Originally Published PMPN February 2004
Return to Article: Packaging for Protection
In addition to unique graphics and colors, new OTC products, such as Prilosec, Claritin, etc., often rely on point-of-purchase (POP) displays to help create brand awareness, convey a particular message about the product, and generate incremental sales.
New Creature (Bentonville, AR) primarily designs, manufactures, and copacks POP displays. The company works closely with its customers to ensure that the finished display meets the retail channelï¿½s specifications, is compelling to the consumer, and is executed at the right price. To achieve these goals, says Patrick Sbarra, president and former pharmacist, the following questions need to be taken into consideration: What does the retail real estate and buying environment look like? Will the customer need a side counter, end cap, or sidekick? How many units are going to be on the display? How many stores will it be in?
Next, the customer needs to determine what story the display should tell, says Sbarra. ï¿½If itï¿½s a new product launch, the primary story may be the enhanced benefit to the consumer. Is that story evident on the unit packaging itself?ï¿½ For instance, the company designed a sidekick for Allerganï¿½s Refresh Tears reexpressing the water bubbles from the unit packaging onto the sidekick. ï¿½From 10 feet away, the first story we want to tell the consumer is that this product is for your eyes. However, because the unit packaging itself is relatively small we created a billboard out of the sidekick,ï¿½ explains Sbarra. ï¿½The first thing you see at the top of the display are the words Refresh Tears. Then you see the bubbles, and your brain makes the connection between the two.ï¿½ The customer also wanted the display to convey that this is an economy size and that it is the number-one-selling eye drop. Again, because the unit cartons were small, the billboard approach helped sell the product, says Sbarra. ï¿½Just seeing the unit boxes from 10 feet away didnï¿½t tell the story, so we actually went against conventional wisdom and covered the product with the display and cut a hole in it so the customer could see and retrieve the product.ï¿½
Sbarra is seeing a trend toward better integration of unit packaging and POP displays like that one. He admits that stores have become more ï¿½visually noisy,ï¿½ and itï¿½s difficult for shoppers to quickly discern the features and benefits of merchandise. He feels that there is a trend in the other direction where POP displays are becoming cleaner and less cluttered.