While browsing through an aisle at a new or familiar store, there are countless cues we subconsciously absorb. No matter how discerning we might think ourselves, with all the pre-packaged products we bring into our homes, marketing professionals have cracked the code on appealing to our deeper natures. An immense volume of thought goes into all facets of product merchandising, leading to several companies making it their area of expertise. To delve a little further into this fascinating playground of our psyche, here are some little things worth considering that often give products a serious edge.
First and foremost – your product’s identity and purpose are paramount. With so many products out there, it is vital that you know your niche. This is a key area worth optimising, or it can result in wasted time, expenses, or even the complete failure of a product. Miscommunication can easily occur between departments, particularly for products created with larger teams behind them. If your marketing team or any other department don’t quite ‘get’ the product, how can you expect the customer to do so?
Location, Location, Location
Shelf optimisation is one area often overlooked. This area gets quite complicated and is a mathematical wonderland when handled by experts. However, a classic example of this still used today can be found in the worlds of cereal boxes marketed at children. Brightly coloured, with eyes skewed downwards, they commence their web of enticement. Have you noticed that these boxes are often placed lower on the shelves? Instead of being at eye level with guardians, who are focused on their own products, they are placed to connect directly with children. Younger audiences are often less discerning when it comes to marketing tactics. Simple yet smart changes like this can foster a connection with your intended audience, creating brand loyalty for years.
Particularly when it comes to physical retail, there is an opportunity to appeal to customers multiple senses. In-store setups are more adept at this than many other strategies. For example, these displays often engage tactile senses. They encourage customers to pick up and make a physical connection with the product, making a memorable impression. The best setups are attention-grabbing. This makes your product stand out from competitors or other items consumers might divvy up their limited dough on. Like an interactive in-store billboard, you’re more likely to trigger impulse buying in new and valuable customers. Likewise, you can throw all your money at a giant flashing parade for the senses – but they don’t have to be huge, they just have to be smart. We’ve all noticed humble displays at the end of an aisle/checkout, drawing us to items we may not typically consider. Like with other aspects of product merchandising, there’s a world of thought that goes into it.
If you want your product to appeal to certain sensibilities, sometimes it’s best to tie them to a pre-existing association. Depending on the product, you might want someone dependable, energetic, graceful, successful… This stands apart from influencer culture, which has seen a recent surge. Although this has its place, the platform is getting crowded and companies are finding it more difficult to find space to stand out. This is where brand ambassadors can still shine. We’ve all seen celebrities endorse products, to increase their target audience. Brand ambassadors filter down this concept into someone a customer can make the perfect connection with. Word of mouth is an invaluable tool. By forging that human connection, you can build a lifelong positive rapport and a ripple effect, which spreads into countless homes for years on end.
Effective product merchandising is a complicated thing. It involves mathematics, psychology, and countless other areas of expertise. Considering these factors upfront helps to guarantee success for a product that may otherwise get lost in the crowd. With a bit of extra effort, you’re ready to reap the overwhelming benefits proper product merchandising can bring.