The third edition of POP Asia, the exclusive show on Marketing-at-Retail kicked off in the Capital on February 1, 2007. Spread over three days, the annual expo and convention forum this time constitutes a new module – the VMRD Retail Design Awards. The event will conclude with the awards ceremony, which will be held on February 2.
The morning session commenced with the inauguration of the In-Store Marketing Forum. Harish Bijoor, Chairman of the Steering Committee, set the tone for the day with his inaugural speech. According to him retail was all-pervasive. He defined retail as “the blue eyed girl of modern Indian commerce”, while “branding is the blue eyed boy of modern Indian retail.”
While underlining the fast pace of growth that organised retailing was witnessing, Bijoor also highlighted the significance of unorganised retailing. “We are a nation of 16.2 million shopkeepers and 97.3 per cent of all retail is unorganised retail. It is important to look at unorganised retailing which gives us mass volumes,” he said.
Explaining the concept of retail branding, Bijoor said, “It is all about point of purchase and mass customisation.” According to Bijoor, point of purchase or POP was a “point of advertising, appoint of branding, a point of persuasive selling, a point of consumer touch, a point of consumer front face research. Infact, POP is point of everything”.
Citing the benefits of POP, Bijoor said, “POP scores high on credibility, lies less than all other forms of advertising. It is next only to word of mouth and is the immediacy medium of choice today.”
According to him, the road to success was under construction, so was the POP road. Bijoor urged everyone to “build (the road) intelligently and collectively” for he felt, “everything around us in our commercial lives is retail and everything requires POP intervention”.
The next speaker was Rodney Fitch, CBE, Founder and Chairman, who shared his perspective on “Building design leadership the Fitch way.”
Stressing on the significance of design, Fitch said, “Design is a tool that enables any retailer to mirror the society. Retail brands need to be convincing, their stores need to be inspiring, convenient and always better than the competition. Good design is the key to this.”
According to him, in India, which has a vibrant retail culture, it was imperative to think about the experience and not the square feet. For him, building the brand, knowing the customers and innovation and design were the way forward to build retail.
Taking over from Fitch was self-confessed movie freak, Shumone Jaya Chatterjee, Country Manager, Levi Strauss (India) Pvt Ltd. He gave the audience the Levi’s example by sharing his insights on ‘Retail Design as a Marketing Tool’.
Drawing similarities between retailing and filmmaking, he said, “Retail and the art of movie making: it’s not only about having a great script but also about compelling story telling.”
According to Chatterjee, product, price, place and promotion were the elements of marketing mix of retail. For him, content, product and format were some of the factors that can stimulate the desire to enter a store and spend time there.