Design for the Point of Purchase Industry

The Point-of-Purchase (P.O.P.) industry is fast-paced, creative and highly competitive. Every single day (sometimes every 5 minutes) there is something new. You have to have strong organization and project management skills and the connections to get things done well and hyper-fast. Design is a part of so many facets of the Point-of-Purchase industry. The creative nature and ever-changing environment of this industry is what drew us in initially and while we no longer work solely in it, we keep coming back for more.

One day you are working on components for a nationwide total re-haul of a top carrier's cell phone store. I mean everything that is in the store. Cashier counters, device display counters and custom security-conscious holders, wall graphics, window signage, channel graphics and more.

Then on to the next thing, a nationwide and international roll-out of paint chip racks. You’ve seen these in all of the Big Box hardware chains as you go to pick out the next new color of paint for your living room. The number of components is no small list. Custom kiosks to produce and program, paint swatch graphic strips, brochures, and their plastic holders, wood and metal framework and storage cabinets, etc. The client will supply some, but most is sourced by you. It is all coming in house to be assembled and distributed to the appropriate store addresses.

Next, things take a fun, sparkly, girly turn and you are designing a tabletop spinner to highlight the latest and greatest trendy young girl’s shoes that are sure to make every grade school girl’s wish list. It’s bright colors, cute graphics and glitter that make you secretly wish you could still wear fun stuff like this and are sure to draw attention.

Those are just a few examples of P.O.P. design in action. The experience of working with this variety and seeing your design on display in major retail environments is like nothing else. But, we know it takes some major work and planning to execute.

Whether you were hired on as a designer, project manager, accountant or some other position in the Point-of-Purchase industry, you are bound to wear many hats. When a large scale project roll-out is getting down to delivery date, or there is a prototype that needs to be quickly assembled and shipped overnight for an executive meeting the next day, it is all hands on deck. We need to get that sale and win the bid.

In our experience working as both team members directly for several Point-of-Purchase companies, as well as continuing to work with them in our creative agency life, we are well-versed in all things P.O.P. and are ready to help your team with internal and external design work.

Internally you need the branding and material to be able to market your business and its services. Some of these include:

·      Logo design and branding: many of the larger, well-known, P.O.P. shops will have well-established branding. You still need a design firm or internal marketing team that respects this established branding and implements it across the board, in everything that you do.

·      You also need a website that highlights your strengths, services and showcases with imagery and facts about recent client projects. A possible nice addition to your site would be a custom back-end where clients could log-in and see displays or inventory they are housing in your facility. This way they can help keep track of inventory levels and when they need to place an additional order with you to replenish stock. 24/7 on-demand tracking that eliminates the need for a check-in call.

·      Business cards

·      Sales presentations in print or digital format

·      Case studies and sell sheets to highlight your company, services and recent projects

Design finds its way into most, if not all, of the services offered to clients. Some ways we see design come into play are:

·      Design conception: your sales person or team meets with the client. They come back to your project team with a basic idea of what the client has in mind; the amount of product needed to display, the goal of what they would like people to experience or understand. This typically begins in pencil sketch form and moves to 3D rendering after further buy-in and narrowing down ideas.

·      Graphics for the displays: this can be anything from channel inserts, large-scale signage or banners, labels of all colors and sizes, hang tags…the list is endless. Some displays will hit the stores and then unfortunately be in the garbage a month later. Some will have channels or other areas in which graphics can be swapped out with different messaging, pricing and promotions allowing the overall display to be used much longer.

·      Instruction sheets: the better the instruction sheet, the better presentation you will have with the finished display, the less damaged components you are likely to need to replace and less calls you will get from the store install teams with questions on how to put the display together. We have found luck with modifying the display’s engineering drawings or creating graphics in the style of the engineering drawings (if the display did not require detailed engineering drawings). We take these detailed engineering drawings, modify them and break the install process into simplified steps. We then pair them with written instructions, making it very clear what components are going where and when. This is planned at the same time we are creating labels for components or sheets to slip in with hardware bags.

Our team has the P.O.P. know-how to help. If you are a Point-of-Purchase shop that is overwhelmed with awesome projects and need some graphic help from a team that understands exactly where you are coming from, contact us. Let’s chat more about your design needs.