This blog is about the vital importance of using your retail POP display to make a clear and compelling offer to your target customer. Poor messaging execution can result in missed sales, customer confusion, and low brand awareness. To illustrate, let’s take a minute to meet Bubba. Bubba works in the maintenance department for the local zoo, earning high marks for his work as an animal cage cleaner. The zoo recently acquired a female gorilla who was in heat and exhibiting aggressive behavior. With no male gorilla available, the Zoo Keeper approached Bubba with a proposition: Would he be willing to mate with the gorilla for $500? Bubba thanked the Zoo Keeper for his offer but said he needed to think about it overnight.
The next day Bubba told the Zoo Keeper that he would accept the offer but only under 4 conditions:
First, “I ain’t gonna kiss her on the lips.”
Second, “You ain’t gonna never tell nobody about this.”
Third, “If we git offspring, they’ll be raised Southern Baptist.”
Fourth, “I’m gonna need another week to come up with the $500.
With regard to retail POP displays, there are lessons to be learned from Bubba and the Zoo Keeper for brands and retailers alike. Let’s first consider what the Zoo Keeper did right:
1) Identified and Understood his Target Buyer- The Zoo Keeper did a good job of identifying his target customer. He knew that a zoo employee like Bubba would be a much more likely buyer than the Vice President of Guest Relations, for example. Clearly identifying your target customer is critically important in designing a display that will appeal to that customer group and in crafting your messaging to resonate with the needs, wants, and values of that group.
2) Created a Unique Product Offering- We’ve got to hand it to the Zoo Keeper: his product offering was unique since there probably weren’t a lot of gorillas in heat in the area. His offering was novel, and the competitive landscape was barren. Having a unique product is a major advantage since its scarcity, rather than utility, that creates value. Water, for example, has high utility but relatively low value because it is ubiquitous. Beach front property, on the other hand, has high value because of its scarcity. The right POP display can help capture a customer’s imagination and communicate the uniqueness of your product at the point of sale.
3) Offered Compelling Value- The Zoo Keeper structured an offer that had compelling value: $500 was more than 2 weeks of salary for Bubba. Not only did it get Bubba’s attention, but it engaged him in a way that caused him to seriously evaluate the pros and cons of the offer. Think of a POP display as your silent salesman. In many cases, it is the only way for you to communicate the value of your product to your customer.
While the Zoo Keeper deserves credit for getting the above 3 things right, he made 2 critical mistakes:
1) His offer was not clear- While the $500 represented compelling value, the offer was communicated in an ambiguous way. This is the main takeaway of the story. Make sure your value proposition is extraordinarily clear, ensuring that there is no room for misinterpretation. State the features and benefits of your product clearly and be sure there is no ambiguity in your offer. Incorporating simple and clear messaging in your retail display is essential.
2) He failed to anticipate customer objections- Bubba had concerns about the degree of intimacy that would be required with the gorilla, the level of confidentiality of the proposed transaction, and religious compatibility- none of which were considered by Zoo Keeper. Sophisticated product marketers think through all of the possible objections that customers might have so they can proactively address those objections in their messaging. One way to overcome potential objections related to product quality, for example, is to show your product out of the box on your POP display. Let customers see it, touch it, and interact with it.
Before starting your next retail POP display project, think about what we can learn from the story of Bubba and the Zoo Keeper.