The secrets of product placement

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Published 6th January 2017. Author: J.Taylor

We take a look at the science of product placement in stores worldwide.

Almost every day we are exposed to product placement not just outdoors but even whilst we enjoy our favourite shows on television. Here are just a few examples:

  • Television adverts: expertly advertising specific brands at certain times of the day to target their key audience.
  • Televsion shows: characters from our favourite shows are often seen drinking, eating or using brands. Some shows are sponsored by brands.
  • Newspapers/magazines: Products often cover the majority of what we read.
  • Internet: We all know how many ads we are confronted with online, whether at the side or in pop ups.
  • Billboards/Bus stops/Buildings/Shop windows: all designed to peak our interest and direct us inside stores or online.
  • Radio: Even without pictures, the constant verbal reminders and catchy jingles are all created to make us purchase something.

And there is many more. We haven't even started talking about shops yet.

Retail stores and supermarkets are amongst the product placement elite. Despite being surrounded by products, store displays are designed to draw your eye or divert your feet without you even realising.

Location, location, location.

The location of items is not random with the most common practices being "Destination items" and "Impulse".

Destination items are often found at the rear of the store. These are items that have high demand and are purchased often, such as milk, eggs, bread. This ensures customers are exposed to the maximum number of products before reaching their required item, therefore increasing the chances of them buying more.

Impulse locations are items found hanging from between shelves of common items, in dump bins or at the tills themselves. Many a parent has been caught out by those sweets at the tills, placed well within childrens' reach.

Shelving placement

Most retailers are aware that customers are more likely to view products from left to right and then downwards. This can often be used to their advantage but there are 4 key areas for shelving display:

Top shelf: Small brands, regional brands and gourmet ranges.

Bull's Eye: Shelves at eye level for adults for best sellers and leading brands.

Kid's Level: Products that appeal to children using bright colours and characters are put right where they can see them.

Bottom Shelf: Store brands, private labels or oversized products can be found here.

Some retailers use Planograms (see main picture for example) which allow them to plan their displays visually, ensuring products are placed in the correct locations before manually moving stock.

There are a number of ways to arrange products on shelves:

  • Vertical - where items are displayed on more thean one shelf in a vertical display.
  • Commercial - Items with a perceived higher value gain more desirable shelving position
  • Block Placement - Related items are placed together
  • Margin Product - Products that have a higher profit have a better placement.
  • Market Share - Products that generate higher revenue are placed in easily visible locations.

With a fair bit of planning, you can place products to sell. Ensure there is always plenty of space for customers to navigate your ailses and don't put too much stock out as this can overwhelm them.