Often I find myself reminding consumer product companies and brand managers of the critical importance of investing in Point of Sale support materials. In the U.S. 70% of decision making happens when the Customer is already in the store.

When we all go in stores and see the creative ways “the product” is getting more bang for the real estate, that should be a wake up call to how important this effort is. It’s not just about “branding”, it’s about selling, right there, in that moment.

Visibility in every store is critical. Budgeting for signage, be it from the ceiling, on the hook, at the cash/wrap, shelf talkers, merchandise displays or some other creative method is required to make a product or brand sizzle.Bear_POS-Display

If you have a breakthrough product or something new that has a story to tell or a reason to be or needs lifestyle connection, in order to win the day in the store, expand your thinking past “it’s in” thinking that’s all it takes. Go for gold and support the heck out of it and from inside the store. It IS EXACTLY what the store wants to achieve. The limit is only in your own creativity and exposure to what kinds of things are currently being done in the retail market place.

Which is I guess why I have to remind those brand managers and entrepreneurs, because, unfortunately, they don’t go out shopping. If you’re in consumer products, every trip to every store any day is called market research. To some, I guess, it’s still just called shopping and maybe something they don’t want to do themselves. If you don’t get into the landscape where your products are sold, you’re not very likely to be able to find creative ways to beat the competition.

Getting in the store is only phase 1. Selling through the store – that’s the magic. Winners create magic. Everyone else gets replaced in short order as an underperformer. The consumer is not looking for products – they crave the magic. Get into stores and create magic, or someone else will.