Stand & Deliver

‘Stand and Deliver’

I was considering a play on words for our next post to demonstrate that Agencies & Brands can simply hand over their next Display STAND for us to DELIVER, install and enable with 100% compliance.

However, I was troubled by the potential negative connotation of Highway Robbery which could potentially join the exalted ranks of poor Marketing plans, exemplified by the classic Gerald Ratner quote.

So for a bit of fun in the name of research, I thought I would create a poll to see where this would have remained in your memory banks – had we gone ahead with it…..Go on, take a look at the poll here

Our full range of services can be viewed here

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(it’s only just over 1 minute!)

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Aisle find it somewhere – How to Understand the Changing Buying Behaviour whilst Maximising Instore Purchases

Over the years of working in Point of Sale Marketing and designing and installing retail displays across the world, we have learnt a thing or two about buying and shopping behaviour.

The archetypal female shopper likes to browse, review, select and then buy, whereas male shoppers are historically renowned to ‘know what they want’, go straight into store, buy it and leave.

 

 

Since coming out of lockdown, early indications in a number of retail sectors seem to be showing that sales are holding to expected levels, however, customer volumes and time instore are reducing. The Office of National Statistics said “In June 2020, the volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% when compared with May 2020 as non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The two monthly increases in the volume of retail sales in May and June 2020 have brought total sales to a similar level as before the coronavirus pandemic, whilst levels have still not recovered from the sharp falls experienced in March and April.”

This is clearly indicating that shoppers habits have changed. People are now researching what they want online, reviewing and comparing in their own homes and then once decided on their purchase, they are heading out to the High Street or Retail Park to buy their chosen products or picking them up from a ‘Click & Collect’ service.

This shift means that your advertising and branding must be much more closely monitored to ensure an homogenous platform between shopping online and instore. You now need to steer and guide the shopper to their chosen product range or category easily. Whilst this has always seemed an obvious plan, in practice, we don’t always see this manifesting itself.

So is this the new normal?

If early reports of lower numbers of physical shoppers but the maintenance of sales revenue in store continue, then there is now a real need for matching your online presence to the clear areas and zones in store.

So how do you do this?

Historically, our Store Mapping service has been used to collate details, produce plans and build databases of POS collateral in store, with a view to ensuring the campaign materials are fit for purpose. It also helps to minimise waste and maximise investments in print and display materials. Now, it is clear that in this new environment, Store Mapping can play a vital part in giving insight into the planning, layout and implementation of much clearer instore areas for customers to ensure they arrive at their chosen product with ease after researching online.

In addition, there is still a need for traditional campaign branding, as the journey to the chosen product offers many opportunities for the impulse sale. It is almost like going back in time to when sugar and flour were placed in the furthest point away from the entrance in grocery stores. Everyone knew that was where to find these staple products, whilst passing a whole range of enticing products on the way.

Design and layout compliance is easy to implement online as once it is there, it isn’t going to change. Instore, there are so many variables that consistent compliance is hard to maintain.

Focus Retail Services Installation Service will ensure that your store is clearly identifying your customer’s target location, whilst maximising branding opportunities along the way.

Our installs are also supported by real time reporting and results analysis. This is so that we can monitor results and ensure successful campaigns in this changing landscape.

Email now for more information.

#StaySafe_Stay_Focused

 

How Retail Brands can Achieve Growth in a Post Pandemic Landscape

For as long as I can remember, business planning always had a clear direction – it was based on making a decision, and then simply planning for your future, knowing and foreseeing (mostly) certain obstacles.

Recent events have shown us that this is not so today. We are now navigating around new, unplanned and ever-changing rules, regulations and restrictions. We are all trying to ensure that we all travel down the same path to safety, making the need for adaptability and compliance paramount, whilst still maximising our brand. We are needing to find new, creative solutions and ideas, which previously would have been overlooked or not even considered.

So Where are we Going Today?

Now that we can get over the start line for overseas travel, we are resuming our survey activities across Europe and have surveyors based in 7 countries. They have been undertaking Store Mapping activities and have been working in an ever changing and unplanned environment. The way shoppers behave is now completely different to anything previously recorded, thanks to Covid.

 

Our traditional Store Mapping services are split into 3 areas:

COUNT : MEASURE : RECORD

This methodology ensures all Point of Sale collateral has been identified, measured and listed in a manageable database, and provides critical information in assessing campaign materials deployment, maximising effect and minimising waste. This meets the principal objectives of most client companies.

As we progress away from lock-down, we see more directed footfall around the shop, barriers and one-way systems, so we are needing to review and adjust the location of prime promotional displays. This is now even more important that in the ‘old normal’ days.

Here is a practical checklist on what we have found to be the best way for brands to best position themselves in this new retail landscape:

Move Online

One trend that will stick around even after the pandemic is over is online shopping. More people stay home to avoid crowded areas and they are now more inclined to make online purchases. This habit is convenient and safe, so people will stick to this for the long term. Seamless integration between online and offline shopping will see you get ahead of your competition. Mobile checkout, scan and shop, click and collect are all ‘hybrid’ shopping experiences that will become more popular as time passes.

Change your Message

Safety is at the forefront of every shoppers mind and as retail shops open, the most basic thing people look for is health and safety. Having hand sanitiser and health and safety protocols will improve your brand and encourage shoppers to come back, knowing they are safe. Controlling the number of people in store and avoiding overcrowding is also paramount. Communicate these plans to your customers in your marketing and social media messaging.

Ongoing Commitment to Customer Service

Ensuring and promising an ongoing commitment to customer service and safety will build credibility in your brand both now and post pandemic. Whatever policies you implement, keep your customers informed and respond to their concerns. Communicating updates and changes to the customer lets them know that you’re ahead of the game.

To find out more about how we can help contact us now

 

 

#StaySafe_Stay_Focused

To Brand or not to Brand that is OUR question 

To Brand or not to Brand that is OUR question

Branding:

the activity of giving a particular name and image to goods and services

so that people will be attracted to them and want to buy them’

 

As Brand Ambassadors for a plethora of well-known products and retailers, you would expect us to know the answer to this quandary. We are installers of Point of Sale product displays and graphics, implementing Campaign promotions on behalf of brand owners, retailers or agencies across the UK and beyond.

Our Focus is to promote our Client’s brand rather than ours!!

Our own Marketing and Social Media team are constantly trying to think of how we protect our anonymity on behalf of brands, retailers and agencies which we are representing, whilst promoting our own business and services in the very same environment that we are trying to protect.

Can you see the dilemma?

We’d like to ask your opinion on 3 scenarios that we currently implement depending on client requirements: 

  1. Should our vehicles, fitters, and reporting carry our client’s brand name in terms of livery, uniforms, and logos?
  2. Should we have our own branding to ensure high visibility of a well-known, familiar, and respected implementation team?
  3. Should we go fully “White Label”?

There are of course, ‘pros & cons’ for each of these options and we have listed examples for each of the questions posed

  1. Client Branding

PRO: A seamless image delivery from warehouse, transit to store
CON: A heavily branded vehicle and staff working for a client with high value products is potentially attracting unwanted interest in their goods in storage or in transit. This could be targeted for theft or damage and could lead to a further risk of brand images being left discarded or ending up in landfill sites. This is not projecting the image that had been originally planned.

      2.Focus Branding

PRO: The use of our own branding ensures the service destination is aware that the installation or survey work is being undertaken by a third party. This provides a lower profile for the brand at a time when a promotion is being deployed ahead of a launch date. This might be preferable in a number of instances, depending on the specifics of a launch campaign.
CON: Uncertainty about who is responsible for our presence in store and creating an air of confusion.

      3.No Branding – White Label

PRO: Building Trusted Relationships – As we are regular visitors to most leading, multiple retailers across our field of operation in the UK, Europe, and beyond, the familiarity of OUR brand has benefits from security access and instore communications. We build an ongoing trusted relationship, irrespective of which specific brand we are working for at any particular time.
CON: No readily identifiable source of contact in the event of any queries or additional requirements

Can you help?

We’d like to ask the audience!

Our simple 1-minute video highlights what we do and where we do it using our White Label service but ends with us sharing the logos of brands we have worked with. For our own promotional needs this is a contradiction of a White Label service!

So our question to brands, retailers and agencies is “does the visibility of the brands we work with influence your decision to select us as a strategic partner in your campaign delivery?”

You can view the video here

Please add your comment to this post.

 

 

 

 

#TakeCare with Social Distancing – Avoid a Fine

#TakeCare with Social Distancing – What this Means for you

Definitions of “Take Care”:

Collins: To pay attention; be heedful.

Oxford Dictionary: Be cautious; keep oneself safe.

Thesaurus.com: Be alert; be careful

We have all been advised over the past few months to #TakeCare in our lives, which of course has been massively important in relation to containing the pandemic virus. #TakeCare has punctuated every comment, post and article that has been written but for many, it still seems like an ambiguous term and people are left unsure as to what this actually means for them.

We all need to take care in everything that we do; with our family, in our homes, with ourselves and also, in our businesses. Whilst we can all use common sense in our domestic lives, our business and commercial activities are very much monitored and overseen by Health and Safety Executives [HSE]. It’s of paramount importance that we get this right.

We have all seen dangerous practices. These are always eye-catching and rightfully portrayed as stupid, unbelievable and frankly, sometimes ridiculous! These things are what health and safety executives are there to prevent but sadly, the health and safety executives are too often pilloried, mocked and mis-represented in the mainstream print media for their “‘elf and safety” actions and regulations.

This job below can be done – just not like this!!

 

There is nothing in HSE regulations to stop you from doing anything, all you have to do is……

  • Minimise the risk of any task you are doing

  • Clearly set out a method for your employees to minimise the risk

None of these phrases instruct us to do nothing. They are in place to make sure we are safe and compliant.

We don’t seem to have solid, clear advice as to what we need to do to ensure health and safety of people in our workplaces and so, I have been quite alarmed over the last few days with the rising political clamour for institutions and businesses. They are looking to begin investigations into the methods that businesses have deployed for ensuring that they are undertaking their essential tasks within the Covid Lockdown period.

Businesses are doing their earnest best to survive AND ensure the welfare of their staff as they return to work. The main responsibility is for the employer but the employee has to also be party to staying safe.

We are in uncharted territory with the virus, which isn’t helped by even the most experienced medical and scientific experts disagreeing over the best course of action. Regardless of this, the amount of design, creativity and manufacture that has gone into the Point Of Sale sector is incredible, with suppliers and retailers working together to create many solutions for a safe working and shopping environment.

To have all this effort invested, this huge entrepreneurial effort and massive investment from retailers, yet still risk blame and a fine is really unfair and unnecessary. All of us are simply trying to restore normality wherever we can for the benefit of all of our local and national communities.

Let’s support everyone’s efforts, help them to #StaySafe but not to hound, criticise and prosecute.

You can view our social distancing brochure here to view everything that you need to #staysafe in your working environment.

In our Point of Sale business, we prioritise the health and safety of our teams, our clients’, our staff and the premises we are working in. It really has to be at the forefront of everything that we do. We have even developed a number of social distancing packages to aid businesses in their reopening with Covid-19.

How the Workplace is Changing and How to Stay Compliant

Here at Focus Retail, as well as our core installation and survey services, we often deliver client promotions at International airshows across Europe and Asia including Paris, Geneva, Dubai, Singapore and Farnborough. We provide vetted teams of people to match the required client profile and then interview, brief and train the diligently selected staff to ensure we can maximise the presence of our client at each and every event.

 

With future Airshow events rapidly adjusting their formats after the massive impact of Covid on both tourism and business travel, we are needing to be increasingly diligent and flexible to ensure planned events go ahead safely.

 Many companies are now thinking about how to progress with promoting their businesses and as a result of Covid, we started looking at ways to brand our teams regarding safe distancing. As a result of this, we developed a package of items for retail, offices and outdoor events that ensure compliance and safety so that your work day or event can run as smoothly as possible.

 

 

It’s important that all visitors to your workplace are aware of your social distancing protocols. You will need to display clear and informative messaging on a range of print solutions in certain areas of your workplace to protect your employees or visitors. Ensuring they are all aware of social distancing protocols and that have the option of mobile sanitisation is paramount to stopping the spread and getting your business running again.

Certain areas of your company building such as the reception, desk areas and lift areas will need special precautions putting in place. We have made it easy to enforce these messages with bright, easy-to-understand signage.

 

 

We can supply graphics suitable for any existing display stand or structure, or even supply the displays and structures in their entirety as well. 

If you would like to enquire about how we can help you to safely plan your next event, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can view the range of social distancing items and packages here.

How to Deliver Exceptional POS Installations in a Reduced Retail Market

Turn your Imagination into a Reality
How to Deliver Exceptional POS Installations in a reduced Retail Market

Having planned, built, measured and delivered POS displays for both multinationals and small businesses for many years, I can clearly see the merits and the differences in both when it comes to deploying POS and installation projects. We are in a challenging retail market and when it comes to maximising sales and in-store point of sale (POS), having both the creative vision and the expertise needed to maximise the impact that your display will have on the consumer is essential. With reduced footfall and many closed retail units, maximising each sale is paramount to business success. 

I have involvement in each and every installation that we take on which means that I can ensure a successful project from beginning to end. We have the ability to deliver fewer projects extremely well and we believe that this is key to getting results. 

Our top tips to ensuring a successful campaign will include:

  • Use our experience BEFORE decisions are made on the method of executionThis means establishing strategic partnerships with everyone involved, where we are all sitting on the same side of the desk, working together to ensure the project goals are met on time and on budget. Early involvement is paramount, even before the project has been won!
  • The BriefUnderstanding and developing a thorough brief is essential. Off the back of this, a proposal that is ‘fully loaded’ and built to cover the client for every eventuality can be developed. This keeps the client free from those dreaded ‘added extras’, such as issues with logistics or route planning, delays due to access issues or security compliance and re-visits due to lack of specific tools or fixings. We go out on site with the client to ensure we have explored all possible scenarios to ensure 100% compliance. This means that we can foresee issues and ensure compliance from the off.
  • Detailed Tech Driven Route PlanningMany competitors and clients use Google Maps to determine their route plans, thinking this is satisfactory. We have invested in sophisticated software, driven by the same core elements of leading sat nav and national logistics software. We find that the benefits of using this software and harnessing technology are both of economic and environmental gain, providing efficiency and accuracy in each installation all over the world.
  • Product FamiliarityThis is an essential element for us to be “hands on” with the product and fully understand every element of the installation. Warehouse staff are briefed about each project, so they are not just moving boxes, they know what is inside and understand the importance of every part. This helps with collation and loading, where quality and quantity are important elements of each Shop Pack.
  • Team BriefingWe insist on face to face briefings to ensure full understanding of the brief. With Covid, we have introduced Zoom Briefings to ensure the whole team are briefed together and all working together to a shared goal. We don’t believe in separate briefings where team members get slightly different answers and don’t benefit from the questions others raise. For us, Zoom gets over that. We have put many safety precautions in place, meaning the team load the kit following social distancing guidelines. Each team member is able to communicate directly with the Project Manager (at a safe distance) at all times. Communication is key.
  • ExecutionIf all of the above is in place, this is the easiest bit! Each installation is monitored by an experienced Project Manager and supported by our real-time reporting module. This ensures compliance and is monitored for each and every site in real time. No project is without problems (generally not of our making!!) but the speed and experience of making decisions and taking actions to ensure the project stays on track is where we really shine. Experience is the biggest asset.

A personalised approach with intimate attention to detail, along with recording and analysing the results takes a simple product and creates an experience; something that both surprises and delights.

 

Taking Off in a New Direction

We have just landed back from the Singapore, Dubai and Paris Air Shows where we have been providing Event Management Services and the provision of a highly motivated promotional team through 2017 and last month.

Our tickets are booked for Geneva in May and the GPS set for Farnborough in July where we will be continuing to provide this cost effective service providing our client with a tailored, professional solution to their specific needs at these international locations.

This new direction for Focus was based on the client experience of our traditional services over many years where we have taken care of Installation, Audits,Surveys and Logistics in the Point of Sale Retail markets

The recent diverse activities demonstrate our resourcefulness in deploying and modifying our renowned services both at home and Internationally to continually meet our clients’ needs and expectations

Why not give us a call now to see how we can help you on your next promotion, rollout or event

Boutique Experience

THE BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE

When asked to describe our business services the other day I found myself using the analogy of a Boutique hotel or service.

Having worked for both multinationals and small businesses I can clearly see the merits for both in terms of deploying POS and installation projects. However, what I love about my business today is my ability to deliver a service focussed on delivering fewer projects well, offering a personalised approach with intimate attention to detail.

To me the boutique experience is about taking a product and creating an experience, something that both surprises and delights and where there are no hidden extras.

In my business that means listening to the brief and then baking in my years of experience to develop a proposal that is fully loaded and built to cover you for every eventuality, keeping you free from those dreaded added extras based around:

Poor logistics or route planning

Delays due to access issues or security compliance

Poor installations and re-visits due to lack of specific tools or fixings

Our centralised and dedicated approach to managing the delivery of our projects by someone who has been there, and not only learned the lesson but used that lesson to create a better experience is what we love and luckily for us, so do our clients.

Why not tell us about some of your experiences which you think we can learn from, – you don’t need to name any names but we’d love to hear and learn more from others’ experience, good and bad, to add to our knowledge bank and allow us to drive and deliver even more value add to our service.

Go on….share an experience now, we are always ready to share our experience with you!!

The quickest route to a POS solution

Back to School

…when it comes to Back to School Displays and Merchandising

If you are looking for an experienced and reliable team to support your best ever Back to School POS Campaign, look no further.

Focus have studied plenty of best practice, passed lots of exams, spent time in the classroom briefing our fitters, experimented in the laboratory to improve processes, embraced latest technology and have been top of class in many subjects.

With our A Star reports we can share on how to maximise your time to deploy your campaign and minimise your budget expenditure.

So – give us a call now for a no obligation quote on 01844 210659

OUT -SOURCED SERVICES TO POP / POS PROFESSIONALS

Click here to Contact us now or

www.focusretail.co.uk