Gaining attention at the PoS (point of sale) is never easy when there are seemingly hundreds of competitors trying desperately to get noticed. Like in the very first days of marketing, at the market stall it feels you have to shout loudest to sell more.
Only a certain number of suppliers gain the honour of a “listing” – ie, get their products placed on shop shelves in the first place. They’re usually the ones that invest in advertising and demonstrate to distributors (supermarkets) they are willing to push the brand on their behalf.
The problem for the makers of products is that they don’t own the outlets. The supermarkets dictate who gets the shelf position. The problem for supermarket chains (who are more than willing to accept what they euphemistically call a ‘listing fee’ before they put a product in their shops) is that “the shelves are not made of rubber”.
So manufacturers need to become inventive: help the retailers sell more products while at the same time side-step the continual conflict for valuable shelf-space.
This merchandising unit from Pixi books recently caught my imagination. Not just because little kids were standing around it flicking through books, but also because you see shopkeepers everywhere wheeling out mobile shelving units for passers-by to browse – but rarely do you see anything this visually appealing.
The makers of Pixi books, small hand-size reading books targetted at toddlers and beyond, certainly know how to attract customers in a way that ties into their brand. And they’ve certainly understood the marketing mix implications of P for Place.