In our last 5 blogs we discussed 12 important aspects of designing an effective point-of-purchase display. In the last blog of this design blog series, we’ll consider 2 additional key aspect of effective design.
Make it Built to Last
Make sure your POP display is designed and built for durability. Assume your fixture will be the victim of abuse, neglect, and shameless piracy. In engineering any display, it is important to consider more than just the weight of the products that will be merchandised on the display. Fixtures need to be designed to withstand the force of fully-loaded shopping carts bumping into them, kids hanging on them, and misguided floor scrubbers gone awry. For freestanding wood floor displays it generally makes sense to invest in a high quality bumper such as McCue to protect the base and T-molding rather than edge banding to protect vulnerable edges and corners.
End caps and freestanding fixtures are often the greatest victims of abuse, particularly in high-traffic store environments. For example, we manufactured a Pepsi end cap for Ralphs stores. We were informed that in selected stores the bottom and top shelves were being damaged. After investigation, we learned that damaged sustained by the bottom shelves was a result of floor scrubber crashes as well as reps standing on the bottom shelf to make it easier to reach the top shelf during restocking. Damage to the top shelves was caused by reps slamming 2 liter bottles onto the shelves during restocking. As someone once said, “Experience is the toughest teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards.” We’ve learned from experience that shelf load is just one of many inputs that need to be considered in ensuring the overall structural integrity and durability of a display fixture.
In addition to abuse and neglect, point-of-purchase displays need a strong defense against fixture piracy. It is not uncommon for a POP display to lose its brand identity simply by someone removing the signs and merchandising the display with a completely different brand or product. These acts of shameless piracy are not always policed by store personnel so the best way to prevent your display from getting hijacked is to have some kind of permanent branding on the display. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on interchangeable signs. We are simply suggesting that some permanent branding will go a long way toward discouraging blatant acts of fixture piracy.
Invest in Your Design
Investing in the design process is the best way to ensure your point of purchase display will produce the sales and brand-building results you desire. In too many cases we have seen companies who manufacture their product in China make a poor decision by allowing their factory’s “sister factory” to manufacture their displays. This short-sighted approach is common practice in a number of industries such as toys, hardware, and automotive aftermarket products. While this strategy may save some money in the short run, it almost always results in unimaginative, uninspiring, and unremarkable displays that underperform at retail. In our view, any savings produced by this approach are generally more than offset by potential lost sales and missed opportunities to enhance a company’s brand image.
Another common practice is to settle for an off-the-shelf stock display rather than invest in a custom display that will truly differentiate your product. At RICH LTD., we offer a full line of some of the most flexible, customizable, and design-oriented stock displays in the industry. We understand that some customers either don’t have the time or the quantities to pursue a custom design. Many of these customers can find a workable merchandising solution within our stock line, and we offer numerous options to customize our stock retail fixtures through custom signage, the addition of accessories, and lots of opportunities for configurability. Some customers, however, have products that just don’t fit any of our stock fixtures, yet they are resolute about using a stock fixture. While we are big fans of our stock fixtures, we believe spending the time to work with us to develop a custom fixture might be a better answer than force fitting your product into a stock POP fixture. Many customers are surprised to learn that custom fixtures do not necessarily cost more than stock fixtures.
What Do You Want to Accomplish with Your Display?
Investing in the design process means taking the time to think about what you want your POP display to accomplish and what you are really looking for in a design. Some of our customers provide us with a formal design brief that introduces the company and the product, discusses the brand image, highlights competition, provides product and packaging details, outlines display requirements, offers budget guidance, and includes quantities as well as timelines. Design briefs are helpful but not always necessary. Investing in the design process means at least thinking through the following types of questions that we are likely to ask:
- What type of display are you interested in (temporary vs. permanent, floor vs. counter, etc.)?
- What product will you be merchandising on the display? How many SKUs? How much product? How many facings? What is the weight, and what are the package dimensions of your product?
- Are you looking to display your product on shelves, hooks, etc.?
- Are you looking for a 1-sided, 2-sided, or multi-sided display? Does the display need to spin?
- What kind of branding or signage are you looking for?
- Do you have any material preferences?
- What type of retail stores will the displays occupy?
- Do you have any dimensions in mind for the display?
- Do you have finish or color preferences?
- How will the units be packed (individually boxed, bulk packed, etc.) and how will they be shipping?
- What is your timeframe?
There are many more questions that would need to be answered throughout the design process, but the above questions can help you get started.