Double Take

How powerful is a display at the point of sale (POS)? Many companies will say that’s difficult to measure. But with 50 percent of consumers making purchasing decisions in store, according to a recent study conducted by POPAI, the global association for marketing at retail, POS done right can be a powerful tool. 

So, how can a brand stand out? Sometimes bigger is better. Cross merchandising efforts can translate into not only a beverage sale, but also an added food item boosting the bottom line for a multi-faceted company. Innovation is always a key component: Media players, LED screens, lights, displays that incorporate motion or interactive displays are also attention grabbers.

Gregory Smith, director of communications for POPAI, says that the companies producing POS material face two challenges: time and space. “Coming up with some simple solutions that are conscious of budget and materials used is one of those things that folks who really get it, get it, and those that don’t would be well served to figure it out,” he says.

Among the companies that do get it is Bish Creative Display, Inc. (BCD). The company recently received the 2012 Creative Best of Show award for its permanent Makers Mark Giant Barrel and Bottle display it created for Beam, Inc. Jerry Fox, president and CEO of BCD, says that by focusing in on the brand’s iconic hand-dipped wax seal, the company was able to create a large and impactful display that delivered on the brand’s message of being hand-crafted. 

“Everything that we are making is not your traditional rack or pole display merchandising,” says Fox. “It’s very iconic, very creative and very innovative.”

Another POPAI award winner was Great Northern Corp. Consumer Packaging for its temporary Mountain Dew Ceiling Wave display produced for Pepsi. Building off the brand’s television campaign and new slogan, “It’s Better on the Mountain,” this aerial display is described as a “show stopper” by Jim Mahnke, creative director, Great Northern Corp. The spiral ceiling display could be seen from any point in the store, notes Mahnke, and reinforced the images of the first television commercial that aired—skateboarders seemingly skating through waves.

“People are always looking for something that is exciting visually and sometimes it can just be that graphics are executed, but I think more often than not it’s the dimensionality of the piece,” he says. “It has to create that intrigue or that other level of visual interest that people are going to look at, but then look at it again.”

With that double-take frame of mind, interactive displays also come into play when capturing a consumer’s attention in the aisle—or from across the aisle. Media players are becoming a growing trend, notes Mahnke. “What it does is it creates that attraction from a distance,” he says.

Interactive displays not only capture a consumer’s attention, but hold it and drive sales in the off-premise. One example is the Virtual Bartender, created for Diageo: a kiosk where consumers can input information and receive printed suggestions on what spirits and/or mixers to purchase. The digital technology for the Virtual Bartender was created by Digital Aisle while Niven Marketing created the display piece last year that included shelving for product and also mobility so that the kiosk could be moved to different locations within a store. Don Hubbard, CEO and president of Niven Marketing, says: “We’ve found that technology and digital [applications] at retail is not a solution, it’s more of a problem solver and I think that’s key to this unit.” 

For some brands the key to off-premise POS is based around entertainment. Rapid Displays has worked with Dr Pepper Snapple in creating POS displays that reinforce the company’s tie-in with blockbuster movies like “The Avengers” or television shows like “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Survivor.” 

“Advertising is so fragmented,” notes Paul Smith, sales executive, Rapid Displays. “How else do you speak to a customer; how do you influence that decision at the point of sale other than with really outstanding, attention-grabbing point of sale displays?” 

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