Accenting Packaging, P-o-p Displays

By: Thomas A. Curry

Shoe industry manufacturers are increasing point of purchase (p-o-p) displays to highlight their products’ visibility and drawing power. P-O-P displays can confirm or endorse a decision on a product and studies show that male consumers are more swayed by them than women. Packaging is also one important area in advertising. The product’s plus points or come-ons are explained in detail through inserts in the box.

This week FN introduces Maximum Exposure, a monthly feature spotlighting advertising and marketing developments as they affect retailers.


Innovative Ways to Capture Consumer’s Attention

As resources continue to search for innovative ways to capture consumers’ attention and pull open their purse strings, many have increased investments in packaging and point-of-purchase (p-o-p) displays. And retailers believe they too can benefit.

“P-o-p is very effective if you already have a message out there; it’s particularly appropriate for the comfort story,” said Sally Huston, director of qualitative research for Footwear Marketing Insights, Nashville, Tenn. Huston noted companies have placed more emphasis on packaging within the past few years. “A lot more of my clients are redesigning boxes to put more information on them; they’re a messaging tool. (They provide) one more chance to get a brand and message out to the consumer.

“For women, (p-o-p displays) confirm or endorse a decision, but won’t drive a decision. Men are more inclined to read technical verbiage and be swayed,” Huston added, citing several focus groups as the source of his conclusions.

“We strongly believe in p-o-p displays provided by vendors. They are done more professionally than we could do for ourselves and they’re financial to our benefit,” said Stanley Strum, president of Leon’s Fashions Inc., a 24-door retailer based in Waco, Texas. “We use them wherever applicable. Done the right way, they pique customer interest and provide information. I think customers are starved for information.”

Nineties consumers are more savvy and time-pressed than ever, said market sources contacted by FN. As a result, videos are an increasingly popular means by which to disseminate information. And most vendors supply videos and VCRs free of charge or on a co-op basis.

“It’s a novel approach to marketing,” said Rick Aussick, divisional vice president of shoes, Burdine’s, Miami, speaking of videos. “Being visual help make a product come alive. Though it’s difficult to attribute any increased business to (them), they seem to draw attention.” Videos are more pleasant than signage as a means of conveying a concept, especially if the information is technical, he suggested. “I don’t know if consumers spend time reading signs with arrows.”

Danny Wasserman, the owner of Tip Top Shoes, said he will show in his store any vendor videos “we feel will sell products or keep customers interested”. The New York retailer features Rockport, Easy Spirit or Birkenstock footwear on two videos, one for men and one for women. “They’re especially helpful on weekends when we’re real busy. It keeps the customer occupied. Videos and p-o-p displays help everybody involved,” Wasserman noted, adding that they provide pertinent information to salesmen unfamiliar with the product. In addition, they aid customers and retailers if a store is short on salespeople.


But Stanley Strum observed that most of his stories, Leon’s Fashions, generally do not show videos. “There are certain stores (in which) we don’t believe videos belong, such as those carrying high-end footwear,” Strum explained. “We use them more with performance footwear and concept footwear like Rockport and Easy Spirit.”

Capture Consumer Interest at Retail

Following is a brief look at what some resources are doing to capture consumer interest at retail:

* Acme Boot Co. has launched new p-o-p displays and an instructional videotape to provide greater in-store visibility. “The more information (consumers) have, the more likely they are to buy,” maintained Mike Duncan, director of marketing. Duncan also noted that sales staff’s familiarity with the product has generally decreased due to an increase in turnover. “This is an opportunity for us to work in partnership with our retailers,” he added. Noting Acme’s marketing expenditures shot up 50 percent in ’92, Duncan said the development includes “a significant portion of p-o-p dollars.”

* B.U.M. Equipment Footwear is supporting its line of washed canvas shoes with an aggressive marketing campaign. In addition to in-store try-on promotions and car giveaways, the Canoga Park, Calif., company gives retailers a half-time p-o-p display to reinforce the products’ “Road Tested, 50,000 Miles of Satisfaction” theme. This tagline appears on all packaging and on insole labels and is explained in detail on a single-fold hangtag. Also, the company packages its footwear in a two-part box, the inner box serving as a display stand. A card insert also explains that boxes are made of recyclable materials.

* In addition to The Rockport Co.’s extensive video collection for retailers, the Marlboro, Mass., vendor is offering a Retail Merchandising System to enhance retail presence. “The modular fixturing system creates an upscale environment rather than an item environment; it defines the Rockport area at retail immediately,” said Susan Frankle, visual merchandising supervisor.

The system features a self-supporting wall with free-standing pieces. Colorful graphics highlight different Rockport lifestyles and technical features. The unit, which was first unveiled at the August Western Shoe Show, is available to retailers on a co-op basis. A national rollout is slated.

See more:

It’s Two Steps Forward, One Step Back In Retailer, Vendor Dance

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