CHICAGO -- "Our customers have been asking for more than in the past," said Michael Halverson, director of marketing for candy manufacturer Sathers Inc.
In a presentation at the Point- of-Purchase Advertising Institute's POPAI Marketplace here, Halverson described how his value-oriented company engineered its first POP displays last year to meet wide-ranging requirements of various seasons, trade channels and accounts, despite a shoestring budget.
The solution he described, created by an interdisciplinary team of Sathers executives, was "an assortment of merchandising vehicles" -- three basic prepacked displays that could be easily decorated with interchangeable paper headers appropriate to the season. A corrugated floor shipper was designed for mass, grocery and larger drug and convenience stores. A wing shipper was created primarily for drug and convenience stores. A prepacked clip-strip was targeted for satellite display "in all classes of trade."
Sathers candies are value-priced at two packages for a dollar in clear plastic hang-bags, and the company has pursued a policy of putting as much value as possible inside the bags, Halverson said. "It is in the candy," was the phrase often repeated by company marketers, he said.
As a result, he said, the firm had "zero budget" and "no POP experience" to speak of, going into the project two years ago. The need to provide demanding accounts with in-store displays forced the company, traditionally a "net-net" supplier to the marketplace, to create an approach that used standardized display units that Sathers could manufacture and stock and then adapt easily season after season.
To meet that goal, the size of the header labels on some Sathers candy packages was modified to fit the shipper design, Halverson said. The company created detailed instructions to make set-up easy for the retailer.
Since the three display shippers were introduced, Sathers' sales have been up significantly year to year, he said. Halloween sales jumped 48% in 1993, Christmas rose 11%, Valentine's day increased 14% and Easter gained 44%.
At an industry show marked by displays of some of the most elaborate and costly POP displays made, Halverson defended his company's low-budget approach to delivering point-of-purchase solutions.
"No retailers will pay extra for point-of-purchase materials," he reminded the audience. "We got into it without raising the cost to the retailer."