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    The Valley Group

    Retail marketing group creating powerful in-store solutions, driven by insight, knowledge and creativity

    Valley’s top 10 brand and retail activations of the week

    Viewpoint Lite | 14/01/21

    Every week, we put together an edit of some of the best, most innovative and most bold retail and store activations. These examples come from the observations of our own team here in the UK and from our international offices. We include outstanding examples of our own work, plus other inspiring happenings from across this diverse and super-creative industry.


    1. Kami Smart Home Cameras

    free standing display unit for Kami

    Smart-home technology company Kami approached Valley with a challenge to create a striking FSDU, to launch it’s range of AI-augmented smart home cameras across EMEA. The brief was to create something eye-catching that would really educate the consumer at the point of sale. Our design team created a unit that not only held stock, but also featured a realistic house on the top, to reinforce the versatility of the range. We also incorporated our proprietary TapScan technology, allowing shoppers to tap or scan the top of the display to instantly launch digital content. Kami already had some fantastic explainer videos, so adding TapScan was a no-brainer. Since deployment, the units have had hundreds of interactions and this design really shows off what is possible when form, function and creativity come together.


    2. Graze FSDU’s for the Wholesale channel

    graze snacks display fsdu

    Graze has been an incredible British success story with its better-for-you snacking range. Valley worked with Graze to roll-out these bold, colourful and super eye-catching FSDUs at wholesalers up and down the UK. The marketing team at Graze offered convenience store owners a temping chance to win £1000, in return for purchasing 4 cases. We added extra ‘oomph’ with a lively lemon that moved, further attracting attention to the displays.


    3. Contactless-dispensing for Coke Freestyle

    contactless dispensing coke freestyle

    If you’ve been to Five Guys for burgers, you’re sure to have used a Coke Freestyle machine, the Coca-Cola company’s flagship soda fountain. The machine allows diners to personalise beverages, creating flavoursome concoctions like ‘Peach Coke’. During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, companies had to pivot fast to find ways to allow consumers to avoid physical contact with machinery as well as other people. Coca-Cola quickly added a ‘contactless dispense’ feature to its Freestyle machines. Consumers simply scan a QR code on the front of the machine. This then allows soda-lovers to make their selections on their phone, with no-need to touch the screen on the Freestyle unit itself. A refreshingly simple solution.


    4. Miller High Life – win a brand activation in your own back garden! miller highlife bar

    In September 2020, Miller’s High Life brand gave drinkers the opportunity to win a brand activation in their own back-yard, worth $10,000. During lockdown and with bars closed, the brand managers at Miller thought creatively and gave fans of the brand the chance to win their very own at-home dive bar. The glorified shed came with an actual bar, Miller High Life beer-taps, quirky bar stools, a popcorn machine and even a chair for a bouncer to sit outside. Thousands of people applied, and one lucky winner in Penn State, USA took delivery of the bar, and a $200 gift card. Could you offer people an innovative at-home (and virtually sharable) experience?


    5. White Claw – Surfer in the supermarket

    white claw retail display

    A leader in the hard-seltzer market, White Claw is named after the rogue ‘White Claw Waves’ that travel in sets of three across the ocean. This amazing example was spotted by one of our associates in the USA – who said you couldn’t ignore this surfer and wave of product made out of White Claw’s own outer packaging. If this doesn’t attract shoppers’ attention, then nothing will. The Valley team has sampled White Claw’s clean-label Seltzers and Black Cherry is by far our favourite flavour!


    6. Ember – the world’s first temperature controlled mug

    ember heated mug

    Just when you thought that everything in the world had already been invented, someone goes and surprises you (why didn’t we think of this?). Valley’s Managing Director James is the proud owner of an Ember smart-mug. It’s a smartphone controlled mug that keeps hot drinks at the consistent temperature of your choice. It’s perfect for brew lovers (tea that is). Once you’ve paired your phone with the mug via Bluetooth, simply turn on and off at will, and choose the perfect drink to put inside. Their retail glorifier looks good too!


    7. Showfields – product discovery and stories app

    showfields product discovery app

    If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Showfields in New York, you’ll realise they’re at the cutting edge of the evolving role of the department store. Instead of the usual permanent concessions, you’ll find a revolving edit of popups, featuring the new and next boutique fashion and beauty brands. In response to COVID-19, Showfields quickly pivoted with the launch of their discovery app, the perfect partner to a visit in-store. The app is all about storytelling; allowing shoppers to discover the inspiring founder, origin and brand-purpose stories behind the various products. This innovation is very similar to Valley’s own TapScan platform, that let’s shoppers see and interact with digital content by just tapping or scanning any retail display.


    8. Nutella wooden feature-end – spotted in South America on a retail safari

    We love the use of wood on this supermarket feature end, spotted in Quito in Ecuador by myself. This was part of a wider retail safari conducted in parts of South America. This semi-permanent piece of display really stands out with its use of a natural, sustainable material that can be moved to different store locations. Consumers are more conscious than ever about the use of natural, sustainable and recyclable materials and this is something that we are applying real focus to here at Valley. Watch this space for more innovation from us in this arena.


    9. Niketown Express Shop – with virtual queuing system

    nike express shop

    It’s great to see how the QR code has really come-of-age in 2020. It’s been used by retailers, restaurants and governments alike, as a means for shoppers to launch Digital content fast in a contact-free way. We liked the look of Nike’s Express Shop available at Niketown (their famed cathedrals of retail theatre). The strategy here is to maintain social distancing in-stores, allowing consumers to join a virtual queue to receive personal shopping advice. This avoids physical queues and lowers the perception of wait time, by allowing shoppers to explore and be alerted when it’s their turn to see a member of the sales team. Expect to see this as a growing trend throughout 2021.


    10. Cadbury Freddo Treasures – with a toy inside!

    cadbury freddo treasures

    Last but by no means least, we absolutely love this pirate ship that was created for Cadbury’s Freddo Treasures. For some time now, I have officially been considered an adult. However, that doesn’t stop me from loving Cadbury Buttons, Freddos and Curly Wurlys. This new launch from Cadbury is in the form of a treasure chest, filled with a pack of yummy buttons and a mystery toy. What a combination. The proposition was brought to life in store with these fantastic pirate ships – storing lots of product and being incredibly eye-catching and colourful at the same time.


    Join us next week for another roundup of outstanding shopper marketing, retail activation and brand innovation.

    If you’ve spotted something outstanding that you’d like to share with us, please get in touch –


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