Manufacturers must, of course, also keep their own interests in mind when they are designing displays. It also discourages retailers from stocking only the fastest-moving items. In addition, the display carries the company name and thus prevents the retailers from using the display to stock other products. While displays such as these are becoming prevalent in self-service environments, other innovative displays are being developed to supplement the efforts of salespeople.
The terminal then displays three to ten appropriate Mannington styles for the customer to choose from. When idle, the machine beeps periodically to attract consumers.
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Appropriate packaging, of course, attracts attention at the point of purchase. Manufacturers such as Nabisco and Kellogg use the same package design for many items in their product lines to present a highly visible billboard of packages to consumers at the point of purchase. Standardized packaging also permits easy identification of brands, types, and sizes.
Private-label suppliers have imitated the color codes used to identify various sizes of disposable diapers made by the brand name manufacturers. Similarly, packaging communicates product benefits and identifies target groups. And the right packaging limits the potential for pilferage of small items. The manufacturer of Fevertest, a plastic strip that, when placed on the forehead, indicates the presence of fever, added size and value to the product by enclosing the strip in a wallet, packaging the wallet in a blister pack, and displaying the item on pegboards at supermarket and drugstore checkout counters.
Consumer and trade expectations of product packaging should not discourage marketers from innovation, though frequent changes in package size and design breed trade resistance, especially when existing shelf configurations cannot easily accommodate the new packages. Reflecting the shift to self-service car maintenance, Kendall and Arco recently began to sell oil in plastic containers with built-in pouring spouts. Manufacturers are increasingly using consumer promotions to make shopping exciting.
These include premiums, coupons, samples, and refund offers in or on product packages to help them stand out and break through the visual clutter at the point of purchase. Package-delivered promotions have the further advantage of being inexpensive in comparison with consumer promotions offered in magazine advertisements or direct mail campaigns. Manufacturers are also becoming aware that retailers favor manufacturers whose promotions bring consumers into the store.
Retailers also like promotions that tie into store merchandising themes and cross-sell other products promotions built around recipes or complete home decorating services, for instance and promotions that avoid the use of special price packs that require retailers to replace existing shelf stock and set up new Universal Product Code entries in store computer systems. Manufacturers can extend to retailers a number of innovative approaches for reinforcing brand awareness and delivering advertising messages at the point of purchase.
These include:. Customer-activated videotapes and video disks that show merchandise such as furniture that is too bulky to be displayed on the department floor; the videotapes can also be played in window displays to present, for example, designer fashion shows. Television sets installed over cash registers to show waiting customers commercials for products that are usually available nearby.
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Recognizing the significance of the point of purchase is not enough. Consumer goods marketers must pay more attention to developing effective POP programs and, even more important, to ensuring that they are properly implemented at the store level. Before developing a POP program, managers must have a clear understanding of their marketing strategy—which products are being delivered to which markets through which channels of distribution.
Given the marketing strategy, marketers should go on to answer such questions as:.
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Which channel members—manufacturers, retailers, consumers—are willing to perform which functions? How should the pricing structure for the product and for the POP program reflect this allocation of functions? Once they answer these questions, marketers can work out the specifics of the POP program—objectives, vehicles, and budgets. Here are five principles that should guide this process:. Integrate all elements of the POP communications mix.
The package, for example, cannot be designed independently of the display. All POP vehicles should communicate consistent and mutually reinforcing messages to both the trade and the consumer. Offer the trade a coordinated POP program for an entire product line rather than a collection of POP materials for particular items. To further impress the trade, make sure that the POP program is easy to understand and financially realistic.
Link POP assistance to trade performance.
Better Marketing at the Point of Purchase
High-quality displays, for example, should not be given away to the trade unless linked to a quantity purchase or paid for with cooperative advertising dollars earned on previous purchases. Assume that various POP programs will be necessary for distribution channels. The traditional hardware store and the self-service mass merchandiser, for example, differ both in store environment and in type of customer; the ideal POP program for each will not be the same. Television advertising should tell consumers in which stores and departments they can find the advertised product and should include shots of product packages and displays to facilitate consumer recall and brand identification at the point of purchase.
Sometimes a POP display becomes the basis for a television advertising campaign, as in the case of the Uniroyal POP unit, which invited the consumer to drill a hole in a Royal Seal tire to demonstrate that no air was lost if it was punctured. Any POP program is only as effective as the quality of its implementation at the store level. Effective implementation requires that managers, first, recognize the execution challenge. Many innovative approaches to managing the point of purchase fail because responsibilities for such tasks as stocking and maintaining displays are not clearly allocated or, once allocated, are not properly performed.
Under these circumstances, cooperation between manufacturers and retailers can quickly turn into recrimination. Consumer goods marketers are often too eager to assume POP responsibilities themselves. To increase their control over the execution of their marketing programs, they might enhance effectiveness and reduce expense to make the programs work by appropriately compensating the retailers.
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In general, the greater the number of stockkeeping units in a display and the greater the diversity of channel environments in which the displays are placed, the more complex and challenging effective execution becomes. Next, managers must evaluate the execution alternatives. Consumer goods marketers usually have three options for carrying out POP programs—to use their own salespeople, to contract with brokers or service merchandisers, and to rely on the retailer.
The more important it is, the more justification the marketer has for using a direct sales force. Beyond taking orders, they are trained to advise retailers about how to allocate shelf space in the snack food section according to a six-point space management program. These two examples deliver an important message.
Even when a company has the sales force to ensure the execution of a POP program, it must never lose sight of the needs of consumers and the trade.
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Many consumer goods marketers cannot afford their own sales forces and must rely on brokers or service merchandisers. Both are often unfairly demeaned. A good broker is sometimes more effective than a direct sales force in managing the point of purchase, as many big companies, including H. Heinz and Pillsbury, know well. Brokers can establish close relationships with retailers in their local areas and organize blockbuster promotional events for their principals. For frozen food manufacturers, brokers are especially important to managing the point of purchase. Frequent store visits are essential because freezer space is limited on account of equipment and energy costs, and stores carry little, if any, backroom inventory.
If your company uses brokers or service merchandisers, here are four approaches to ensure that they effectively execute your POP program:.
Is the brokerage firm overextended? How important is your business to the firm? Develop a POP program that is creative yet easy to implement. Compensate the broker appropriately for the POP tasks you expect him or her to perform. Do you provide bonus incentives to broker salespeople for additional display placements? Evaluate POP performance. You'll likely want to make your purchase at this electronic store because their prices are unmatchable and the quality is unbelievable.
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