November 05, 2008

Building successful Retail displays – Making heroes

Most businesses who are thinking of creating retail displays for their products are focused on brand image and communicating product features & characteristics.

But a Retail display strategy is not only about demonstrating your hero products, it is about making retailers your hero. It is about making them true ambassadors of your products because you cannot physically be behind them 100% of the time. Because of that your displays must ENABLE not DETRACT.

Here are from my experience the key success factors to consider in building your retail display strategy:

  • Remember retailers own the space, even if you end up paying a subsidy, space in retail is scarce. Optimize the space – think product storage & additional shelf space not just product demo. ROI is king - think Turnover / m2 used. At the end of the day aren’t you in it for the same reasons = to sell more products.
  • Try to make retailers life easier = address their concerns – How to sell your products / and how to sell more of it. Your display is a silent sales man. It can also become an education tool to the sales people in the store and show them how to sell your product.
  • Think modular / changeable / mobile. Remember nobody wants a piece of decor forever. Stores are an ever changing environment, refreshing the layout is always good. If your display is getting in the way of the retailer’s operations it will end up in the bin or at the back. This should force you to think about telling a story, and come up with regular upgrades and refreshes.
  • Think location, make sure you grab appropriate locations (beware of shelf contagion issues – they may be products you do not want to be next to). Think foot traffic and circulation within the store. Think visibility (and try not to obstruct visibility – retailers can be very itchy about line of sight).
  • Adopt the snowball strategy. Setup trial locations, and use the results to sell the setup to others. Retailers can be very jealous of each others, it can block you but it can also work in your favour. Prove your worth first and replicate. Also if you do not get the best location right away, you can still re-adjust and improve your next sites. Get accepted first.
  • And finally do not think your work stops once you have setup your display locations. It does not... keeping them clean, tidy and up to date is critical... making sure the material is aging properly against the day to day grind. Nothing worse than a broken or half working display. Make sure you have the resources to re-visit and maintain your displays on a regular basis.

Good luck.

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