It is not uncommon for brands to think of a POP display as just another expense that is required to sell their product in retail stores while building brand awareness. But rather than viewing it as an expense, brands should consider a POP display as an investment. As with any investment, a POP display should generate a measurable return. That return on investment should be attractive relative to alternative ways the company could use that capital such as investing in advertising, social media, or a hiring new sales person.
There are a number of ways to improve the return on investment of your POP display. In today’s post we’ll focus on just one approach which is to extend the life of your display. The idea is that the longer you can keep your display in use, the more sales and profit you can generate. By amortizing the cost of your display over a longer period of time and over a greater amount of sales, you can increase the lifetime return on investment of your display.
There are 5 key ways to extend the life of your POP display:
- Make Signage Interchangeable– Making the signage on your display interchangeable offers a number of important advantages. By being able to change out the signs, you can not only capitalize on seasonal or promotional opportunities, but you can keep your display looking fresh while also using the same display to introduce new products or updated messaging. (Note: We also generally recommend permanently branding your display to prevent the retailer or another brand from hijacking or repurposing your display.)
By way of example, we designed the display series shown below for Rae Lou’s. The design we created enabled the company to extend its investment in the main structure of the display while being able to change the graphics package to follow the holiday schedule.
- Select the Right Materials– Selecting the right materials is also a critically important aspect of extending the life of your display. Choose durable materials that will last and be able to hold up to abuse in a retail environment with heavy foot traffic. This will also help your display arrive to the stores safely and not be damaged in shipping. Poor material choices and poor packing are leading causes of premature POP display deaths. If your display does make it to the retail floor safely, it needs to stay looking good for as long as possible so store management does not decide to dispose of it because it is starting to look beat up.
Metal construction is probably the most durable material followed by solid wood. MDF is a superior choice over particle board, and a laminate finish will hold up over time better than a melamine finish. If you have decided to go with a corrugated floor display, consider spending a little extra to incorporate a clear plastic base tray to help protect the display from moisture that can damage your display when the floors are mopped on the night shift. Be sure to discuss material choices with your display provider and be intentional about selecting durable materials that will extend the life of your display.
- Design the Display to be Configurable– Making your display configurable is a proven way to future-proof the display and extend its life. Great designs will build flexibility into a display. Flexibility and configurability will enable your display to accommodate new products, new sizes, new SKUs, and new merchandising approaches. Configurability is a key strategy to help you avoid fixture obsolescence.
An example of a configurable display is one of our stock units which we call the 4-WAY-EXT. The display consists of a basic chassis and a set of configurable accessories such as straight outs, jet rails, cap pockets, and shelves.
- Make the Display Mobile– Making your display mobile by adding casters is a simple way to build additional versatility into your display which will help to extend its life. If your display is easy to move around, a store is more likely to be willing to relocate the display to another area within the store to accommodate planogram changes. Simply put, it gives the retailer more options when considering how best to utilize the display.
A good example is the mobile coffee display we made for Tieman’s Fusion Coffees. The same display has been in Sprouts for more than 6 years, and it is frequently moved around to different locations within the store. We wrote a mini case study on how this display generated a 3400% return on investment, paid for itself in 9 days, and helped outsell Starbucks 17:1. Imagine how much that return on investment has increased after more than 6 years.
- Make Your Design Universal– One way we see the life of POP displays cut short relates to the design being too specific to an existing product set. It is important to consider that there will be product extensions, new product introductions, changes in packaging, etc. Designing flexibility into your display so that it can accommodate these types of future product changes is essential when trying to extend the life of your display.
Whenever possible, make your shelves adjustable. If your display incorporates dividers, it is usually best to make them adjustable as well. Rather than fixed shelf signs, use shelf channels that can accommodate a slide-in sign. At the beginning of the design process, it can be useful to spend some time thinking through how your product line might evolve over the next several years and then use that information to create a design that can meet the needs of that future product line to the extent possible.