Fighting against Big Brands in Retail

Posted by Karen Laubscher on Nov 7, 2017 7:50:00 AM

Marketers often have the problem of not having enough money to fight global brands who have seemingly unlimited budgets. Fragmented media has made it difficult and risky to connect with our consumers using a restricted budget.

76% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale.  This statistic can be debated as it depends on the product category and channel, but for ease of reference let’s assume that the majority of final purchase decisions are made within the store. 

If the product category is established and the shopper is committed to purchase from the category, all brands are competing on a level playing field in store.  For instance, a woman goes into a store to buy a red Nail Polish, she will look at various brands for the right colour.  Brand loyalty is low in this category as long as the product delivers on the basic requirements of wear, quality and price range. In essence she will buy any brand that offers the colour she is looking for.

This is where theatre, value deals and point of sale presence is key.  Your product has to speak to the consumer and give them the key USP’s at a glance – don’t let them work too hard.  In today’s competitive trading environment, retailers are welcoming proposals that offer a point of difference. My personal favourites are:

  • Point of sale material

POS material is not limited to hardware, it is often the extra ordinary that attracts attention.  Add animation such as a flashing light or a movement sensor which activates music, sound or visual elements once a customer is in front of the product. 

  • Well trained promoters

Credibility and honesty is key. Promoters or in store sales consultants should not only know the brand they are selling, they also need to understand the competitor brands in order to give an honest evaluation and advice.  A Consumer is more likely to return to a sales consultant and brand that was credible and addressed their specific needs.

  • In-store theatre

People are curious by nature.  Anything out of the ordinary will peak their interest.  Having a promoter or sales consultant wearing something to grab the imagination of the customer such as a hat (Mad Hatters over Easter or a Santa Hat at Christmas). Pop a balloon to win a mystery discount or prize.  One can go as far as to host a mini game (such as Foozball, etc.) that will attract spectators to the area.


Attention grabbing POS, promoters and in store theatre should be implemented at strategic times and not as a permanent feature otherwise it gets lost and becomes part of the white noise in store.

There is definite value in the “big spenders” driving feet to the category in store and this becomes an opportunity for the smaller (and often better) players to capture the market and convert this to a sale.   



Topics: Budgets, Global Brands, Purchase, Brand Loyalty, Promoters, In-store theatre, Brands, Retail, Big Spenders, Point of Sale Material