Do you have a picture of YOUR customer?
I was recently working with a retail client and was discussing their merchandise strategy with their display manager. I asked the person about two products on the same display and who would buy them. The display manager mentioned that one of the products would, in their view, be purchased by 65 year-old woman, whilst the product next to it would be purchased by a 25 year-old woman.
Was the display working? Iím afraid not. Why wasn't it working? Because the person building the display did not start with a picture of the consumer in mind.
A flick through a glossy magazine will soon reveal that marketers are very defined on who their target is and present the pictorial or promotion accordingly. But, itís more than marketers getting the message across, itís display teams understanding the message and merchandising accordingly.
Some retailers have an easy task. They have refined their retailing to already attract one specific age group and can merchandise accordingly. The real challenge occurs when you are a retailer who needs to attract customers from across a wide band of age groups.
If you fall into this latter category, then there is a real argument for splitting up product categories based on target age groups.
In the scenario mentioned at the beginning of this article, the merchandiser had built the display based on an overall product category. The result, in my opinion, was that all age groups were put off, because the display did not appeal to any specific age group.
The display manager would have had more success if she had built a display based on a specific age group.
One of my clients, a German gift company, now segments its product range based on age. Each segmented display is supported by a promotional board that features a person enjoying the product experience from the selected age group. The result is displays in store target selected age groups to specific areas in the store. This does mean that more space is required in store to ďsell the pictureĒ but the end result is increased sales per square metre.
Where do you start?
Let me give you a simple example based on my observations when it comes to signage on displays. Generation X (I prefer to call them IKEA Babies) know what the trends are and what is fashionable. If you sign a product to tell them what is new and trendy, they could feel you are talking down to them and this may resist purchasing.
The next generation up, the Jonesí Generation, want to be trendy and fashionable, but they need to be told whatís new. If you donít tell them whatís new, they may never discover it.
The Baby Boomers tend to pick up trends later. Tell them itís new and they will often wait while itís accepted by the Jonesí Generation. Greying Tigers may resist new products completely as they look on the product as a new gadget which they donít understand and that will quickly go out of fashion anyway.
Become a maven of retail generational marketing
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 20 years experience in 15 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. If you would like to receive Johnís monthly newsletter please visit www.johnstanley.cc or email us on email@example.com.