One Blog |December 22, 2010 | POS Tracking Software

Marketing at-Retail - Standing Out in an Overcrowded Market - Part 2

Mark Fullerton

Part 2

“Imperfection is beauty . . . madness is genius . . . and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

- Marilyn Monroe

Let’s agree that most products that are considered commodities are boring.

It’s essential for alcohol beverage suppliers, distributors and retailers to rail against the perception that their products are commodities - And critical that their products are not considered boring. Boring products are, frankly, forgettable. And, forgettable usually means there will be little, if any, intentional repeat business.

In the context of things you can start doing to leverage your Marketing at-Retail efforts to differentiate your products and drive sales, I present the following 3 tips.

Tip 1: Get Their Attention - Stand Out From the Crowd  

As Marilyn suggests, if you want to be successful in the alcohol beverage market, be anything but boring as you create your Marketing at-Retail materials.

You have a tremendous (and last chance) opportunity to not be boring right at the point-of-sale. Indeed, at the point-of-sale, you have an opportunity to grab the customer’s attention and to make them forget about any other competitive marketing messages.

At that very moment, you have the opportunity – by not being boring – to get the customer to buy your product. You can be funny, “loud” (or big) or pithy – It doesn’t matter as long as you get the shopper’s attention.  Once you have their attention you may consider the next tip. 

Tip 2: It’s all About Them - Think Benefits, Not Features

If all you do, once you have their attention, is tell the potential buyer “what’s in it for them” to buy your product, you’ve pretty much done almost all you can do to persuade them to buy. But, all-too-often, attractive POS gets the customer’s attention and then proceeds to tell them about the features of your product (right back to boring), not the benefits they will enjoy.

Generally speaking, features are not automatically translated into benefits by shoppers. When you are creating the “compelling” reason to buy your product ask yourself, “Will customers really care about us, and will they automatically translate our 'features' into something that is of value to the shopper?”  In other words, is the POS message about us or about them?"

Here’s a quick example. Assume your beverage is advertised at the point-of-purchase and your message choice (graphically depicted) is either to show a picture of where the product is made, (it’s about you); or, to show a picture of attractive people holding up glasses of your product and smiling – toasting to a good time (it’s about them enjoying themselves while using your product). Which image do you think is the most persuasive?

Tip 3: Bigger Is Better, Less Is More

Because the retail store can present your customer with perhaps thousands of messages in a relatively short amount of time, it is important for you to determine how not to contribute to the overall clutter within your product category (beverages in general and alcohol beverages more specifically.)

In Shopper Intimacy, the authors present their discovery of just how cluttered the retail landscape can be:

“. . .the average shopper is presented with between 17 items per minute in relatively simple formats, such as a convenience store, and more than 300 items per minute in more complex environments such as grocery and chain drug stores.”

You may note that the first two tips are designed to help your customers navigate the maze of Marketing at-Retail materials and hone in on your message – all at the expense of your competition.  This third tip is no different – if you want to stand out, if you want your message seen, then you need your POS to be bigger than your competitors. Recent studies suggest that large-size types of POS provide the greatest lift (%):

  • ­   Cooler door signs (73%)
  • ­   Banners (60%)
  • ­   Danglers (35%)
  • ­   Branded fixtures (32%)
  • ­   Display boxes (23%) 

 I should point out that each of the above tips has been presented in a generalized fashion due to the space limitations imposed by blogs. For a complete and in-depth study of how Marketing at-Retail has emerged as one of the most powerful tools you can use to increase your product sales (especially when compared with traditional media), I urge you to sign onto your favorite e-tailer and buy both The Power of Marketing at-Retail, Third Edition, edited by Robert Liljenwall and Shopper Intimacy by Rick DeHerder & Dick Blatt.

 Mark Fullerton

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