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Brands turn to retail space for extensive communication

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Brands turn to retail space for extensive communication

Branding at retail space and at point of purchase has become a significant part of marketers’ communication mix. With organised retail on the growth path, brands across category are leveraging this medium in various ways.

However, there is often a misplaced urgency to communicate too much, leading to communication clutter, especially at point of sale. This has led marketers to look at other sensory avenues to communicate. Experts feel that the tradition of communicating through art and copy needs to be re-evaluated, especially in the case of retail.

According to Ashwini Deshpande, Founder Director and Principal Designer at Elephant Strategy + Design, “Retail is a very exciting space right now. Most brands are shifting chunks of their budgets from conventional media to retail and digital. I believe retail campaign is most commonly misunderstood as print campaign converted to shop posters and buntings. This is perhaps the most detrimental strategy. Away from purchase decision is a space to convey emotions, lifestyle and emerging aspirations. Closer to shelf, it has to be product benefits and claims that trigger the purchase decision to a positive conversion.”

Smart strategy makes brands noticeable at points of purchase. For instance, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank and Corporation Bank have recently associated with Big Bazaar’s ongoing property, Public Holiday Sale. Canara Bank is a partner for Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Uttar Pradesh. IDBI Bank is a partner for West Bengal, while Corporation Bank has partnered for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. As part of the association, the banks get branding elements and a kiosk space inside the stores that fall in their respective regions. The below the line (BTL) collaterals include all in-store signages, façade, leaflets and so on.

Innovation is the name of the game to stand out at points of purchase. In a recent campaign, Tang installed an interesting display at Spencers in Mumbai, where shoppers found a life size unit of a planter with a green plant in the middle of the retail space. The unit had four shelves highlighting a different flavour. The innovative display was accessible from all sides and could stock more than 70 units at one time. In time for the summer season, the brand’s communication of ‘New Tang with added new Fruit’ managed to grab customers’ attention inside the store.

Som Sengupta, Director, Zeppelin Design and Environments opined, “Retail design needs to be approached as communication design. Clients should work with specialists who can understand the dynamics of communicating and selling in spaces. Modern retail formats can be de-humanising, hence, designers and clients need to walk a tight rope while balancing the operational benefits of large formats with old world warmth.”

This summer, KDD, a Kuwait-based manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage products which is gearing up for an India foray with its brand Harvest, has also turned to experiential marketing to build awareness and create consumer connect. As part of the brand activation in Mumbai, a 15 feet tall structure in the form of an oversized carton of fruit juice with fruits pouring out of it was installed at Korum Mall in Thane, Mumbai. The brand had executed a similar campaign earlier this year in Chennai.

Recently, German toy-maker Simba brought a life-size model of the popular protagonist from the movies ‘Cars’ and ‘Cars 2’, Lightning McQueen, to India.

E-commerce portals Olx and Quikr have also gone offline to create a greater connect with consumers. Both portals have undertaken branding activities in Big Bazaar stores near the checkout counters. While Quikr has used contextually interesting messaging to go with the medium, Olx has installed drop boxes at the cash counter area to promote their initiative around Mother’s Day.

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