Is Point of purchase a waste of money

Length: 750 words

Some would say that P-O-P as it commonly known “is an essential part of the in store marketing mix” but others would question whether it really draws attention to a particular product or a group of products.

There is strong evidence that P-O-P is essential to the marketing mix. Received wisdom says that provided P-O-P is of a suitable quality consumers will automatically find the appropriate product and interaction can begin. This would seem to be affirmed by the recent study carried out by POPAI. Birds eye Walls allowed its P-O-P to be monitored by research company RMS. Dillions stores provided the “test bed” with millions of white freezers and signage. There was an increase in sales of almost 20%. However, while this being true some still are sceptical about P-O-P effects through the inclusion of layout and demographics.

P-O-P is not all about selling “if you take the example of a newsagent, there is good evidence that the walls sign means something. But it does not necessarily mean Walls ice cream is on sale there it may just mean that Walls ice creams are in side, it could just mean ice creams. The signage outside the shop could also indicate a newsagent where you where to find newspapers and other goods.

Research shows that 67% of people have already made up their mind on what they are going to buy before they enter the shop. The signage just plays a major role in closing the deal. With P-O-P not as influential as the marketing department would want, signage, at its most basic, may carry a brand message that highlights a complete category and may even point to other categories associated with it. So even the best piece of P-O-P may not equate to better sales for a specific product.

P-O-P provides the image of a product and in some cases its reputation. If the signage is bright bold and colourful then the product may be seen as bright and an energetic product. Think Cadbury’s and you think chocolate. Look out for the signage for chocolate and 9 times out of 10 you have found Cadbury’s. This is a more complex process than the external Walls signage. It is possible that you may interact with the products on display regardless of any P-O-P material that may be around you. Shelf-edge promotion, secondary brand promotion and standalone P-O-P may have little or no influence once the category has been located.

Think about it, for every pound spent on merchandise on the Guinness fixture and associated stout beers- Mackeson, Murphy’s or Caffrey’s- a pound will probably be subtracted from a potential beer spent somewhere else in the supermarkets ‘booze-alley’. This in turn means that there is brand hierarchy within a category, but the same hierarchy exists within different P-O-P signage, with some more than others. P-O-P doesn’t seem to be a waste of money it uses tactical action to get to its competitors which in turn may encourage sales.

P-O-P works through its simplicity, no words are needed, as an ionic shape that people are associated with will do the talking and the contents are immediately understood. This gives a broader meaning to the context of P-O-P. The notion that a products appearance can be morphed into fully functional display cabinet has always been around, yet in the days of the super brand, it is sufficiently strong between the customer and the product. Packaging itself may become P-O-P where the way a product appears will be every bit important as the marketing messages that surround it.

Any amount of P-O-P activity will not get you very and that you may be better “piggybacking” on the dominant brand’s marketing. Its often a big expensive struggle getting and maintaining a listing for a product.

Headline or signpost brands do for a market what they have always done: encourage participation. The signpost does the hard work, but that doesn’t mean that others do not have to try. If signage did not exist, only service stations or super brand products would thrive. But it is the positioning and clarity of the signs that will determine whether you arrive at your ultimate destination.

P-O-P isn’t a waste of money for the lesser brands, its shout must be of a different kind from major brands on the superhighway. It must be located appropriately within a category, working with rather than against the opposition. P-O-P success depends on an understanding of an environment you sell within and realising your place in the market.

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