Changing the POP Game

Since our last post on ROI, we received a lot of feedback by companies taking different approaches to measurement.  Much of this was focused on post-launch situations, so was somewhat different to what we were trying to accomplish in the post – a pre-launch, pre-test ROI predictive system.  But, it did focus us again on the question of why ROI is considered such an important metric in the POP industry?

ROI is important because most POP programs are measured solely on their ability to move product.  Which makes sense – POP material is meant to catch the attention of shoppers and make a sale.

In fact, the entire industry (billions of $) is set up to do this and do it frequently.  Large CPG companies spend millions on POP programs launching in quick succession throughout the year.  Retail Marketers feel compelled to grab floor-space when available and respond to competitive POP moves almost instantly.  The compulsions create a quick-turn game of design-build-launch facilitated by display manufacturers only too willing to sell cardboard by the truck load.

On some levels it’s a maddening system.  A game.  A game we’ve created and continue to play despite the Shopper losing a lot of interest in the outcome.

What if we were to change the rules?  What if we said… in this day and age, when anything you want is a click away and companies compete and covet ‘attention’ more than anything, why isn’t POP focused on selling product interactions as much as the products themselves?

The reason is creating a delightful/informative/surprising/useful/engaging interaction in store is hard.  It’s a design and technology led process that’s more costly, complicated, and time consuming.  And it doesn’t typically use a lot of cardboard.

What are we talking about?


A Coke machine on a campus in Singapore that only responds to hugs.  Straightforward design coupled with an unexpected gesture that results in a delightful outcome (free Coke) and a brand connection.

Despicable me

A Despicable Me 2 display that does something as simple as taking your picture in-store with characters from the movie superimposed – playful design meets a single moment of spontaneity and joy for the shopper.


Dr Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotics Floor Stand – the highest scoring display we have ever tested in POPtimizer.  A great example of intelligent/impactful design combined with real utility for the shopper.

These are all display executions that go well beyond what we consider a ‘display’ to be.

We want to make this the norm, not the exception.

Leave a Reply