Building an Extraordinary Retail Display Program
A cohesive approach to products, marketing, and customer service is the goal of every company. Whether it’s design guidelines, a campaign theme, or an engagement strategy, good companies can commonly align these things with their brand.
It’s in the deeper details however that a company moves above these standard goals and sets a higher bar. There are few companies that fully achieve this status … moving from the edge of the targeted cohesive approach to the bullseye. There is not one specific path to reach this “great” status. It is a culmination of people foremost, product design, marketing, retail display presentation and customer service.
“By definition, it is not possible to everyone
to be above the average.”
― James C. Collins, Good to Great
We are going to analyze a specific segment of what it takes to reach this status ― retail display presentation.
The quality of a product in retail is only as good as the perceived quality that it is assigned by the population. The public’s perception comes from a culmination of the current and historical opinion on the quality of a company’s products, social proof, marketing/advertising acumen, and customer service. While these areas make up the majority of a product’s perception, there is one more area that can have a defining impact on a customer’s impression of your product at a very crucial time of the buying process.
When a customer decides to come into a store, whether to intentionally purchase your product or not, they are on alert. They are actively, or passively, analyzing their surroundings, judging the information placed in front of them and coming to a conclusion on whether they like or dislike what they see. The “like” button didn’t start with Facebook ― humans have always analyzed, judged, and critiqued their surroundings.
A Big Brand Example
So let’s take a look at a brand that is pushed in front of us all, every day, everywhere: Apple. Since the popularity of the iPod, and subsequently the iPhone and all other “i” products, we have been inundated with advertising by Apple. The message that Apple defaults to most often is that they create fun, innovative, and quality products. Most would also agree that they back up these claims by actually creating fun, innovative, and quality products and thereby hitting the proverbial bullseye of the cohesive branding approach. They also employ excellent customer service as a tactic to reinforce their claims of superior products.
As the distribution of these products became mainstream, Steve Jobs knew that Apple needed a venue to introduce and educate consumers on a new product category. The Apple Store was designed to invite customers to engage with the product without the traditional barricades of mass retail ― i.e. glass cases, dummy products, and checkout lines. As Apple continued to go further mainstream and enter secondary retail markets such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and even grocery stores to some degree with iTunes gift cards, they approached these venues with the same attention to detail as they did with the original stores (albeit with some concessions based on product location).
Today, Apple continues to hold its place as a leader in the smartphone and tablet market. However, they must continually reinforce their claims of quality with everything that is placed in front of a finicky public. With the introduction of the Apple Watch, their stores had to shift focus. They have to question how will they educate the consumer on an innovative yet complicated product. They also need to help the consumer sort through the product’s many options. Continuing to maintain an excellent retail product presentation will be crucial for Apple Watch’s success to the masses beyond the couple million early adopters. Customers will, consciously or subconsciously, demand to see quality in the presentation.
So how can this be applied to your company and brand(s)? First, you must take a look at what claims you are making to your customers based on your branding and advertising. Are you backing up the claims of your company and products with a equal ‘message’ and presentation in the retail environment? For example, are you a fully organic company that is focused on a quality product and a double or triple bottom line? Does your retail display presentation back up this claim or do your marketing efforts stop short of the grocery aisle to the product’s peril? Or perhaps you’re a manufacturer of premium tools that are strong enough for a contractor yet your retail presentation is a corrugated box that can’t stand up to the demands of a abusive retail environment? Reflect on these examples as these are all things that your company must consider, end-to-end, in order to achieve greatness & consistency with product presentation.
About Crux Retail
Crux Retail stands firm in design and engineering excellence by creating branded in-store merchandising, custom retail environments, and interactive kiosks/displays. We’ll help bring attention to your product by analyzing your existing marketing plan and developing a unique retail presentation that will enhance your product and complement your marketing efforts. Contact us today to discuss your display needs.