Designing an Effective POP Display – Part I

While there are many important considerations in designing an effective point-of-purchase display, in this blog we’ll focus on 4 critical aspects of the design process.

  1. Understand Your Target Customer Demographic

Having a clear understanding of your target customer is the first and arguably most fundamental step in developing an effective point-of-purchase display. What is your target customer demographic? What does your target customer value? What motivates them? What is their lifestyle and how might your product help to enhance that lifestyle? Once you understand as much as possible about your target customer, you can incorporate those demographic and behavioral insights into your design.

For example, one of our customers, 9Five Eyewear, is a luxury brand of eyewear founded on the aesthetics of street culture, skateboarding, and fashion. In attempting to build a top-tier eyewear brand and capture its target customer of 18-24 year old males, 9Five tapped into some of the world’s most sought-after trend setters in music and pop culture.


We created a one-of-a-kind sunglass display case for them that looked like a video game console, fully equipped with push buttons, a real joy stick, and coin slots. The display was designed to tap into the passion that 18-24 year olds have for video games while also creating an element of surprise (i.e., Who would expect a sunglass display to look like a video game console?).

An example of designing store fixtures to appeal to a very different target customer is the line of animal-themed step stools we designed for Petco. The majority of Petco shoppers are women, and many of them have kids in tow when shopping. Petco asked us to create a set of safe, folding step stools that would be attention-grabbing and fun while specifically appealing to kids.

  1. Tell a Story with your Display

The objective here is to create an emotional connection with buyers. Everyone likes a good story. Story telling is an art. Stories enable us to connect with people. The more remarkable or unforgettable the story, the easier it is to engage your audience. Stories can also connect us with products. The best retail displays are ones that tell a story to establish an emotional connection with a buyer.

Sseko Designs, the creator of an ethical fashion brand, hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals. While not unique, Sseko’s story of hiring and empowering women artisans to help end the cycle of poverty in Africa resonates with most people.

seecko sandals display floor fixture

The focal point of the sandal display that RICH LTD. created for Sseko Designs was the front-facing center graphic panel which provided a vehicle to tell the company’s story. We added brochure holders to enable interested customers to learn more about Sseko’s products and their vision for creating a brighter, more just, and more beautiful world. Sseko’s story helps to create a positive, feel-good impression of the brand while increasing the likelihood of purchase.

  1. Give your Display a Personality

In the same way we all can relate to a good story, people are genetically wired to connect with one another. Our genetic predisposition toward human interconnectedness is the underlying driver of the Internet, smart phone, and social media revolutions. Personalities play an important role in establishing connections between people. So the question then becomes if we are trying to connect POP displays to people, can we actually create retail displays with a personality? The answer is yes.


We were challenged by our customer Romotive to create a display for ROMO, their friendly programmable toy robot from outer space. The display needed to be so unique and so compelling that it could stop store traffic and capture the imagination of shoppers young and old.

The way we accomplished that was by giving the ROMO display a personality. More specifically, we discovered that ROMO already had a personality- a cute, friendly, and quirky personality. After getting to know ROMO, we learned that he could respond to facial expressions, play chase, roam around and connect with family and friends.

In collaboration with Romotive, our team designed a display that focused on showcasing ROMO’s personality. We designed a table top display that was constructed of acrylic and included a clear acrylic space-age dome, an air brushed latex moonscape, LED lights, a digital media player, digital graphics with targeted messaging, and most importantly, a fully powered ROMO robot. The display succeeded because it put the focus on ROMO and created an environment in which ROMO could move around and fully express his personality. Watch this short video to see how ROMO helped to make his own display.

  1. Focus on Key Points of Product Differentiation

Great point of purchase displays enable the shopper to quickly zero in on the key points of differentiation of a product relative to other products on the market. What makes this product different from all the other products on the market? How does that product differentiation make the product better, and how does it translate into more value for the customer?

RICH LTD. was asked by 180s to design a product glorifier display for its Exolite ear warmers, which is one of several products in its distinctive line of active sportswear and accessories. By creating a wire head with the ear warmers attached, our POP design highlighted 180s patented behind-the-head design and its click-to-fit frames. We created base graphics which communicated the benefits of the product design, including collapsibility, customized fit, and the ability to wear the ear warmers with other headwear or head protection.


While the main point here is that customers could immediately understand how the ExoLite ear warmers were different from traditional ear warmers, we also added versatility to the display by designing a rotating neck that enabled the fixture to be used as a countertop display or as a slatwall display.

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