ATL and BTL are some of the most known acronyms for this 2 realms of communication: Above The Line and Below The Line.
Communication instruments in modern companies have evolved rapidly since the seventies (70´s), in which the ATL media had hoarded the advertising scene with an approximate participation of 80% vs. 20% from BTL instruments. But along the eighties they started to scratch this value rising up to 40% and finally with the new century became the 70% BTL vs. 30% ATL. *Salen, H. (abril, 2008). Seminario Internacional Merchandising Activo. Merchandising visual, de seducción: una necesidad actual y creciente.
Which means that with the new century most companies made a bet for BTL communication: sales force, window display, Visual Merchandising, public relationship, patronage and sponsorship. The communication at the point of purchase (which is the one we are going to talk here in this blog) might have many topics or classifications -it depends on the author- but here, we are going to get straight to the point:
Communication at point of sale could be divide in two big main blocks, the signage communication and the setting communication. Both are important and they must be balanced.
To balance them is a very difficult thing, specially in supermarkets and department stores, first and foremore in the food category, as shown below:
Even when there are a large number of suppliers within the same category and almost all are at the same level of competitiveness and all at the same time want to have the best portion of the shelf to display and highlight their products. This is when the retailer’s cash register begins to invoice and invoice the sale of privileged spaces within the linear.
But, which is the point between a good visual merchandising and the disastrous of becoming something (derogatory in nature), in spanish language aka «mercado Persa»?
First things first, so we have to know what are the assets we have and which is the «promo» we have to communicate in the store (inside and outside in the window or facade). In a normal retail company you could have a large variety of elements for supporting publicity such as shown here under (images speak for themselves):
Different categories and sections, the same instruments and tools. Now, in fashion retail, for instance, we got this:
As a part of the campaign, you can promote each SKU among your visitors and consumers, and guess what! This is P.O.P. too:
In fact, basics are the same for each industry, but creativity most be the difference at the time you implement your visual merchandising ideas, being within the guidelines from marketing, brand, publicity (collection and campaign images) and consumer behavior.
Of course, you can sell the same product but aimed to different types of buyers. At that time (2005) there was a huge difference between selling the same jean for a college university guy than selling it to a newly professional or recent graduated in his first professional job.
Then we have the same campaign, the same product, the same p.o.p design (for setting and signage communication), the same brand and visual merchandising guidelines; but we have a different consumer and a different type of merchandising in a different point of purchase.
Now you can ask yourself this: Is that setting & communication publicity at the point of purchase relevant for your costumers, buyers or clients? (just in case, all three are different, but we will talk about them in another post on this blog).
According to the theoreticians marketing writers, the answer is: YES!
Specially if the store brings to the visitor a big amount of greatest happiness and sensations and experiences, precisely those that the buyer is expecting to find in that place. Naturally, it would be traduced into increased sales.
The window display can not scape from P.O.P. material and also many props you have to deploy just to catch attention besides the fact that you have to communicate exactly what the brand and its campaigns must be or have to say. (Remember the main target is to increases sells)
To conclude, the most important aspect could be summarized as:
- To respect all campaign guidelines such as the branding and visual merchandising.
- Smart use of resources: instruments, tools and props available. Which may include the re-use of the props by giving them a new «air» by the use of color and texture, just to transform them into a «new» prop.
- Finally, give it up to P.O.P. the strength and starring it deserve through the use of creativity, being carefully to not transgress the visual merchandising, campaign and branding guidelines.
In other words, it means «landing» the ATL advertising campaign into a several «small pieces of communication» inside the store called P.O.P.
Now leave a comment and I will show the entire transformation from an advertising campaign to a P.O.P., through the use of visual merchandising concepts!