At Creative Instore Solutions we were proud to be winners of the NSW Premier’s Export Award in the Business Services category for 2013.  This enabled me to attend a specialist Master Class luncheon with the other national finalists which also constituted of a panel posing some interesting questions looking towards to the business trends for 2014 and beyond.  The panelist conversation centered on topics trending for 2014 including cost per acquisition, long term value, sustainability and of course innovation.

Now that we are heading into 2014, businesses are certainly targeting a few if not all of these trends, and at CIS we continue to focus on applying these to the creative in-store activations we develop in 2014 and beyond.

Let’s face it, cutting through the clutter in a retail environment to acquire a new customer isn’t always achieved with price promotions. People can simply walk away especially if price is not their key driver or motivator. Brands need to think strategically about targeting people and those that don’t shop in every aisle can be the key. Research conducted by POPAI UK & Ireland has indicated that cardboard temporary units come across as promotional and therefore can be potentially avoided by the end consumer. So how do brands to mitigate such shopper behaviour to capture a sale?

As a POP supplier I encourage brands and retailers to think past the often cheaper short term solutions and look at a modular and updateable unit that offers your brand flexibility over the long term which will undoubtedly reap rewards through both environmental sustainability and ROI.    This is something we have recently undertaken with Warner Bros Home Entertainment.   “ Making optimum use of the footprints we have captured in a variety of retail environments by opting for a semi-permanent, flexible and modular unit makes sure as a brand we can adapt to current promotions, retail environments or planograms and ultimately get longer term ROI”, states Aaron Telford, Warner Bros Home Entertainment, Creative Services Director.

Permanent and semi-permanent displays, which can benefit from branding and audit refreshment programs maximize longevity in the market by increasing sales velocity and ROI over a sustained period.    Take a simplified example of a typical cardboard unit which can utilise a footprint for a one to three week timeframe, requiring significant environmental resources to create and then dispose including bleaching and crushing.  However, a semi-permanent or permanent range of activations can actually overcome that, lasting over a year, minimising the wastage and overall environmental impact.  Another cost which is often not taken into account when determining the real ROI of an activation are external costs such as merchandising time to set up, take down and replace a temporary POP display.

Innovation is without question another one of those buzz words that will be with us well into 2014 and beyond.  Innovation can come in many forms be it as simple as the flexibility, modularity and reusability of a system that also then adds to the long term brand environmental sustainability. In-store activations that fall into the “innovative” bucket such as these will aide brands in not only capturing strategic locations within a retail environment but ultimately in generation of sales uplift.

Overall, brands considering the cost per acquisition of a retail footprint across various channels to market and how to get the best long-term value from their POP design will yield the shopper to customer acquisition results. Ultimately, activations that are designed and produced keeping in mind acquisition, sustainability, ROI and innovation will yield the best results for 2014.


First published in Retail World 24th January 2014