The Valley Group

How to stand out in Tobacco

July 11, 2024

Tobacco is a highly valuable, competitive space in retail, with regulatory compliance and retailer restrictions making it tricky for brands to deliver cut-through in store.

Gantries offer a challenging retail environment, they are densely packed with standard horizontal shelving, which as a result often becomes poorly merchandised. Any POS solution that can disrupt these parameters is onto a winner, creating a more aesthetic product display for retailers while securing space and positioning for the brand. Effective disruption requires an innovative design approach that can help a brand stand out amid the cluttered environment.

Understanding the purchasing journey within the tobacco category is vital to recognising the value and potential in shopper touchpoints. In non-combustible categories, the journey a consumer takes towards purchasing a tobacco alternative, such as Nordic Spirit, is often a considered and significant move. Point of Sale displays play an important role in ensuring the brand stays visible and front of mind to a consumer, for when they are ready to take a step and change their tobacco habits.

Here are some tips from the experts on how to make your product stand out and deliver impact in tobacco:

Strategic design for maximum impact

“Our approach to design is twofold: isolation from the rest of the retail display so shoppers can clearly identify the limits of what they are looking at, and also building recognition and recall through the use of brand elements”

Andy, Creative Director at Valley

By creating separation from your products and the rest of the rear wall, you achieve isolation, offering better product and brand stand out. Up against a densely packed display, brands are fighting against the natural geometry that a gantry creates. By disrupting this linearity helps attract the eye of the shopper, which is drawn to irregular shapes. By using premium finishes and materials such as wood, helps brands such as Ploom create an elevated positioning for its devices and tobacco sticks, with liftable fronts offering valuable communication space.

Bringing the Brand to Life

Once isolation has been established, consider how to bring brand identity to the space using visual brand cues through product layout and comms. In the example of our design for Nordic Spirit in Tesco, hexagonal brand geometry was used creatively to deliver ownership of the space. The arrangement of the packs also followed the same angles as the hexagon, while negative spaces were utilised as communication spaces where possible. This approach not only reinforces brand identity but also makes the display more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

Leveraging Small Opportunities

Gantries offer tiny opportunities to play with, and by optimising each of these can deliver valuable wins. Even small disruptions to the horizontal lines on a back wall gantry, such as turning elements at a 10-degree angle, can work wonders. This subtle shift breaks the monotony and draws shopper attention.

Collaboration with Retailers

Working closely with retailers is essential to ensure your display solutions are implemented effectively and maintained. A pack-pushed display keeps merchandising standards neat and ensures that products are always presented in the best possible way. Additionally, using illumination to highlight products can enhance the overall impact of the display. Edge lighting brings in brand elements and helps shoppers understand the pack arrangement. Without the guiding shape, such as a hexagon, the pack arrangement might not make sense to the shopper.

Consider Shopper Distance

Understanding the shopper’s distance from the product is crucial. Displays should be designed to be eye-catching and key comms legible from a distance, ensuring that attention is gained even in a busy retail environment.

By employing strategic design, leveraging small opportunities for disruption, and maintaining close collaboration with retailers, brands can create effective POS solutions that stand out in the crowded and competitive tobacco retail space. Through innovative approaches and a deep understanding of the consumer journey, tobacco brands can ensure they remain top of mind for shoppers ready to make a major change in tobacco habits.

Need any help raising your brands impact in store? Drop us a message we’d love to help