Winning the Aisle: Who’s Looking After Your Marketing Investment in Merchandising?

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Every year manufacturers and retailers strategize on best-in-class merchandising concepts that enable customers to learn and interact with technology while shopping in-store—from changing signage to creating new displays. This process can be months in planning and is complex—involving multiple partners, from marketing and operation teams to display manufacturers and implementation teams that execute everyone’s efforts during reset week. Any delay or kink in the process has a ripple effect and can impact product launches, leading to missing sales forecasts and loss of much-needed brand awareness in today’s competitive landscape. For example, if a manufacturer creates a display and sources parts from multiple suppliers, and just one of those parts is delayed in shipment, can possibly impact your reset week.

However, the kinks in the chain that get overlooked most often are the need for continuous refinement—the ongoing needs of any successful merchandising launch. The reality is that most merchandising strategies focus on set weeks—in most cases two weeks out of a 52-week calendar year. The questions retailers and brands should be asking is: Who’s protecting your investments the other 50 weeks of the year? Are you seeing the current state on a regular rotation, including images of an area the way it looked yesterday? If you’re not seeing what it looked like yesterday, how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? And most importantly, what’s the impact at the register when your interactive display or assortments is compromised? There are all too common issues, such as the inability to control the sound volume, with the music stuck on full blast; or the supporting video loop stops working, or maybe it’s just a firmware upgrade that wasn’t executed properly or not at all. Whatever the issue, the result is the same: the customer experience was impacted. In today’s “digital shift” environment manufacturers cannot afford to allow your in-store marketing investment to be compromised.

At T-ROC, we create end-to-end retail solutions that innovative and based on the real challenges that retailers and brands face. That’s why we’re launching several cost-effective continuity national brand merchandising programs that focus exclusively on ensuring that every client’s assortments are best-in-class throughout the lifecycle of their investment. This is a radically different solution—we don’t leave a store location under the current state has been identified, with either a plan in place to correct a mishap, or fix it while we’re there. Our efforts on any particular visit are dictated by the needs of the store, and because our solutions include weekly continuity touches we are much more knowledgeable and therefore we’re able to get ahead of any problems before they become larger issues. Plus, our continuity program is supported with robust reporting options that keep our clients up-to-date about issues and solutions in real-time. This shared continuity national brand refinement program is launching this spring in a major retailer across 850 locations.

Our continuity programs focus on three primary practices that maximize our time in stores:

Assortments: We make sure that in the locations that we cover, that the planogram areas reflect what is called for, and we take appropriate actions in stores to make sure they’re accurate before leaving.

Merchandising: Once the assortments been finalized, we ensure your marketing message is being reflected at that particular time in store.

Certified Operators: Assortments and merchandising can take a backseat to any strategy if your operators aren’t certified on your brand messaging. That’s why every T-ROC visit includes certifications efforts with retailers’ associates in the aisle that day.

To learn more about T-ROC’s cost-aggressive brand refinement programs launching in 2021, contact Lou Kindschuh, Vice President of Business Development, lkindschuh@trocglobal.com.