store. Because the cost of ice-boxs is high and they maintenance is costly, every inch in the ice-box is precious. Rectangular paper boxs allow a greater quantity and save operating spendings. However, the normal display racks is much cheaper compared to ice-boxs. The space of them is not a determinant. Therefore, the container designed to be round cans.
This is an example of the decision making of distribution strantegy and packaging. Retailer and manufactures are all involved in this case. Hence, we can tell that distribution needs cooperations and interactions between individual business aspect.
Although this book is about economy but not commerce or marketin, I still high recommand it. It provide a method of thinking which is also can be used in commerce.
Get it in Amozon, click http://www.amazon.com/Economic-Naturalist-Explanations-Everyday-Enigmas/dp/046500217X
Know more about it, click http://www.robert-h-frank.com/book.html