I need a retail PVR!

I don’t remember the last time I actually watched a commercial. Ever since the PVR entered my home I watch TV commercial free. Sure, I watched the Devils lose 45 minutes after it happened but it was a fair trade.

As I walk through the aisles of…well…every grocery retailer I long for the magical glasses that will automatically filter out the garbage and leave me with the relevant messages. Ok, I’ll concede that relevant messages are fairly personal but let’s at least put some guardrails.

There are probably more that what I am about to list so have some fun and add a few of your own.

Fraser’s Rules for Cleaning up the aisles:

1. If on a busy Saturday it looks like shoppers are playing frogger in the aisles to avoid the displays–you have too many displays!

2. If you walk down the aisles looking at both the vendor and retailer shelf talkers and you need more than your fingers and toes to count them all–you probably have too many shelf talkers! I will expand here, accepting that the average grocery environment has approximately nine aisles, a mere 20 pieces of POP per aisle averages out to about 180 store wide (not including displays, overhead signs or perimeter.) So how do you draw the line? I’m not sure, but I know that the discussion needs to be opened.

3. If you have to figure out the message of the shelf talker, it’s wrong! Remember the Fraser’s Rule of 3,4,5™ – 3 seconds, 4 paces and 5 words. Granted there are exceptions to every rule but this one is a pretty good assessment tool.  Remember, it’s not just the number of messages that mess up the store but also the complexity of messages.

4.Let the shoppers be your guide. If you stand in the aisle and think that most of the shoppers are ignoring the communications, they are!  Let the shopping behaviour help you find the communication balance.

Don’t get me wrong. I am the biggest proponent of using retail as a core piece of your mass communication mix. I believe that retail is the best medium for driving awareness of products and core product messages when done well. But just like my TV at home, too many, long messages make me want to use my PVR and skip past them.

Grocery retail is too important of a medium to clutter up. Let’s start thinking about some solutions.