Jan 26

What do I learn when storechecking?

Posted by Packaging Sense in Advertising | Trends | Uncategorized

One of the most important activities for a marketing specialist is to learn what competitors are doing.

The curious marketing person thus constantly looks at what happens in the shops, be it supermarkets, kiosks or the “7-Eleven” types of corner shops.

We call this “store-checking”, quite a tiresome activity, as it demands a lot from your brain when analysing not only display activities, but equally look at back panels, secondary packaging or other product categories than food and drinks. Why other categories? Because that is where you pick up ideas! It’s called “cross-fertilisation”, i.e. enrichment of knowledge.

It is obviously important to know what the direct competitors are doing, but we are not in business to copy them, unless you are a Chinese company!

How do you discover for instance a trend? Well, we can take Innocent smoothies as a good example as their approach to communication on packaging proved that if you make your communication INTERESTING, the consumer will notice it and read it. What does this mean in marketing terms? … that the bond between the brand and the consumer has been strengthened, which in the long term is far more important than for instance advertising. Well, we obviously have to do it all if we wish to increase our business, i.e. advertising, POS, package communication, website, secondary packaging communication (e.g. shippers), etc.

It is a bit surprising to see how few companies have been inspired by Innocent, well even by ARLA in Sweden who have a similar contact with their consumers since some 20-30 years.

The French company Michel & Augustin was inspired, but unfortunately made the same mistake as most companies/brands do today, i.e. too much information, thus arriving at too small texts which do not invite to be read as today’s free dailies (e.g. Metro) which are the best examples of great communication.

When store checking, you furthermore have the possibility to put questions to consumers when they pick up a pack, be it your own brand or the competitor’s. The best market research at no extra cost! And then you yourself have the chance to taste or to use the products you pick up and learn from… Bon appétit!

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