POS-Display (Point of sale) is a standard part of all BTL marketing budgets for retail. Essentially POS-branding relates to all activities done inside the retail store, closest to where the consumer makes the purchase decision.

These could include standees, signage, banners, posters, danglers, free standing units, shelf decorations and other different kind of units which brand the outlet. These displays are responsible for communicating offers, information about launches and most importantly the brand image.

It’s a long established fact that POS display is vital for retail marketing, so let’s not reinvent the wheel here. The point to consider is whether you’re choosing the right display that correctly connects consumers with your brand. In a recent discussion with Mr. Suresh Narayanan, MD of Nestle India, he mentioned how to attributed the rise of the Maggi brand in 1983 due to one correct POS move. Since Maggi was unknown back then, retailers were not ready to give additional space for POS. The team then created hanging basket displays which took no floor or shelf space, and hung them from the ceiling. This appealed uniquely to the consumers, and after this breakthrough point the brand never remained the same again.

There can be some serious short term and long term consequences of choosing a sub-optimal strategy for POS marketing. In the short term, we could see a wasteful investment and no rise of sales. But choosing incorrect POS display can result in long term deterioration of a brand and erosion of the image of the brand.

Let’s see what are the most common mistakes brands could make in their POS display process:

  1. Not staying up to date with technology, and paying too much: POS manufacturing technology evolves really fast. But faster than that, are ideas and solutions from creative POS makers that solve pain points in the industry. Being slightly immodest, I will quote our own example – we have developed outdoor-grade POS display stands which are knock down, and sturdy and end up saving companies more than 50% as compared to their traditional wooden counterparts (www.amitoje.com for more information)
  2. Inferior quality, due to pricing restrictions: This is one of the most dangerous mistakes to be made. A lot of companies do not understand the wide-ranging implications of being only price focused when discussing POS. Instead, changing mindset to ROI focussed can do a lot of good. Consumers judge the quality of the product even before buying it, and associate it with the quality of the packaging, the display it’s kept in, the branding done around it. Imagine entering an electronics showroom with a signage having faulty tubelights having your brand name. Imagine what you’d judge about the store, and the products that carry your brand. There can be books which can be written on the psychology of buying and first impressions, and let me recommend you one: To further understand the impact of priming consumer mindsets, I suggest you read Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini.
  3. Evaluating POS display in isolation: Since your displays are kept in a competitive retail environment, it always makes sense to test them in such an environment. Even while approving designs in 3D, a real environment with accurate retail depiction will help one understand how, and if, the display will hold out against competition.
  4. Not doing pilots: The method of scientific discovery suggest testing hypothesis before declaring them as theory. In the same way, it is essential to do a pilot and see how a piece of POS performs before rolling it out. It is tempting to trust our gut, and save time and money and planning, however the consumer space is a complex plane riddled with unpredictabilities and pilots are the only way of being more certain your investment will not go waste.
  5. Following established trends and not exploring alternatives: This applies to almost everything. We have sadly seen a lot of companies following old established methods, that cost more and provide little impact, instead of exploring a lot of new possibilities which save cost and increase visibility. The POS branding game is one of psychology. It is advisable to associate with partners who understand marketing and it’s psychology – and these partners will deliver the results.
  6. Not measuring ROI: After all is said and done, POS is meant to increase profits. If you’re implementing displays year and year, not measuring the impact, playing blind might have you pay a big price someday. This is one of the most difficult, and most essential aspects of POS display.

The purpose of this article is to help you determine whether you’re making any of these mistakes. The verdict however, will only be realized by measuring ROI. That being said, one must be cautious that ROI can be short term (and measurable) and long term (and not immediately measurable), so we need to factor that in our ROI calculation.

Amitoje India provides POS solutions to some of the largest retail companies in the country and produces them in bulk. Living in the retail branding business day and night has made us see clients making all these mistakes. Sometimes we have been able to help, other times our clients are themselves entangled in corporate process chains and bad decisions propagate through generations of marketers.

Contact us to know how we can help with effective POS branding.