Inspired Merchandising? or Worst Idea Ever? You decide! November 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 12:12 pm
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Shareology is proud to welcome a guest contributor today; Bill Carlson (of Kestrel Marketing in Chicago) and I worked together on the Honeywell Interactive Kiosk.  Bill is still finding amazing items at retail.   Let’s see what he says:

So I happened across this inspired merchandising while shopping at the grocery store and thought it worthy of a humorous sidebar in Shareology… Bet you won’t find this combination in any best practices documentation!

….house brand perhaps, which may explain the “unique” placement (i.e. Impromptu store-level decision vs. structured best practice recommendation from national brand?).

Discord grabs the eye and in fairness to whoever set this up, the sheer fact that I took note is indicative of its success. Actually not often that something stops you in your shopping tracks, requires a second or two of thought and then gets you chuckling. That being said, not so sure this would be in my top-10 cross-promotional recommendations…

1)    There are good ideas for cross-merchandising and there are
not-so-good ideas for cross-merchandising.  Most basic and logical approach
is having products which somehow complement one-another — in front of pizza
you might have red pepper or parmesan cheese, for example.  Creates a
“that’s a good idea” moment for the customer.  Another approach is simply
using that space for any impulse items whether connected or not — in the
frozen foods section one might envision condiments, for example, though
could be just about anything.  Anything except products which don’t look
right next to one-another, of course — in this case, not so sure stomach
relief is the right thing to have in a food aisle!

2)    So, how did this occur?  Are these trays on freezer doors
merchandised based on store-level discretion?  With due respect to store
staff, it’s not their daily challenge to be considering marketing and
cross-merchandising so perhaps someone just didn’t see the irony?  Or maybe
they DID and this is intentional (guys in the back chuckling every day?) —
certainly gets me every time so perhaps there is some wisdom here,
intentional or not?  While cute, and maybe a lesson in how a mismatch can
get more attention than something we might consider more appropriate,
perhaps this is not the right message, and certainly not what I would want
to see in front of my product if I’m one of the pizza suppliers.  If the
stores were not provided with best-practice directions/recommendations, then
indeed the result is at the whim of store staff and this case in point
demonstrates the potential issue.  We’ve all seen a good idea in the
conference room not get executed properly in the field, eh?

3)    Finally, merchandising overkill?  Trays on many of the freezer doors
break the clean look through those doors and if what is on those trays
doesn’t fit the area, then it’s a waste of time and space.  Would be
interesting to do a hidden camera deal in that aisle — merchandise those
trays with complementary products for a day and then merchandise them with
unrelated goods another day and see which gets more action.

Have fun!

Bill Carlson
Kestrel Marketing

So, dear Shareology readers, what do you think?   Inspired Merchandising?  or Worst Idea Ever?

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire


4 Responses to “Inspired Merchandising? or Worst Idea Ever? You decide!”

  1. It is inspired…we need to get past the social message and go the the consumer need…the consumer will get the connection…We only run the risk of the bounds of good taste being broached…we can all think of cross merchandising suggestions that would be outrageous to place at retail..

  2. Joe Zeigler Says:

    My first reaction: Bad idea. Upon consideration: Potentially inspired, because it speaks to a target audience of which neither I nor Mr. Carlson (I venture to guess) is a member.

    Think Red Bull and vodka, or premixed concoctions like Jooce. The mentality of the young adult segment tossing these back says “I can drink all I want and the caffeine will keep me goin’ all night!” These are probably the same target audience who are standing in the convenience shop at 2:00 a.m. looking for a munchie fix in the frozen pizza cooler. “I can eat what I want, and just counter it with a little pink stuff if I need to.”

    As a responsible parent, I cannot condone the promotion of one vice to offset another. As a marketer, I have to admit this merchandiser may be demonstrating some solid insight into their target niche.

  3. An interesting post to debate. Here is a cross sell alternate that you might find more insightful … fresh limes and Corona. Visit …

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