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Aug 16, 2017

Seen any brands in store recently?

by Kevin Frost - Creative Partner

Seen any brands in store recently?

Let’s be honest, it’s not headline news.

For years now brands have taken quite a battering from retailer demands and restrictions in store to a point where what you see on shelf is about all you get.

From driving down prices to cutting the opportunity to showcase a brand's true worth to shoppers, the shackles continue to be applied to a point that it’s hard to see how any brand can truly sell its worth and stand away from the crowded masses in store.

As our shoppers evolve they are now finding any form of in store material will purely be for the purpose of discounting rather than elevating a branded message, or as we used to know it, closing the loop within a conventional 360 campaign.

They navigate their shop by these beacons of price rather than being educated to brands that fit their lives and their family's needs.

So what is to be done to reverse this trend or do we as agencies and brands need to accept that the days are gone for the big in store retail campaigns?

Firstly, we need to get our glossary of terms clear as to what is shopper marketing and what is retail activation.  There’s no doubt that the days of mass cardboard at fixture has had its day and to be honest probably for all the right reasons.

I remember when you walked into store and you could barely see the products on the shelf for the fins, shelf strips, wobblers, hanging banners, header cards and FSDUs. You were lucky if you got out of store without severe paper cuts every time you reached for something you wanted!

So we need to continue to think smart, be smart and act smart to get messages to our shoppers and, although we have less opportunity to speak, we have more opportunity to be relevant and that demands a greater level of strategic and creative excellence... what I consider to be true Shopper Marketing.

This new regime is demanding that marketers have a greater understanding of their shoppers that will enable precise solutions that tap into mindset, behaviour and exact needs rather than the historic shotgun ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Branded experiences in store will become more common along with linking activity across categories to give more holistic solutions for shoppers. Brands need to establish strong partnerships and be more resourceful to give bigger and better rewards for shoppers to purchase where they can leverage their combined strengths and deliver a greater worth.

But it’s not just about in store. We can’t keep doing the same old things and expecting new things to happen. Brand ATL activity needs to also understand the challenges that are faced in store and recalibrate its thinking to be more focused and more relevant in its approach. That’s not to say it needs to be more functional, but it does need to tap into the emotional triggers that resonate, filter down and ultimately create recall that sell products when walking through the aisles.

So we live (and work) in very exciting times and it’s every creative person’s dream to be given challenges that truly change behaviour, not just for shoppers but brands and retailers alike. Boom!

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