Are there any areas of POP display design that might give you an advantage over your competitors? If you’ve been to the retail stores lately, you’ll probably notice the packaging is rather passive. Sure it looks nice and presents the brand well. Is the purpose of instore packaging to promote the brand? Or is it to make a sale? Today, with no name brands growing sales, the branding objective may not cut it.
Look at POP a new way as some are, that it needs to be active, disruptive and directive. Some experts are shining the light on poor calls to action in product and POP display packaging. Let’s be even more bold. Do we need to begin the design process at the end? Is the call to action the most important element for designers to design around. Should they begin their design process with the slogan, eye catching verbs and call to action in mind?
Stand Out or Be Ignored
If your displays and packaging don’t catch attention and draw the shopper in, you’re wasting your promotional efforts. Your promotional copy including slogans and font choices need to make the right impression. Your graphics must be eye catching. Dull is safe, but it won’t sell.
If you don’t have the creative vision for disuptive, sales driving POP, a good packaging designer experienced in producing creative for POP display can help. But what are their challenges in design?
There’s no Room for Active Promotion on Packaging
Packaging is constrained in many ways, but we need to find a solution to get our message across more strongly. Many designs don’t have room on the surface area. The design priority was on maximizing visible product within the display. And then there are display dimension issues that took priority.
A product such as the Zantac© pharmaceutical product in the picture here below could come in 2 different sized plastic bottles which are inserted into small packages. Things like that can make packaging awkward, pushing the limits on sizing. Your display has to fit within the height dimensions of the shelf and meet the horizontal length limits as well. There are a lot of constraints on POP display sizing and each major store from Wal-Mart to Shoppers Drug Mart might have different guidelines for sizing.
Small Print is Epidemic and There’s no Doubt it Affects Sales
Most consumer product packaging has small printing and it’s difficult for shoppers to read. Your new POP cardboard displays will need to utilize a box surface area where you can print the product name and/or your hook and call to action so it is easy to read. In the Zantac example below the words “NEW!” and Maximum Strength are your catch phases and they’re obvious. The Zantac 150 logo stands out strongly to catch attention and Zantac© has brand power you want to leverage. Now the shopper knows it’s the new 150mg maximum strength size of Zantac. Great, but do they still want to buy it? Down below, the word SPEED stands out strongly. That’s a key benefit many heartburn sufferers are looking for – fast relief.
In this case the brand’s colours are reused in the display – that’s a common practice since brand consistency is important. The dark and light colours contrast to catch and hold attention. The background is a gradient which looks more natural (digital printing is perfect for gradient prints). The angle of the copy and graphics rises which increases attention and encourages impulse buying. The odd shaped Zantac© pill visually stands out – after all that’s really what the shopper is looking for. No mystery here – they can see the pill right away. And it adds to differentiation.
Disruption is a growing popular buzzword today because there is more noise in the advertising space and most products are banal. Brands and products look the same with the same benefits. Shoppers are bored at the same time that they’re distracted. Disruption refers to visually catching the shopper’s attention, changing their thinking and feeling,and even disrupting their walking path. The issue it’s responding to is the routine of the shopper who is blocking out the competitive noise and almost sleepwalking as they shop. They’ll keep buying the same products unless the marketer does something to change their routine.
Effective POP packaging design may break away from standard rules and conventions to give a product a unique edge to make it stand out from competing products. Well differentiated products will sell better.
Design must speak directly to the consumer – and the design must augment or clarify the product’s value proposition, get attention, and enable the shopper to touch the product and investigate it more closely. Getting the shopper to pick the product up is very important since purchase is much more likely once they’ve got it in their hands. Consider how your displays will be “disruptive” and get attention from bored or confused shoppers and hold their attention.
Slogans, Hooks, Taglines and Calls to Action
Many POP Displays lack calls to action and a call to action is disruptive and supports commitment to purchase. What was thought up until now, is that if a shopper is that close to the product and the benefits are clearly stated, that a final push to sell isn’t required. And designers didn’t devote enough space to speak to the shopper and tell them what to do.
The simplest call to action is “Try Me” however it might be too overused to be effective. In the Zantac© example, a call to action might be “Get Heartburn Relief Fast.”
To create a strong call to action, think about the customer’s primary need and what sales objective you want to accomplish (e.g., trial use, push combo packs, sell the larger size). In the above Zantac© display, a big part of the unique selling proposition is fast, lasting heartburn pain relief. The POP packaging then should play up the issues surrounding heartburn pain so the shopper identifies with it. It’s all about relevance.
Brainstorming POP Display Ideas
To brainstorm for ideas on taglines and hooks and calls to action, take a good look at your competitor’s POP to understand the point of their promotion. Consider the primary benefit of your product and then use a thesaurus to find general synonyms and related words along with action words. Consider all the images associated with your product and why people need your product. Write down all the adjectives that might describe the best features of your product. For instance: relief > relaxation, pain-free, health, calm, reduce, protecting, cool, soothe, lower, neutralize, and feel good. Now consider which of these is the best word to use in a hook. You might end up with a tagline/call to action such as: Get fast, soothing, pain-free relief now. Or your hook might be: Got Heartburn Pain?
If you manufacture and sell pharmaceutical products and want to use POP advertising, you’ll have to be careful of the wording of your taglines, hooks, and slogans. Very often, claims and definitive statements must be proven by accredited testing. You can’t just make claims in some industries.
The right solution depends on who your target is. For instance, with Zantac©, your POP creative would be different for those new sufferers of heartburn pain than it would for those who have tried several OTC medications for that problem.
In the end, you may want to use a POP advertising copywriter to brainstorm potential ideas for your slogans, taglines, hooks, and calls to action. Take a look at other creative POP display advertising displays and think about the taglines and emotional hooks they’ve utilized. If all of this looks like it’s going to get too technical and complicated, you might want to hand your project over to a creative POP display design team. Outsourcing to a full service POP provider might be the best decision you could make.
Tell us what you think of the roll of call to action in POP packaging or primary packaging. House brands and no name brands are seeing more sales but could they sell even more by using common promotional techniques? Who’s doing it well today?