point of sale

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I was riding my bike yesterday and noticed the name on the handlebars grips, the same name as a sign I pass daily on the fence of a marine store: Yeti.  The signage got me thinking about media placement and how it might be supercharged by placing logos on things we love to do and places we love to go. This intuitively happen anyway to a degree. Smith sunglasses at the ski resorts. Bunger Surfboards near the beach.  We might call this point-of-use branding, as opposed to point-of sale, where one buys the goods.

But what about just putting your logo near favorite places?  Parlay the positive feelings one has for a place or situation and attach them to your brand. Placing Coke ads where a consumer might need refreshment is certainly smart and an example of point-of-use. But how about placing a Coke logo near Dominic’s restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx or atop the Jupiter Bowl in Park City, Utah?

Brand where your customers and prospects are positively Zenned out.  Peace.



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POS stand for point of sale. It used to mean in-store displays. Today it covers a lot more. It covers ecommerce and some online advertising — certainly online ads that put a customer one click from purchase.

Not too long ago the vast majority of advertising reached customers while nowhere near shopping. TV and radio hit consumers with ads that molded opinion and attitude for a future purchase.  Then 800 numbers on TV ads allowed custies to dial-up a sale from the couch, as so did shopping networks like QVC. But the real breakthrough in POS was the web, where people actually go to shop. 

POS advertising online and POS advertising in-store are too similar for my taste. The online version should be richer. In-store you can experience the product through touch and feel — through sampling. Online all you have is video. I’m thinking virtual reality will alter this in the next couple of years and I can’t wait.  Buckle the seatbelts of your self-driving cars.

Thoughts? Peace.




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There is a marketing axiom that the majority of consumer product marketing takes place before a buyer arrives at the place of sale. Sure packaging and POS advertising are important but in marketers’ minds most of the heavy lifting has been completed. 

A web start-up assignment I am working on has me thinking about the role of smart phones in the decision making process today. As part of my strategy, I’m asking the web team to make sure the website is consulted before, during and after the shopping experience.  The phone is in hand during all three stages, after all. Why not use it and optimize it.

Toyota is in the news today along with a smart mobile company SpyderLynk discussing ToyoTags, a picture snap-able logo that directs smart phones to online content – the goal of which is to move the consumer closer to a transaction.  An example cited in a NYT suggested that when the Prius was having brake issues not long ago, a ToyoTag snapped in a newspaper ad directed readers to a National Highway Traffic Safety Association report for “truths” about the issue. If you’ve been reading my recent posts on Twitch Point Planning you’ll recognize this as an example of a twitch that moves a customer closer to a sale. A positive twitch.

Finding reasons not to buy and removing them is an agenda of Twitch Point Planning.  Tools like the ToyoTag and SnapTags designed by SpyderLynk are wonderful ammo in this arsenal.  This stuff is not just new for the sake of new, this is purposeful.  Good work. Exciting work. Peace.

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So you’are standing at the store, say in the frozen cookie dough aisle, trying to decide between Sweet Loren’s and Fat Boy’s. One has butter, one has no dairy. The pictures of the cookies look great on both boxes but one package feels a bit more “healthy.” You are debating wheher to buy healthy but can’t make up your mind. What do you do? You break out your smarty and take a picture of the QR codes on the package and twitch over to a website for an in-depth look at the product? Sure, why not.

QR Zombies

I’ll tell you why not, retailers would spit the bit. Good stores are crowded enough, can you imagine what they’d be like with zombie-like consumers consulting their phones in the aisles watching 110 second product videos? Talk about shelf-talkers! This is not what retailers want, trust me.

Packaging needs to sell. It need to close the deal. Great designers know people will only read so much on a package. It’s an art. Designers will include less copy and more picture if there is a QR code on the pack – and it will cause a retail revolt. On resets will QR code containing products be put on lower shelves, get fewer endcaps, loose facing strength? I love QR codes. They are awesome. That said, POS (point of sale) is where you buy not where you do homework. Peace!

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Simpler times.

Imagine a time in the 1700s when America’s green tea came from a single company with two ships sailing back and forth to China. Following a 7-month sail, the green tea arrived in lower Manahattan, was offloaded and brought by horse drawn wagon over bumpy cobblestones to a warehouse near Wall Street at which time the shipping barrels were broken open and the tea transferred to smaller dry casks for shipment to points north, south and west.
After stops at two more transportation points, a barge ride, and a jaunt in a rain-soaked buckboard wagon, the green tea arrives at the local mercantile. Taken out of its wooden  cask, smelling oh so rich by the way, it is then put into 3 glass jars with metal claps and cloth seals.
You, the store proprietor, must charge $.75 for a half pound of the green tea in order to make a little money, which is quite a high price when considering sugar is $.08 and flour is $.04 a pound. Here in Bumpus Mills, MO green tea is a relatively unknown luxury, and perhaps the most expensive product in the store on a cost per pound basis. Which promotional route do you go? Point-of-sale? Or word-of-mouth?   

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