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Winning the Consumer’s Wallets: Point-Of-Purchase

We are living in interesting times! Our market environment is evolving faster than ever, as it is shaped by the various factors, that include:
– The need for target advertising: “Our market is being more and more fragmented by the day … mass media doesn’t cut it any more” (Abbott et. al)
– Informed customers: influencing customer’s wants and effectively defining their view of value
– Heightened competition & market reach: fueled by globalization; made possible by cheaper communication and transportation
– Different shopping roles: “Shopping is no longer about securing necessities but has become an avenue to pursue the spiritual” (Tian)

If we focus out attention at the consumer market level, we notice that a particular factor has had a a significant role in shaping our market environment; the increase in “retailer’s power” (ArabianBusiness.com). The widespread of hyper-markets is a testimonial to that. Large retailers nowadays, carry thousands of goods; which goods they carry and where they place them on shelves play a major role in influencing customer’s purchasing preferences. The retail’s influence became of particular interest to suppliers, when recent studies emerged, approximating that “40 [to] 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store” (ArabianBusiness.com). Thus marketers beefed-up their marketing efforts aimed at persuading the consumer to purchase a given product where sales are made; known as Point-Of-Purchase (POP). In-store samples, promotions, fancy displays and packaging, counter salespeople, all fall under POP. Point-of-purchase has such an influence on consumer spending that Tobacco companies, for example, spend more on POP advertising than “the amount [they spend] on either print or outdoor advertising” (Feighery et. al)

Below, are two POP advertising that I have encountered; and their overall effectiveness:

#1 Are your teeth as white as they should be?: This catchy question was printed on checkout conveyor belts in supermarkets. The advertisement was for whitening chewing gum – there was a picture of it beside the question. I believe that the marketing executives have done a good job with this particular advertisement as it was:
– Relevant: most of us would like to have whiter teeth
– Inescapable: you will eventually have to make your way to the checkout counter; missing the advertisement is not an issue!
– Location: the chewing gum is located right beside the checkout counter
– Low price point: the gum is not an expensive item; so making a decision whether or not to buy it does not require much thought.
– Dialogue-type marketing: the question engages the consumer in an internal dialog with themselves; “dialogue-type marketing is a good way to generate awareness” (Helm)
On many occasions, I ended up buying the chewing gum, since well, it whitened my teeth (which is valuable to me), and I could never forget – as the ad was always there. The Advertisement, with its radiant colors, was actually welcomed, as it brought the monotone-colored conveyor belt to life.

#2 Unique Packaging: Galaxy chocolate sells, in the Middle East, boxes of bite-size chocolate pieces, under the name of ‘Galaxy Jewels’. This highly successful product positions itself as high-end chocolate geared for the general population; thus price and location take that into account. During the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Galaxy changes the packaging of Jewels from a box to a lantern (symbolic for festivity) in the Gulf countries; where the majority of the people residing there are Muslims. In fact, out of all the supermarkets I frequent, this lantern packaging is the biggest one across the chocolate and non-chocolate products. The advertising effort is not particularly annoying; on the contrary, it is very nice, especially that the Ramadan period has a special place in the hearts of Muslims. My issue is that, although the lantern is catchy, it doesn’t tempt me to buy the chocolate; I prefer other chocolate brands that have a more rich taste. I think that if the marketing executives spend on increasing the quantity size, opposed to making lantern shaped packaging, the chocolate will sell more, given that during Ramadan:
– Quantity plays a significant factor than other months – as people are fasting
– People visit each other more often – thus more chocolate is needed to offer guests.

~ Youssef Aboul-Naja

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