By Martin Fawcett, Creative Director, Bezier Group
Christmas may still be more than three months away, but at this time of year, our clients have virtually finalised their yuletide campaigns in time for the upcoming festivities.
In order to achieve stand out in-store at this time of year, it is essential that brands and retailers use innovation and clever design in order to attract and retain shopper attention.
In-store communication in the run up to the Christmas period should aim to capture the imagination of often weary, overloaded shoppers in order to ensure their offerings stand out from the rest of the promotional ‘noise’.
One way in which in-store communications are aiming to achieve this is by using brand ‘experience’ events, or in-store theatre.
These give the shopper the opportunity to interact with a brand or product, creating a two-way dialogue that engages shoppers and builds a sense of excitement or intrigue.
bezier successfully implemented such a campaign for ASDA last Christmas which coincided with the launch of the Happy Feet DVD. We developed a ‘talking’ Christmas post-box for the supermarket which contained a sound chip activated when a letter was posted into the box.
The post-box stood alongside a 6-foot ‘Mumble’ character from the film and was very successful.
Athough this exercise was not directly linked to sales, it created a brand ‘warmth’ for the supermarket – and as is well documented, engaging with shopper emotions is directly linked to increased sales.
The post-box created a point of interest in store, particularly for families with young children.
We have also worked on and extensively trialled ASDA’s Christmas offering for this year, producing a full mock up in one of the Bradford stores during July – this caused quite a stir as shoppers registered their disbelief at Christmas décor appearing earlier and earlier these days!
The biggest challenge facing retailers in making an impact at Christmas is that it’s all been done before. Bravery is needed at this time of year - you have to challenge the status quo to stand out.
Splashing a bit of tinsel and fairy lights around a retail environment will not get you noticed - if anything, you will simply join the festive ‘wallpaper’.
The successful recipe to achieving differentiation is to connect with shoppers and provide a refreshing retail experience that captures the spirit of Christmas, whilst remaining in sync with your brand.
One retailer that gets this right each year is Ted Baker which takes a brave and unique look at Christmas, adding humour and relating it back to its brand.
This brings a true experience to their customers without devaluing their product.
For me the successes I have seen at Christmas and campaigns that stand out are those that challenge the routed perceptions of the season.
Campaigns that add humour, or to some extent rebel against the ‘tinsel brigade’, and do something unique win the shopper eye.
To conclude - plan in advance, back brave ideas, use in-store techniques that require interaction, be unique to your brand and say ‘ba humbug’ to the tinsel brigade!
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