If you are a consumer technology brand selling at retail, it depends on your budget if you can really make your product stand out among the competition.
Progressive retail stores want to offer their customers an experience so they cater to the needs of their customers which makes them want to return. The stores that come to mind are: Urban Outfitters, Trader Joes, and Restoration Hardware—to name a few. In each of these stores, a certain vibe is presented. It is communicated through the interior design, the sales staff and how the product is displayed. Shoppers come back because they like how the store caters to their needs. These kind of stores make shopping an experience.
The relationship between the retailer and the manufacturer is complicated. They both want to sell their product and make a profit; however, they are at odds as to the best way to do this. They both have different objectives. No where is this more obvious than in the consumer technology industry.
Consumer Technology Stores Remove a Brands Personality in Retail Environments
Consumer technology stores take tech products, line them up and provide a check list of features. Some brands have the same exact features. Take ink jet printers for example. Best Buy is now requiring each manufacturer to have the exact product sticker. The manufacturer isn’t able to express their unique brand personality or call out subtle differences that might be of interest to a customer.
I get what Best Buy is trying to do. They want consistency between products and brands. They don’t want their store floor to look like a circus with various brand’s P-O-P calling attention to itself and cluttering the environment. But this particular sticker was under a lid and was only revealed if a customer was taking a closer look at the product. Clearly, Canon wanted to call out how easy it is to print photos from their mobile application. Best Buy provided speeds and feeds. Something a customer could easily access on-line.
A Store Within A Store or End Aisle Displays
The only way for a brand to truly express themselves is to have their own store such as Apple and Microsoft. The other way is the to have a store within a store. If you have enough money, you can customize a spot for your brand in a retail store. Below is how Samsung was presented in a popular retail chain.
Great Packaging is the Least Expensive Option
If a brand can’t afford to compete with the above scenarios, this is when packaging becomes very important. It is the only way for a manufacturer to highlight features that may be superior to a competitors. It may be the products are equal but engaging packaging invites a customer to take a closer look. Headphones are a perfect example of this experience.
So to answer my original question: “Can Manufacturers Present their Brand Better at Retail?” It depends on how much money you have. However, packaging is always a key way for a manufacturer to represent it’s brand at no extra cost.