Many clients find that activating the brand strategy at the shelf can be complex and that they often miss the target. Above all, it is high maintenance and can be a frustrating exercise.
The second potential issue is the failure to connect the category plan to shopper activation in-store.
Therefore in this short piece, I examine the need for speed, detail and discipline when implementing the plan on the shelf.
Here is exhibit A taken at my local Morrisons in Fleet on Sunday 4th August.
This store has been recently refurbished. It is engaging and innovative within the narrow framework Morrisons choose to deliver against.
Heck found itself in the news recently, thanks to the Conservative leadership race. In this store, it is displayed prominently with distinctive shelf-ready packaging, with an engaging tag line. They are chicken sausages which is a point of differentiation and ties in with the evolving needs of consumers/shoppers.
So what is wrong with the photo? The product is at eye level and it is located within the correct category. Unfortunately, there is an empty SRP to the left and the sausages to the right are not in shelf-ready packaging and can’t be seen at a glance as they haven’t been merchandised correctly. This might be seen to be in Hecks’ favour (the product is Morrison’s own label sausages).
What do we need to do to ensure optimum performance of the most expensive asset in a store ie shelf space?
Too many times brands miss the opportunity because the shopper passes them by. Poor execution on the shelf is the scourge of great packaging and brand messaging.
This brings me to the final point. When packaging is executed correctly brand performance increases. So why is the last 10 yards overlooked? Too often products have new packaging designed without consideration of how it will look on the shelf. What is the optimum case size and configuration? The redesign is the interesting and ‘sexy’ bit, the practical elements often overlooked.
If you agree, how do you ensure that your products will perform well over the last 10 yards? What can you do to make them easy to merchandise? Easy for staff to replenish?
Undoubtedly having chatted with store staff there are categories that they prefer to work on and categories that they don’t. How do you make your category one of the former and not the later?