17 Jul The fight of brands
The fight of brands in the point of sale is more aggressive than ever.
July 9, 2018 – For a product to stand out from the rest and seduce the consumer, it’s definitely necessary to draw attention at the point of sale where the primary objective is to “sell more than the others”.
Three great challenges of Trade Marketing
Privileged spaces in the gondola, fridges, posters, breakers, shelf talkers, balconies, decorations, end caps, drivers, are some of the basic elements that brands use to fight for better positioning at the point of sale and achieve top of mind of shoppers and / or consumers.
In other times, the limited offers of products forced consumers to buy what was on the shelves, which were generally local brands from the countries at the forefront that grew rapidly and positioned themselves in the minds of consumers. Over time they became the big competitors of the mass consumption market, with a global presence, multinational companies such as Nestle, Kellogg`s, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, reached the different markets and cultures of the world proposing really innovative offers and changing forever the habits of purchase and consumption.
The big challenge for small local brands and all of the new brands was to start innovating not only in the product offer, but also in point-of-sale marketing. That is when the knowledge in Trade Marketing or “marketing through the distribution channels ” becomes a marketing discipline and begins to take relevance in the strategy and positioning of brands.
Day by day the product options in the different categories multiplied, that made it necessary to make a greater effort in visibility at the point of sale, this is how brands realized that they not only achieved greater visibility with a simple, attractive package supported by a broadcast in ATL media and began to use resources as additional exhibitions in sales channels, this is when the famous support material or merchandising appears on the scene as breakers, stoppers, flyers, posters and even promotions supported by attractive activations (BTL) and promoters at the point of sale, all framed in a single premise “sell more than others”.
It’s now when the Trade Marketing Manager faces the 3 challenges:
Understand who is our buyer: the first challenge of any value creation process is to know for who we are solving a problem, in other words, understand our buyer or shopper, who is the one who would pay for the offer of value offered by the brand, how old you are, what do you do, what are your interests, when do you buy, what are your habits, is our product or service considered a planned purchase, an opportunity or an impulse, and how much you are willing to pay, etc.
Understand our sales channels + negotiation management with distributors: The first thing is to recognize how we are going to get to our shopper, and identify: what is the channel or the appropriate sales channels? distributors, wholesalers, direct sales, department stores, wholesale clubs, traditional channel, convenience stores, gas stations stores, etc. The premise is to understand the behavior and what motivates our channels to offer our product in the different spaces of the store, shelves or payment points to create differentiated and targeted offers. The second is to build a solid relationship between the brand and the different distributors with a communication framed in cooperation with the objective of creating value, it’s a co-creation relationship around achieving greater visibility and positioning at the point of sale through of visibility tools. Last but not least is the management of the products by categories and optimize the spaces on the shelves and in the additional exhibition spaces in the store.
Differentiation – Innovation: the challenge is to stand out from other competitors in our category and substitute products, since it is useless to have a good product, placed in the correct channel, where our shopper makes his purchases, if they can’t see us. Nowadays the innovation in the point of sale flows in a very different way, because it needs continuous support: more differentiated exhibitions, activations + internet, and other innovations since the goal is for the product to grow little by little in terms of sales, whereas in the past there was a great investment of innovation in visibility in the strategic points of sale during the launch and afterwards a lot of ATL support.
The challenge is to constantly innovate at the point of sale because of the rapid transfer of technology in the production of mass consumption products today. There are fewer and fewer differentiated products on the shelves, therefore, the life cycles of new products are reduced, so we must constantly renew our visibility strategies so that they directly and constantly impact sales. In addition, we have realized that the main challenge is that innovations have to be increasingly segmented, they must constantly add value to segments of increasingly smaller customers.
The level of competitiveness at the point of sale is increasingly demanding
The brands look for proximity formats where they can generate more than product rotation, formats such as the modern channel (supermarkets) where they are not really profitable due to high costs and long terms of payment, however the modern channel is the ideal place to build and position brands through “the experience” which is responsible for generating emotional connections in the shopper that ultimately translate into positioning, purchase and loyalty.
“The consumer facing the shelf is the one who makes the decision of what he’s going to take”, and that process doesn’t take more than 3 seconds, “Hence the importance of having a brand that stands out”, today the vast majority of mass consumption brands usually invest a good part of their marketing budget at the point of sale, added to high doses of creativity, surprise and sense of opportunity, all to achieve an original solution – effective to highlight. This practice is constantly evolving and in a short term it will be mandatory the use of resources that really activate the senses such as the use of the theory of color, textures, 3D effects, lights, sounds, smells, audio, video, augmented reality, virtual reality, voice, face and gesture recognition software, artificial intelligence, big data analytics; Some neuromarketing studies have shown that human beings are able to remember 1% of what they touch, 2% of what they listen to, 5% of what they see, 15% of what you taste and 35% of what you smell.
“The idea is to generate a greater impact on the client“. In other words, we must present a “shopping experience” regardless of the channel where we are located.
The marketing agencies of point of sale experiences such as Grupo Diforma face new challenges thanks to the new communication technologies and the rapid changes in the language of the consumer due to the massification of internet access through smartphones and the success of social networks, all this has resulted in a change of perspective, interpretation and behavior of the shopper versus the communication of brands at the point of sale and this has given the shopper significant relevance (decision power).
Today, more than ever, “The Customer is King”.