I’ve been working on a lot of retail projects recently. So I’ve inevitably been in a lot of shops. And it keeps striking me that as agencies we devote so much time, effort and creativity to trying to get people through store’s doors – and not nearly as much on persuading them to buy something once they get in there.
POS, promotional material and so on often seems to be addressed as a separate marketing issue, with a separate brief – when from the customer’s point of view it’s all coming from the same brand. ‘As seen on TV’ signs can be as far as some retailers get in integrating their brand’s communications along the entire customer journey.
Away from the hardcore retail specialist agencies, I’ve found that on the average retail pitch POS can be an afterthought, pushed through artwork the day before the pitch and not exactly lavished with care and attention
But there’s no point in chucking millions of pounds at glossy production costs, prime airtime and a swanky social media strategy, only for potential customers to find a handwritten a-frame outside the store utilising a dodgy product based pun and accessorised with a couple of balloons.
pic via PSFK
The in-store environment needs policing every bit as much as social media mentions or brand infringements. On my recent travels, I’ve seen mucky carpets, stained ceiling tiles, offers which don’t relate to the product they’re sitting on, shoplifter’s dream POS that shields stock from the CCTV and over-zealous marketing materials that completely cover the items they’re supposed to be flogging.
I know there are some very good agencies out there that specialise in in-store marketing and make a real effort to create consistency between the in-store experience and external marketing activity. But judging by what I’ve seen recently, not many retail brands are choosing to take advantage of them.