POINT-OF-PURCHASE: How to Exploit Point-of-Sale Advertising around the Globe - Brands Have to Match Their POP to Local Markets for Campaigns to Succeed

Marketing, August 8, 2002 | Go to article overview

POINT-OF-PURCHASE: How to Exploit Point-of-Sale Advertising around the Globe - Brands Have to Match Their POP to Local Markets for Campaigns to Succeed


When it comes to shopping, consumers live in a very small world. No corner of the planet has escaped the attention of the top global brands. The global retailer, and the global shopper, have arrived.

As brand owners develop consistent names and packaging for their international products, they are now following suit with global point-of-purchase promotions.

'Merchandising and display lends itself to international branding because it is marketing without languages,' says Charles Kessler, managing director of Kesslers International, which works globally for brands such as Christian Dior. 'There is more international awareness and brand owners are seeing the benefits of offering consistency with their promotions, as it helps the products become instantly recognisable.'

'Consistency is vital, but there are local differences and you have to respect them,' says Kessler. One finding is that cultural differences are not necessarily split according to country. 'We have found that a consumer in Milan has more in common with a consumer in Munich than with a consumer in Naples,' says Kessler.

Peripheral vision

Visuality Research has recently conducted a study of consumer behaviour across 12 countries in Europe. 'Fifty per cent of consumers' decisions are made because of the environment they are in, so it is also important to understand store dynamics,' says business director John Cox. 'Stores have to offer benefits to the consumer in terms of time, convenience and experience. Shoppers are happy if the time spent in-store seems to go quickly, so browsing is good while searching is bad. There is a limit to how much information consumers can take in at once, and their peripheral vision only stretches so far. Our research shows shoppers will extend their browsing if the POP makes sense to them.'

Tequila regularly devises and implements international POP campaigns, thanks to its network of 31 offices across 23 countries. 'It is crucial to have a basic creative template that can be adapted to local cultures,' says chief executive Paul Biggins.

'Research into cross-cultural practicalities is also crucial,' he says. 'What may work in a French hypermarket - where for example they have huge dump bins at the end of aisles - cannot be transferred to a far smaller retailer in the UK.'

It is not just the displays that have to travel the world - POP specialists must do some serious legwork. 'POP agencies and clients have to visit the countries,' says James Haggas, sales and marketing director of Valley Print Group, whose clients include BAT, Nike and Microsoft.

'For the Microsoft Xbox launch, I spent two weeks travelling around different retailers,' explains Haggas. 'We visited the European markets to gain a better understanding of their specific needs.'

Message consistency

Local knowledge is crucial, says Haggas. 'We visit the local markets to understand the requirements, budgets, and marketplace as well as researching the retail spaces, fixtures and any legal requirements.'

Some markets are more restrictive than others. Germany has comprehensive laws governing recycling, which can impact on the materials used for the display. In Saudi Arabia there are strict limitations on graphics and imagery.

When Coty Beauty wanted to unveil a general tester display for Rimmel, it had to tread carefully, as Mike Lawes, European point of sale manager for Colour Cosmetics, Coty Beauty, says. 'Kate Moss is the face of Rimmel, but in Saudi Arabia, you cannot use the face of a woman on the displays.'

And there are challenges closer to home too, says Lawes. …

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