Do the basics brilliantly, and you don't need to do any marketing for a great shopper execution

I spend a lot of time in stores. Most of the time we're there, we're either looking for specific pieces of activity we've booked or looking at what brands and retailers are up to generally. (Side note: when asked by a class of Year 12 students what my job "actually involves" I had to explain that there is a significant amount of time spent looking for small pieces of cardboard in supermarkets. Such is the nature of retail marketing in the digital age.)

Sometimes you come across something so fundamentally right it jumps out at you and shouts "buy me!". The San Pellegrino multipack can range in the photo above is one of the best executions I've seen in a long time and what I love about it is there is no POS, no media, not even a price promotion. Just a brilliant range of products that demand to be placed in your trolley.


What makes it so compelling?


Packaging design and materials. The use of the San Pellegrino masterbrand lockup combined with the fruit illustration looks superb. The styling of the fruit illustration screams Italian style and the printed foil cap somehow elevates the humble 330ml can onto a higher plane.Use of colour for flavour. Yellow for lemon and orange for orange. Obvious, right? But while these are the SKUs that will be most people's way into the range, there are 3 other flavours that are anything but obvious (Lemon & mint, blood orange and grapefruit) - how many times have we copywritten "exciting new flavours" over the years, here it's actually true.Merchandising. Double stacked in a sea of boring colourless large PET bottles, these cans have more standout than anything I've seen for years. And at £3.75 per multipack, I'll bet they're making a healthy contribution to growing the category average basket too.


How have San Pellegrino achieved this?

As they're not a client of Capture, this is conjecture. But San Pellegrino have clearly grasped one of the fundamental truths of shopper marketing: the store is the only touchpoint that every single brand user will see. And packaging is the only marketing touchpoint that you have full control of. So you'd better get it right. Everything else, from barkers to posters to coupons is controlled to a greater or lesser extent by the retailer and you will need to trade creative control for incremental impact and reach.


Now it would have been even better if there had been a 6 sheet poster outside or a trolley panel instore with some more of that lovely Italian design. And even more powerful if I hadn't have had to go down the soft drinks aisle in the first place to find it. But as a brand your prime focus must be on what the shopper finds when they get there. Make that brilliant, and everything else will work harder. Even your TV.


And marketing directors - try making your shopper team a consult instead of an inform. You'd be amazed what can be achieved.

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