Mike Anthony @ engage consultants

Mike Anthony on Shopper Marketing

Killing your brand in-store

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What does this say about Olay as a brand?

We hear lots of talk about the need to put forth branding efforts in-store, so that you continue to build your brand in the eyes of shoppers. But what do we really mean by in-store branding? And can you really accomplish such a spirited goal within the retail environment?

The answer is a resounding “maybe”. Your success depends on many things. Many studies have shown us that it is incredibly difficult to affect brand perceptions in-store. Well, at least in a positive manner. You can undoubtedly dismantle your brand quite easily in-store if you’re not paying close attention. Case in point: This week, P&G did their best to steal the mantle from Unilever in our workshops events and seminars at the best case of how to destroy brand value in a second in-store.

My associate, Toby Desforges, and I speak at lots of events and workshops, and part of the message we launch with full force at General Managers, CEOs, Marketing and Sales Directors is that by not effectively marketing to shoppers-and by that we mean more than merely communicating the consumer brand message in a store-literally millions of dollars are flushed away. Such a waste of money that could otherwise provide a real return on the trade investment!

When we kick off our workshops, we show classic photo of Dove in Japan- to show the audience of money-wasters that they are in good company. At the height of Dove’s campaign for real beauty , when the inner beauty of women is being celebrated, we found this display within a hundred metres of a huge billboard for Dove. That’s the supposed premium brand, on the street, in a wire basket, in the largest drugstore chain in Japan–looking a far sight less appealing than the image posted on the nearby billboard. For every one impression delivered by the advertising, how many hundreds were delivered by that stack in a wire basket?

But this week, in PX UCA in Taiwan, P&G dealt an even more powerful blow on brand demolition in-store. Within ten metres of a huge billboard, showing the purest, most innocent, unblemished face that modern day airbrushing can create, P&G’s marketing team chose to place the same imagery in a really high visibility, high traffic zone, in the store.

So what’s wrong with that? The idea was good. The execution, however, was literally and figuratively “beneath them”. The zone they chose were the stairs where that lovely face was kicked, bashed and damaged at every footfall. Who thought this was a good idea? Who decided to do this to an aspirational brand. Who associated stairs in a store with a beauty brand? What a waste of airbrushing.


Written by Mike Anthony

September 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

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