Retailers and Brands need to think in terms of being In-Store Partners….
Many brand marketers and retail store executives believe that in-store product merchandising is an extraneous expense and needs to be considered only after all other sales and marketing channels have been exhausted. Some brands and retailers view “merchandising” as the other party’s responsibility. Make no mistake; this thinking is a huge mistake and causes many products to flounder and both parties to suffer the consequences.
Regardless of the size and scope of the business and operation, businesses that sell at retail need to take merchandising seriously and provide it with the marketing respect it deserves. Merchandising is a mutual responsibility of both brands and retailers. Brands must provide retail with engaging and impulse oriented displays, in line with what customers, of that store, would expect and react to. And retailers must provide an overall “merchandised” environment that clearly demonstrates the store's personality, encourages intended and impulse shopping and keeps people engaged. Optimally, Brands and Retailers would coordinate their merchandising efforts to ensure that they will work in concert with each other.
Brands spend enormous amounts of money on R&D, sales and marketing to get products launched and available in the marketplace and simultaneously to gain customers attention with expensive advertising and marketing plans. Retailers, do much of the same, all in an effort to get customers into the store, with the mutual goal of shopping bags and carts filled with product. But getting them there is one thing, getting them to purchase is another.
The merchandised product is the moment of truth for the Brand; the last chance to get their product sold. In a recent WSJ article, according to Proctor & Gamble, shoppers make up their mind about a product in three to seven seconds, just the time it takes to note a product on a store shelf. This time lapse is called (by P&G) the “First Moment of Truth” and it’s considered the most important marketing opportunity for a brand. This is one of, if not the last chance, to demonstrate that your product is better than what may be surrounding it, hovering and vying for the same attention. Utilizing signage, shelf talkers, banners, floor displays, impulse merchandising tools in concert with professionally designed packaging will help you win.