At Creative Instore Solutions (CIS), creating bespoke designs that are applicable across a variety of retail environments and geographies is part of our core philosophy.  Companies that consider activations that don’t limit the roll out to a single marketplace or label with the capability of delivering customisable messages, products or locations will undoubtedly deliver better overall brand results, especially in current retail markets.    

The Deloitte Global Powers of Retailing 2014: Retail Beyond begins published in January 2014 highlights “ The trading environment has remained a highly challenging one, with official measurers of retail sales showing no improvement at all over several months of the year, leaving the annual rate of growth in retail sales running below longer term averages”.  This is a challenge that leaves even the most established brands looking for new and innovative ways to capture the consumer’s attention.

According to the latest MAT, the total chocolate category in the impulse channel grew by 2.3%, outpacing the grocery channel, which showed a growth rate of only 0.8% (Nielsen Convenience scan MAT 28th April 2014).  This has seen the highly competitive chocolate category launching a barrage of changes into the mix looking for the key differentiator for the savvy consumer.  Such strategies have included flavour variations/ additions, packaging changes and new sizes in an attempt to gain the wallet share of the market. Beyond these strategies, Mars Chocolate Australia worked with CIS address product placement in store, in an outside of the box solution, to capture the consumer attention in the critical.

Customers are becoming increasingly savvy with wider choice, quality and greater value being three of the top four competition findings from Deloittes generally in retail.  Capturing that consumer impulse purchase in a grocery environment, like Coles Express, are an even greater challenge with accessibility, form and function as key indicators of success.

Personally, I agree with the Deloitte report assessment that “It has become clear that the retail industry in Australia and for that matter globally is in a period of unprecedented disruption and change”. Recognising this, CIS work with our customers, developing long term relationships, to capitalise on these market conditions in the best way possible for both retailer and brand advancement.

A recent discussion with Nick Clare, Trade Marketing Manager at Mars Chocolates Australia following a day in the field the client, reiterated this approach.  “Creative Instore Solutions continue to develop a collaborative relationship by pushing the creative envelope on each design brief we provide.  The most recent collaboration, a multi-purpose unit for bar merchandising in and out of the fridge, which has the flexibility of being affixed in 3 different applications across P&C and grocery channels, to highlight our signature Mars brand is a perfect example of collaborative display innovation”. 

As a point of purchase and display supplier, innovation with focus and purpose is critical to brand and retailer success and client collaboration towards this is what we at Creative Instore Solutions actively pursue.    Yet innovation for innovation sake will not drive success.  Not all brand extension requires the latest digital technology, successful displays can be simply about using previously under-utilised space which is exactly the case in the Mars multipurpose unit.  Natural display extension and seamless integration into an existing space, coupled with bold brand graphics can just as simply create the “POP” and brand wow factor that we in the point of purchase industry strive to achieve, ultimately achieving the desired sales uplift for our clients.  Now that is innovation!


First published in Retail World Australia 18th July 2014