Brand magic, or braced for the battle at the POS

How a spectacular innovation becomes a perfect illusion – and why it offers such immense potential for a brand’s desirability.
Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co.KG
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Brand magic, or braced for the battle at the POS

How a spectacular innovation becomes a perfect illusion – and why it offers such immense potential for a brand’s desirability.

It’s not easy being a brand. Brands have to remain unmistakably themselves, always and forever. Yet at the same time they always have to reinvent themselves, without forgetting who they are, still less losing themselves entirely. The battle is especially ruthless at the POS – and especially in an environment of FMCGs – fast-moving consumer goods, the classic consumer articles that people buy without too much thought. Here makers must tussle not only for shelf space – sometimes centimeter by centimeter – but also and especially for shoppers’ attention. Matthias Kronawitter, Marketing Manager for TRUSTCONCEPT® at KURZ, talks about what you can do to pull ahead of the competition in those crucial last instants before the consumer firmly reaches for a choice.

Brands battling on the shelf

The point of sale, which advertisers and marketing people simply call a POS, is the last site, beyond TV spots, outdoor advertising or print, where you can score with the customer and trigger that crucial impulse to buy. More and more brands, it seems, are putting their products on the shelves. Thousands of new products are launched with greater or lesser success each year, vying for attention in stores. But big or small – it’s the extraordinary, surprising product and package designs that stand out from the crowd and magically attract people. Discounters’ and full-range merchants’ house brands have recognized that and arm themselves accordingly.

Competition is genuinely cutthroat. And it’s not just that makers have to hold their own against competing providers – today’s retailers’ power is putting them under additional pressure. Producers for whom an especially attractive placement on the shelf is just too expensive will have to be satisfied with the less popular sales settings that are farther from the consumer’s focus of attention. Yet at the same time, the stars in the best shelf spaces will perform more and more successfully, the more attention-getting their appearance is. “That’s where our technology comes in. We help our clients get their items to really stand out, using decorative options and the associated advice.” Kronawitter explains. As a marketing manager, he’s able to offer his clients TRUSTSEAL® SFX – one of the most exciting, most spectacular innovations this field has seen in the last few years.

More special, more known, more desirable – with the perfect illusion

“Brand building at the POS is a major factor in all-around customer communication,” Kronawitter adds. “Whether it’s done with a free-standing display in a supermarket or by the product itself. Every brand has to establish itself in the market. And what counts here is not just the product’s quality or quality promise – it’s the product’s look, too.”

Because it’s exactly that look that may provoke the impulse to buy. We now know that products that attract potential buyers’ attention better than others also trigger an impulse to touch. And once somebody has taken a body lotion off the shelf and looked it over, that lotion is more likely to land in the shopping cart than one that hasn’t set off this tactile contact. KURZ has had a trigger like that in its portfolio for some time now – it’s called TRUSTSEAL® SFX. This technological innovation creates striking three-dimensional impressions on completely flat surfaces; its quasi-sculptural look almost magically attracts the eye. A development whose literally outstanding design is sparking discussion in supermarkets around the world.

A sculptural parrot’s beak: TRUSTSEAL® SFX on our poster for drupa 2016

Effects yes, gimmicks no – what counts is working with the customer

But as remarkable as the effect is, it’s not just art for art’s sake, as Kronawitter emphasizes. “We develop both our optical and our digital solutions jointly with our customers, to be an exact fit for their needs.” [Editor’s note: Besides its purely decorative and aesthetic aspect, TRUSTSEAL® technology also offers additional protection against brand piracy.]

In other words, from the wording of the task to its final implementation, the brand, with all its aspects, is the exclusive focus of attention. So, in the collaborative process, the possibilities for using TRUSTSEAL® SFX are constantly weighed against other factors like credibility, authenticity and, of course, brand personality as a whole. Because ultimately, it’s not at all about merely finding the most spectacular packaging possible – it’s about what will really serve a brand well. An aspect that the experts at KURZ can give special attention, thanks to their deep understanding of brands. All of which gives rise to a wide range of possibilities.

Contact

Do you have questions relating to our article Brand magic, or braced for the battle at the POS ? Please contact Matthias Kronawitter, through our user-friendly email interface

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