Custom Retail Displays: Making a POP Display for One of the World’s 10 Youngest Billionaires

Posted by Jim Hollen on Feb 28, 2017 2:30:00 PM

In today’s post, we wanted to highlight one of the cool projects we worked on as a way of illustrating the importance of attention to detail and design considerations involved in making custom retail displays. Before getting into the details of the display, there’s an interesting backstory which is worth sharing. Our customer Ubiquiti Networks is a global technology communications company founded by 38-year-old Robert Pera. At age 36, Pera was named to Forbes’ list of 10 youngest billionaires in the world. He is the currently the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies and has an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.
Ubiquiti custom retail displays

Pera, an electrical engineer by training, started his career at Apple where he tested the company’s WI-FI devices to ensure they were compliant with FCC standards. He noticed that the power devices used by Apple’s WI-FI products was far below the limits allowed by the FCC. He figured out that boosting the power of these devices could significantly increase the transmission range which therefore could provide internet access to areas that telephone and cable companies don’t reach. With $30,000 in personal savings and some credit card debt, Pera left Apple in 2005 to start Ubiquiti Networks.
Pera was a big admirer and student of Steve Jobs. As we all know, Steve Jobs was a perfectionist who had a reputation for maniacal attention to detail. That drive for perfection definitely rubbed off on Pera, and in turn, has become part of the culture and mentality at Ubiquiti Networks. In working with the Ubiquiti team, we couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail and uncompromising insistence on perfection during our POP display project. We’ll be the first to admit that it resulted in a better POP display than what we might otherwise have produced.

The display we created was a 4-ft. glorifier designed to be placed inline in Micro Center stores. The purpose of the display was to showcase and promote the company’s AmpliFi turbocharged mesh home WI-FI system. AmpliFi utilizes multiple self-configuring radios and advanced antenna technology to provide ubiquitous WI-FI coverage in your home. The system consists of a router and mesh points, both of which were incorporated into the display.
 
We fabricated the display out of expanded PVC which has the advantage of being light, durable, and easy to work with from a graphics perspective. The back panel graphics could have been executed using direct printing, but we chose to print on vinyl and stick it down to the PVC. One of the important design elements was the curved transition between the product platform and the slanted front shelf graphics. Another important detail was the way we created the sides to extend beyond the top of the product platform to hide the edge of the graphics.

Our customer wanted to make the front angled graphics interchangeable so we used magnetic vinyl material and stuck it to sheet metal that we attached to the PVC structure. After an initial prototype, we noticed that the vinyl graphics were showing fingerprints so we added a protective matte laminate finish which solved the problem.  Although it is difficult to see in the picture, the mesh points are plugged into 3 live outlets. We built a thin box on the back side of the display which housed the junction box, the wiring, and other electrical components. We secured the mesh points and routers to the display to ensure they would not be stolen.
We worked through multiple iterations with our customer on the graphics and ultimately changed the main text to white so it would pop off the black background. In the end the graphics looked good, but our preference would have been to reduce the amount of text since in our experience most shoppers do not like to read a lot of text and would prefer just to look at pictures.
 
Ubiquiti close up custom retail displays


The design and manufacturing process for this project was intense, particularly given the extremely tight timeframe. But, we learned a lot, as we do with almost any project we take on. We were happy with the end product and so was our customer, which is really what counts. The picture below shows the display in a Micro Center store.
 
Amplifi micro center store custom retail displays


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