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The mark of a winner: Axe Apollo nails ‘Four Cs’ of Design of Times competition

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The drug channel winner of the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Design of the Times merchandising display competition fired on all cylinders in meeting the “Four C’s” judges use to measure each of the displays — ability to command attention, connect with the shopper, convey a clear message and close the sale.

Unilever’s Axe Apollo Astronaut floorstand, designed by RockTenn Merchandising Displays, was named the Design of the Times 2013 Platinum Award Winner in the drug store category by Path to Purchase Institute judges. The display proved critical in helping to drive awareness and encourage trial for Axe’s new fragrance, Axe Apollo 2, through a special promotion that awarded a free trip to space camp for a handful of winning customers.

Because the majority of Axe purchase decisions are made in store, the display needed to be disruptive in nature and command the shopper’s attention. “Our job is to interrupt the shopper,” Jon Kramer, RockTenn chief marketing officer, told DSN. “The way we do that is with very powerful messaging and very powerful visuals that really are designed to stop the shopper,” he said. “Because when you think about it, shoppers are there in the store for the most part to do one thing — that’s get out of the store. So you have to turn shoppers into stoppers, and those stoppers into browsers, and those browsers into buyers.”

The display encouraged consumers to purchase an Axe product, as purchase triggered a receipt code needed to enter the Space Camp contest.

Return on investment was measured across a number of factors, including the incremental sales generated by the display, the number of impressions and the conversion rate of purchases to contest entries.


RockTenn Merchandising Displays accepting the platinum award.

“No successful shopper marketing program doesn’t include in-store activation,” noted Peter Hoyt, CEO and executive director of the Path to Purchase Institute and host of the Shopper Marketing Expo. “There are lots of programs out there, but the ones that really succeed have some kind of excellent activation in store.”

Unilever beat out 16 other contestants in the drug channel. For an in-depth look at the other finalists in the drug channel, see ‘Out of this world’ display takes top nod in annual Design of the Times awards.

Designed by Frank Mayer & Associates, the Wii U Interactive Retail Display Program, which competed in the mass merchandisers category, was named “Best of the Times” at the show, marking the best overall product display across all eight retail categories, including drug, food, mass, consumer electronics, convenience, home center/hardware, sporting goods and specialty store channels.

For a look at all of the gold, silver, bronze and platinum winners in all eight retail categories, visit www.p2pi.org/node/126307.

Presenting the awards were Natalie Zimny of Target and Louis Dorado of Walgreens.

For more DSN coverage from the Shopper Marketing Expo, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Shopper-Marketing-Expo.

 

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Rewriting the rules on successful merchandising and display

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Being safe can make one sorry. Because it’s the unconventional that captures a consumer’s attention, and that’s just as true for designers of display units as it is for anything else. Indeed, it’s often the displays that deviate most from the norm that have the greatest impact and the greatest potential to get a shopper to stop, shop and buy.

That was the key message Leslie Clifford, executive director strategic planning at Geometry Global, and Nick Patterson, associate director of shopper marketing for Procter & Gamble, had for Shopper Marketing Expo attendees, during an Oct. 10 breakout session, “Breaking the Rules the Right Way.”

“Today’s shoppers are feeling very empowered. And they don’t view shopping as a mere transaction — one price to get a product. It’s really an experience that they feel they’re entitled to — customized solutions and trial and experimenting,” Clifford said.

Delivering on the customer experience is key. The challenge is delivering that customer experience while also satisfying performance measures both from the retailer’s perspective as well as the manufacturer’s needs.

The basic rules retailers commonly associate with promotional display include:

  • The display must align with the retailer’s broader corporate strategies;
  • It must drive sufficient sales;
  • It must fall within the seasonal calendar; and
  • It must be unique.

But manufacturers have rules of their own, and sometimes those rules don’t perfectly mesh with the retailer’s rules. In addition to aligning with a retailer’s corporate strategies, a display unit also has to live up to the manufacturer’s strategies.

Displays need to drive sufficient sales for the retailers, and at the same time, they need to clear time and shipment hurdles at the manufacturer.

For retailers, displays need to comply with the season; for manufacturers, displays need to be up and seen against a promotional calendar.

While the retailer wants exclusive programs, creating individual promotions retailer by retailer only adds to the cost of doing business for the manufacturer.

Even rules that should seem to be in alignment often are not. For instance, retailers want resources allocated against support for shopper marketing, and manufacturers want to dedicate those resources. But, for a retailer, it’s more efficient to have those dollars applied against a category; for the manufacturer, those funds are supposed to be applied to lifting the prominence of their brands exclusively.

Leslie Clifford, executive director strategic planning at Geometry Global, and Nick Patterson, associate director of shopper marketing for Procter & Gamble

The solution? There’s no need to actually break any of the rules, suggested Patterson; but, rather bend or rewrite them so that they meet three needs: the retailer’s needs, the manufacturer’s needs and the customer’s needs.

One way to do that is to identify the personal priorities of the retail decision-maker; in other words, find an internal stakeholder and align your initiatives against their pet projects. “Find out what their motivations and their interests are,” Patterson suggested. “If you can [convince] that internal stakeholder to be a champion of yours for a particular program, it often makes things a lot easier.”

Patterson shared a personal anecdote involving Walmart and Procter & Gamble’s desire to breathe some life into the liquid detergent category with the use of shelf-talkers and in-store signage. “Walmart had — and still does — a very strong policy on ‘clean store,’” he said. “It happened to be at that time that Walmart had a strong desire to drive sustainability,” he said. “We looked at our laundry care compaction project, which was taking our laundry business and taking half the plastic and half the water out of [it] — huge sustainability win on multiple fronts from product supply to the consumer to manufacturer.”

Instead of approaching Walmart with an in-store signage program that would run counter to Walmart’s clean store initiative, Patterson said, P&G highlighted its sustainability effort. “We’ve got a great story to tell in one of your biggest categories around sustainability. Let’s use [in-store signage] as a way to talk to your shoppers,” he said. “The idea was we had combined messaging on sustainability along with product messaging, and that allowed us to bend some rules and understand the actual lift from doing something like this in the category. It turned out to be a great initiative.”

It’s also important to look beyond the rule itself, and focus on goals and needs — for instance, how each stakeholder is incentivized, Patterson said.

Finally, communication and transparency are also crucial elements of a display program’s success. Manufacturers and retailers should write a program brief around any promotion so that expectations become a known quantity before the display is shipped, Patterson suggested.

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Revolutionary times call for new shopper ‘marketing manifesto’

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — A seismic shift in how people interact with technology, consume media and forge bonds with brands is forcing manufacturers, retailers and agencies to rethink how they go about business in order to win over consumers. The reality is we are living in a revolutionary period, and for marketers, that means a new marketing manifesto.

“You are living in what is called a ‘revolutionary period.’ … This is a massively disruptive time. It is not normal. It is not business as usual,” Aidan Tracey, president of AMG-Acosta Mosaic Group, told attendees of the Shopper Marketing Expo seminar “A New Marketing Manifesto: What Brands, Retailers and Agencies Need to Ask Themselves for 2014.” The session walked participants through a “new marketing manifesto” — an approach that showcases the evolving role of experiences to drive storytelling across a range of media platforms and retail environments.

Aidan Tracey, president of AMG-Acosta Mosaic Group

Demonstrating his passion for new forms of media and for creating innovative ways for brands to better connect with consumers, Tracey argued that marketers surround today’s consumers in three key environments:

  • The shopping environment — in-store or online;
  • Experientially — direct-to-consumer connections outside of retail; and
  • Online.

“Connecting all three of those things is very difficult, and you have to make sure you have the right partners at the table,” Tracey said. Acosta Mosaic Group is a full service marketing services business created by the merger of Acosta and Mosaic Sales Solutions in July 2012. Prior to the merger, Tracey was the CEO of Mosaic.

To help attendees with their future planning in the midst of today’s revolution, Tracey outlined five key questions that retailers and agencies need to ask themselves for 2014:

  • What are we changing in the way we do planning for 2014?
  • What links do your agencies have to actual in-store execution at key retailers? If none, do you have an agency at the table that does?
  • How quickly can we get real-time information from the field to affect the way we plan?
  • Where are our ideas being generated?
  • How are we measuring ROI?

Bringing it all to life and helping attendees connect the dots on how consumers are changing the game, Tracey highlighted Red Bull and its freefall from space campaign as a best-in-class example.

In 2012, Austrian extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team pulled off a stunt that no doubt caught the world’s attention — parachuting from the edge of space. The campaign became the largest branded event in social media history with 8 million simultaneous YouTube views and generated $60 million in earned media within the first two days, with scores of major news outlets covering the event.

“An experiential-type program becomes the heart of what you do because it is no longer reliant on just a television campaign to be successful. It can permeate all forms of media,” Tracey said.

For more DSN coverage from the Shopper Marketing Expo, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Shopper-Marketing-Expo.

 

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