P-O-P Displays That Sell

by Bob Swientek
Adding dispensing to a display gives your brand a one-two punch in the store aisle and helps to convert shoppers into buyers.
It’s tough to get your package noticed in the crowded retail environment. Point-of-purchase displays are one way to break through the clutter and call attention to your product.
But what type of P-O-P display is best for your packaging? Dispensing “sidekicks”—also called power-wing displays—are one option that may suit your needs.
“Dispensing sidekicks offer a greater ‘billboard’ for graphics than peg or tray displays,” says Ken Williams, Vice President of Sales for New Creature. The Rogers, Ark.-based company designs point-of-purchase displays and packaging destined for mass merchandisers, chiefly Wal-Mart.
“Trays on pallet displays offer only about a two-inch ‘lip’ around the structure for graphics. Dispensing displays usually have a large front panel,” Williams says.
This larger area can accept a litho-laminated label for striking graphics. It also allows the brand more space for communicating its message.
This, in turn, helps “shoppability.” Consumers “get it” from 10 to 15 feet away from the display. They understand the product’s benefits within a couple of seconds of scanning the merchandiser. This quick recognition drives impulse purchases.
Dispensing displays can help the retailer to maintain a “clean” store environment. The packaging stays inside the gravity-fed display until the shopper removes it. This keeps the unit and surrounding areas tidy.
But dispensing displays can present problems if not designed properly. “Keep the design simple and functional,” Williams warns.
Packages should load easily into the dispensing sidekick. They should travel smoothly within the display and not hang up or lodge inside. A “jammed” display may appear empty to a store clerk, who could discard it with saleable product inside.
What happens when a shopper removes a package from the sidekick but then decides not to purchase it? “We design our displays with an opening at the top so that the consumer can return the package,” Williams says.
New Creature took this approach when it designed a dispensing display for Allergan Refresh Tears Eye Drops. The shape, color and graphics of the display mimic the product’s secondary packaging—a rectangular paperboard carton.
Four packages appear side-by-side through a die-cut in the display. “The unit packages are small,” Williams says. “The sidekick’s large billboard enables the brand to tell its story.”
Driving product trial
To meet the “immediate-consumption” needs of C-store shoppers, Beer Nuts Brand Snacks uses a composite can that looks like a beer can.
Beer Nuts merchandises the cans in a 6-count, gravity-fed display, packed two in a case. Why only six cans? Convenience stores want product “turns,” says Thomas Foster, Beer Nuts’ Director of New Business Development.
C-stores have limited “real estate,” Foster says. “The small case size meets their space requirements.”
The corrugated display is compact, too. This allows the retailer to merchandise it at various locations throughout the store, Foster says. The gravity-fed display can sit on a shelf, countertop or cases of beer display. Store personnel can also clip the units to a power wing or cooler door.
Litho-printed in 4-process colors, the display bears graphics showing a “twentysomething,” blue-collar male pouring the nuts into his mouth straight from the can. “We’re targeting 21- to 27-year-old males. The ‘lifestyle’ graphics are designed to drive impulse purchases and gain product trial with this audience,” Foster says.
Dispensing cartons
Graphic Packaging International has designed a carton dispensing system for canned products. Called Tower Pack, the system delivers a billboard for brand messages at the point of sale, says Charlie Brignac, Marketing Manager, Graphic Packaging.
The carton takes up less space than stacked cans on the shelf. It also reduces in-store labor. Store clerks can place the carton—holding 12 or more cans—directly on the store shelf vs. stocking individual cans.
A die-cut in the carton allows fingers to grab a tab and tear away a perforated strip. This opens the carton and leaves a lip at the bottom to “catch” the cans as they descend. The cans lie on their sides and roll downward as consumers empty the carton.
UK-based Premier Foods is one of the first users of the dispensing carton. Premier markets a line of kids’ pastas with cartoon characters—such as Bob The Builder—on the label.
Last fall, Premier began selling the carton through all Tesco supermarkets in the UK. Due to the 33 percent space savings with the carton, Premier was able to add four SKUs to its original seven-SKU offering without any additional shelf space.
The carton dispensing system helped Premier grow its sales 55 percent. Premier, which had been the No. 2 canned pasta brand, became the category leader with about a 60 percent market share.
Brignac attributes most of Premier’s sales increase to the carton’s expanded graphics. “There’s more space for the brand to deliver its message or highlight a flavor or character tie-in.
“One variety—Groovy Chick—became the line’s top seller after the switch to the carton. Moms and kids could recognize the brand easily on the shelf through large graphics on the carton. This visual presentation is not possible on the can’s small label,” Brignac explains.
The author, Bob Swientek, is the Editor-in-Chief of BRANDPACKAGING magazine.
The old real estate adage of “location, location and location” also applies to point-of-purchase displays. The location and placement of your merchandiser in the store can mean the difference between success and failure, says James Sorensen.
Sorensen is Senior Vice President of Client Services at Sorensen Associates. The firm conducts in-store research on shopping behavior. Here are some findings that are relevant to merchandising.
Consumers shop the store in a counter-clockwise pattern. They also do most of their shopping around the perimeter of the store or “racetrack.”
Place your displays in high-traffic zones and face them toward oncoming shoppers, Sorensen advises.
Consumers shop from the back of the store to the front. “Endcap displays that face the back of the store are seen more often than endcaps that face the front,” Sorensen says.
Like driving, shoppers push their carts along the right side of the aisle. This makes the left side of the aisle more visible.
“Most people think that eye level is the best product placement. But our research has shown that about 40 inches is the best height for product visibility. Consumers usually gaze downward,” Sorensen explains.