Retailers are hurting for help. All over the country retailers are posting “help wanted” signs, but with our economy approaching full employment there aren’t many people who are willing to put in 8 hours waiting on customers for small paychecks.
Malls across the country are dying a slow death. Today, consumers can shop online without the hassle of parking and going from one store to another. For consumers who do to retailers, they are often going to find salespeople who don’t really know products as well a good chance that the product they want will be out of stock. This presents a unique challenge for brands.
Some products don’t need a salesperson to explain, but there are a lot that do. Electronics, computers and home improvement products benefit from salespeople who really understand how the products work. It’s not uncommon to see someone looking at a widescreen TV at Best Buy while reading reviews and specs of the product online. Some brands have started leaving anonymous reviews of products but online consumers are pretty smart to see through them and they punish brands that are caught.
So how can marketers “break through” the clutter of so many products to choose from at retail? One effective method is a unique POP display, but even the best POP displays don’t do any good if they are not set up correctly or broken.
Last week I came across a new bike helmet that had lights in the back. The product had a little remote control to change the light intensity levels as well as signal when you’re going to turn. The problem was the display was broken and the helmet didn’t work. How many displays did that helmet manufacturer ship out at a high cost and how many of them really work?
Sales reps, or brokers, should be compensated not only on what they sell, but how your products are displayed at retail. Spending $120 for a POP display is useless if it’s not working or set up right.
POP ideas that come from marketing are useless unless they are executed correctly at the store level. Some brands tie ad money into the display of products, but a lot of brands are just happy to get an opening order and ignore the brand experience at retail.
I have advised clients, again and again, to hire shopping services to report on the brand experience at retail. Again and again, most are disappointed by the reports they receive. Consumers don’t care whether it’s the retailers fault or your fault. Their attention span is short and there is always a competitor ready to take their money.
All the data and Power Points are not going to make a bit of difference unless you understand how your brand is perceived at retail. Time to get back to marketing 101.