The Hub magazine is a bit of an ideas exchange and forum for people in the marketing community. There’s a new piece in it this month that looks at how best to establish brand identity in a retail setting, and its basis was a survey of professional marketers.
The result: packaging design is tops, and stuff like in-store TV and in-store radio were down near the bottom.
Before you get the razor blade out, consider that the results only make sense. Using big LCD screens, or even shelf-edge screens, to establish brand identity doesn’t make a whole pile of sense in visually busy retail settings and on screens that may have all kinds of other messages on them, as well.
The article’s author, retail branding consultant Jason Press, suggests: “The world would indeed be a happier place if everybody simplified their packages and there were fewer messages being thrown at shoppers at retail.”
I’m no marketing guru, but it strikes me that where digital screens in retail works for brands is in driving impulse and awareness, and in reinforcing the value.
I remember talking to some Kodak guys, in the waning days of film, about using digital screens to drive sales in chain drug stores. They said Kodak had this great creative out in broadcast and print, stuff that made people feel using Kodak was something special. But when consumers went in stores they forgot all that and bought on price. But by having screens reinforcing that key messaging, they felt buyers would modify their buying behavior.
Digital signage has its role in retail, but it can’t be the answer to all of a retailer’s challenges. Though Lord knows there are people out there selling it as such.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.