In their best-selling book Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now, authors Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Satran claim that the best names are ones that stand out yet fit in. What’s true for baby naming is also true for retail POP displays. Most of our discussion regarding what makes a good point of purchase display focuses around how a display can make a product stand out in a busy retail environment. While standing out is a necessary attribute of a great display, it’s not sufficient. A great display must also fit in with the décor of the retail store.
We’ve witnessed our share of healthy debates between brands who want to create a POP display that is consistent with their brand image and retailers who want to support the brand’s unique identity but also want to create an attractive, consistent look within their stores. Striking the appropriate balance can be tricky, but it’s important to get right in order to have a successful merchandising program.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how a display can stand out yet fit in. The first example is a display we made for goTenna’s national launch in REI stores. goTenna makes an off-grid, point-to-point communication device that enables you to text and use GPS on your phone when no service is available. REI stores have a natural, rugged outdoor feel. The visual merchandising team at REI is very specific about the overall aesthetic it is trying to achieve for its stores. REI provides very specific guidelines that include requirements for materials to be in their natural state. They want the fixtures in their stores to give the impression that they could be built by a skilled craftsman using common materials purchased at a local Home Depot. So, rather than use materials like prefinished birch plywood, for example, they prefer ACX plywood with a low-sheen clear coat finish. The picture below shows a clear, natural vibe of a typical REI store.
As you might expect, there was a bit of natural design tension between goTenna’s brand, which is really a high-tech consumer electronics product, and REI’s raw, natural store décor. The picture below shows the endcap display we manufactured for the REI rollout. We utilized ACX plywood to match REI’s décor and integrated extensive graphics to tell goTenna’s story and reinforce the high-tech elements of the brand. The rollout was successful, and the display accomplished its objective of standing out yet fitting in.
As goTenna continued to expand its retail presence, we were challenged with designing a freestanding fixture to showcase the company’s products in Field & Stream stores. Like REI, Field & Stream is all about outdoor retailing, but the two retailers have completely different décors.
Compared to REI, Field & Stream is more oriented toward hunting and fishing, and the store décor revolves around darker woods with more of a finished look. The interior store shots below show the clear contrast with the raw, natural décor of REI.
We designed the 2-sided spinning floor display shown below which included a dark stained wood, prominent branding, multiple graphics, and tethered demo units. It was completely different than the REI endcap, but it fit Field & Stream’s décor while also making a strong brand statement.
A second example is the Shoe Dog fixture shown below that we designed and manufactured for Road Runner Sports. This was an easier balancing act than the goTenna displays since we were designing the fixtures for the retailer directly so we didn’t have the typical tension between the brand and the retailer. However, it was a more complex fixture in that it incorporated integrated electronics with a large monitor, a computer, a camera, extensive graphics, and storage access. Road Runner Sports positions these Shoe Dog kiosks next to treadmills so they can videotape customers’ movement on the treadmill and then recommend the right running shoe.
The picture below shows an overview of the store interior. You can see how well the Shoe Dog kiosks fit in with the overall graphics and store décor. These fixtures help to create a consistent look and feel within the store, while reinforcing the Road Runner Sports brand.
Our third example is Maidenform. We had an opportunity to design and manufacture nesting tables, a multi-tiered lingerie table, and a glorifier table and graphic. You can see from the picture below that Maidenform stores have a clean, bright décor with high-finish, high-gloss fixtures.
We designed the nesting tables shown below. We wanted the tables to be very functional, but also consistent with Maidenform’s store décor. The contoured legs were designed to appeal to female shoppers, and the high gloss finish was consistent with the look of the other fixtures in the stores.
Similarly, we designed and fabricated the 4-tier lingerie table below which had the same style legs and high-gloss finish as the nesting tables.
Finally, we made the glorifier table below which had different style legs, a high-gloss finish, a lingerie glorifier tower, and an eye-catching table graphic. All of these fixtures fit the décor, reinforced the brand, and communicated value consistent with Maidenform’s image.