Battle up! Part 2.
How to win the Battle at the Point-of-Sale
Packaging is the driving force behind the market success of products. Properly developed and used, it becomes the most powerful tool in the battle for the favor of retailers and consumers. Success and market share are won in four central battles: Brand+Product, PoS, Consumer Benefit and Technology.
With the successful design transfer of the differentiated, authentic and credible Reason to Believe to the packaging, Battle 1 lays the foundations and triggers for the purchase decision. In Battle 2, the packaging must now reach the shopper, communicate the values of the brand and product, and trigger the purchase decision.
The situation on the shelf
On average, 25,000 different products in a large supermarket compete for the favor of consumers. Around 80 percent of the products are not advertised. The advertising for the remaining 20 percent has already been forgotten by more than 50 percent of consumers when they make their purchase decision. On average, around 70 percent of the purchase decisions themselves are made spontaneously while shopping.
In view of this situation, product owners are faced with the question of how they can reliably reach shoppers in the information and product jungle of the shelves. And here there is only one valid answer: with the help of packaging.
3 seconds for 100% customer contact
The packaging delivers 100 percent customer contact with an outstanding cost-benefit ratio. In most cases, it is the only advocate of the product who is “on the spot” when it matters. As a “last man standing” it has to guide the consumer – from the first glance to the final purchase decision.
The first three seconds are decisive. Packaging does not have more time to attract the shopper’s attention in the oversupply of shelves. Three seconds to highlight the product, set it apart from the competition and communicate Reason Why and Reason to Believe convincingly.
If you want to achieve so much impact in such a short time, you have to be well prepared for the job!
Three keys to PoS performance
At Berndt + Partner Creality we focus on three main aspects that determine a successful performance in the battle for the PoS.
- The shelf impact, i.e. the attention that packaging secures for itself. Your message must be attention-grabbing, targeted and balanced at the same time. Possible visual category codes must not be ignored. Typical mistakes: “Attracting attention at any price”.
- The differentiation from the competition, which is usually in direct shelf neighbourhood, without us having influence on the composition. Differentiation cannot therefore be based on a specific constellation, but must be guaranteed for as many shelf situations as possible.
- The orientation that we give the consumer along larger assortments with numerous varieties or even sub-ranges. Here a dominant brand umbrella must be guaranteed and at the same time a clear differentiation of varieties. And don’t forget it: The individual varieties or sub-ranges must also function if the entire range is not listed at the PoS.
Shelf packaging as the trump card
A trump card in the battle is the early, creative and constructive integration of shelf packaging into the development process. This involves much more than just graphics. Aspects such as shape and material play a decisive role.
Shelf packaging should at best enhance the effect of product packaging, but not reduce it. Anyone who develops shelf packaging holistically and charges it with added value, for example by means of removal aids, can thus also gain advantages in terms of listing by the trade.
Eye-Tracking, Zooming-In and Virtual Supermarket
In order to reliably develop the effectiveness of the packaging, we rely on a series of tools that help us to check at an early stage, reliably and persistently, which packaging performs how, for what reason and in which situation. This brings decisive advantages. The battle at the PoS lasts only three seconds. There is no room for chance.
Eye tracking is a central tool. At Creality, we have refined the use of eye tracking and built up our own in-house capacities. It is important that it is supplemented with other methods and that the results are related to each other. This is why we combine eye-tracking with consumer interviews, for example, with regard to both the shelf situation and the packaging layouts. This enables us to study and identify packaging features that have a positive influence on product selection and the final purchase decision.
The combination of eye-tracking and zooming-in also provides important insights. In zooming-in, the shopper’s perception is checked at three different distances from the shelf. Depending on the sales environment, the shopper should be able to identify the brand on the shelf at a distance of around five metres. For example, the visual brand umbrella must develop the necessary power to do this. The product name should be clearly identifiable at about three metres. This is the only way to find the product quickly and reliably. Finally, if the product is less than one meter long, the consumer should be able to easily differentiate between different types. Over the entire distance, we check whether the shopper keeps track and whether the packaging reliably fulfils its purpose as a pilot. Once direct contact has been established and the packaged product is in the hands of the consumer, all core elements and core information of the package must function to the point. With the help of our tools, we can check and optimise this as well.
Working with the virtual supermarket is also becoming increasingly important for us. Using virtual reality glasses, we can realistically test various options, scenarios and packaging versions in the digital PoS environment. When using the tool along the development process, shelf performance can be continuously checked and optimized. The virtual supermarket also gives our customers a highly valued opportunity to experience and evaluate different variants and solutions in advance.
After the Battle is before the Battle
Once we have won the shopper and won the battle at the point-of-sale, we have to confirm the purchase decision with functional and emotional added value.
In Part 3 of our series, you can find out how to tie consumers to brands and products in the long term: the battle for consumer benefit.
CASES + DESCRIPTIVE
Holistic examination of the relevance of packaging elements at the PoS via eye-tracking and zooming-in using the example of roasted coffee: It becomes clear, for example, that the colour factor has the strongest influence on greater distances, while factors such as graphics or features on shorter distances are gaining in importance. The example of the “Competitor J” also makes it clear that the battle at the PoS cannot be won if the product packaging develops a strong attraction at five metres, but cannot maintain its purchasing appeal when approached, e.g. because category codes are disregarded.
With the Exquisa cream cheese range from Karwendel, the packaging is a powerful instrument in the battle at the PoS. All three keys for the PoS performance are meticulously polished. Important factors are the very clearly arranged main view side of the cups, the use of directly printed lids and the deliberately simple orientation system along clear colour codes and uncomplex variety names and descriptions. The successful principle was subsequently transferred to other products and product ranges.
With the aim of a flexible and always clear presentation at the point of sale, the Idena brand umbrella was lowered on the packaging. This is generally a “no go” that is not questioned. Wrongly so, because the new placement prevented the permanently installed price tags on the shelves from concealing exactly the brand logo at the top of the packaging – as can be seen time and again with various established brand suppliers. The very distinctive and brand-compliant colour design and a product description that focuses on the essentials ensure effective shelf performance and enable efficient consumer orientation.