Planning for success with POS parasite units

March 23, 2017 11:35 am Published by

We love POS. Better still, we love good, well planned and well informed POS.

Parasite units bring fantastic opportunities, and the size and weight of products taking advantage of this space is extending.  But, to ensure success they need to go through the same planning process as any other larger campaign so let’s highlight some of the key questions to be addressed as part of this process.

1. First of all, where is it going to go?

Parasite units can be used to provide incremental space within its own category.  But more typically they are designed to go in compatible categories such as chocolate in the hot drinks aisle, headache tablets with beer, or gum alongside sandwiches.

Identifying where the greatest opportunity lies is not just about product compatibility.  A shopper’s mindset varies from category to category, even within the category itself.  If we want to put gum in the alcohol aisle, which product is it best aligned with? Is it fastest selling products, alcohol format or should there be a deeper look at usage and occasion?  How shoppers shop these categories and therefore how best to tap into this opportunity is a must consideration. 

2. How is the product and brand going to stand out?

Once target categories have been evaluated and confirmed, consider what the product and parasite unit is going to be competing with for attention.

How is the shopper navigating, what is the main draw for attention here?  Is it an instantly recognisable brand, perhaps it’s the size or colour of particular products or draw of shelf edge offer labels.  Is your product packaging strong enough to interrupt this through colour, size, or brand identity?  If not the parasite unit design needs to compensate for this.  It is important to cut though, not add to visual clutter.

3. What needs to be communicated?

Parasite units are rarely driven by promotions but to drive incremental sales through impulse purchase.

Identify what these impulse purchase triggers are for the product and brand IN THE (SUB) CATEGORY it will be in.  This needs to be addressed on a small space so capturing these triggers through imagery may (if appropriate), cut through more clearly than words alone.

How much is it?

Too often price communication is not being considered in the design.  This either results in the retailer obscuring brand or message cues with an ill-fitting price mechanic, or, worse still, there is no price shown.  An undisputed barrier to purchase.

4. How is the unit going to be replenished?

Staff are less likely to replenish a product when out of category, it just isn’t a priority for them, especially in bigger and busier stores.  The smaller the stock holding or more expensive the POS, the more important the replenishment plan becomes.

From the outset devise a merchandising strategy as part of the planning process.  Most commonly this is either facilitated by sales teams or third party sources.  Plans need to be developed for the whole activation period not just day of launch.

5. What is the ROI?

A lot of time, effort and investment goes into the development of POS, and parasite units are no exception.  They must prove their value, while at the same time identify learnings for future activations.  In other words, develop insights to support shopper marketing strategy.

This is the fun part! Without measurement, we cannot improve on what we do.  Measure ROI by: product, store, category and time, identify the influences and where most gain is to be had, so that learnings can be built upon, leading to continued growth and success. 

 These are just a few of the questions to be addressed.  There are many others not least around structural and creative design, but this is a whole piece on its own.

If you would like to see some examples of branded parasite units Click here.

If you would like to know more about how to maximise the power of your POS Click here

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This post was written by Dawn Odoi

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