Conveying value using point of purchase

Marketing magazine has reported that ‘power brands’ are refocusing their marketing activities and shifting a lot of attention to point-of-purchase (POP) in order to differentiate their products during these economically challenging times. Differentiation is going to be key in the run up to Christmas.

POP is set for an annual growth rate of 21% according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Procter & Gamble have gone on record stating that ‘if [a marketing idea] doesn’t work at the store, it’s a miss’ and Diageo is advertising for two dedicated POP managers. A sure sign that as marketing budgets tighten, POP is a high-value opportunity to ensure your product is visible.

Value shift

Research by consumer analyst firm IGD has found a growing trend for consumers looking to find a bargain but also minimise wastage – BOGOFs and multi-buys are increasingly becoming seen as wasteful and consumer focus appears to have shifted to value in correlation with sensibility – hence why food retailers have refocused their messages to convey quality value instead of quantity value.

World Cup and sport point-of-sale

Following on from this weekend’s England friendly, here at Valley we’re all thinking about the World Cup. We’re avid football fans, but it’s also great to see how big brands use landmark sporting events such as this to promote their product in a new and interesting way.

Valley has experience in helping iconic brands create unique sport-themed point of sale. For example Greene King for the ix Nations, Red Bull for the X-Fighters and Lucozade for the FA Premier League.

Using sporting events and seasonality to attract customers is always fun. Sport-themed displays make a big impression on your customers, differentiate your products from the competition and stimulate interest in your product.

By creating a unique sport-themed point of sale you catch the attention of your customers. Your product may then be associated with all the good feelings associated with that sport such as fun, friends, good times, the weekend, etc. Some brands are able to boost sales by piggybacking on big sporting events that are evocative with consumers.

I found this really creative sports themed display by Vitamin Water whilst looking online. Vitamin Water created a stadium, complete with a pitch and players with their bottles of products. Click on the link to have a look at the photos – quite unique!

POP expanding faster than internet advertising

The recession has consumers looking for deals on the items they buy now more than ever. That means it’s even harder from brands to stand out amongst the buy-one-get-one-free offer and half price stands.

Knowing and understanding consumer behaviour can be at your advantage when planning a point of purchase decisions.

I recently read on Marketing Magazine’s website that point of purchase is expanding faster than internet advertising and has an expected annual growth rate of 21% in 2010. It seems brands are realising the importance of POP as about 70% of brand choices are made in-store, especially in supermarkets.

Not only is it harder to stand out these days, consumers are also more “brand promiscuous.” They seek out the best deal and will swap brands at the drop of a hat. Research has shown that 37% of people buy a brand for the first time because of in-store promotions.

Understanding that people are now harder to sell to and that they try to stick to shopping lists to prevent going astray, brands can tailor their POP to be more effective.

When designing a POP marketing plan, brands should ensure their objectives match with existing in-store activities and targets. Point of purchase needs to help and support in-store environments and blend seamlessly into every day shopping.

Disruption of the shopping experience isn’t effective. Attraction is better.

So, we know consumers are trying to save money and aren’t as loyal to brands. Businesses need to use these factors to their advantage and design a POP plan with these consumers in mind.

POS is touchy

To some, point-of-sale may be to the extent of a difficult-to-fold cardboard display box at the till, but don’t be too basic. Despite the recession, adding technology can improve a company’s bottom line.

Customers have fancy phones that they can touch, talk to and have the ability to get any information they please from a variety of apps. People are used to touching and interacting and want that interactivity in their retail experience.

Some of the first “techy” in-store displays were TVs on stands. Now there is much more like Bluetooth, touch-screens and image recognition. Customers want to immerse themselves in the experience. They should be able to create, share and have fun and that’s a whole lot more than watching a plasma on the wall.

There is so much you can do from customising a display and tailoring it to your audience to demographic targeting using face recognition.

Using all this technology for your shop can be fun and exciting, but be smart. Keep it easy to use and informative. Also, make sure that using it integrates seamlessly into customers’ shopping experience. Humanize it-make it entertaining and appropriate.

Hopefully, your point-of-sale extends beyond a Vasoline lip balm holder at the check-out, but if not, maybe it’s time to update.