We've all heard that 80 percent of our business comes from 20 percent of our customers. But rarely do we consider the 80/20 Merchandising Rule. 80 percent of a visual product display in a high volume retailer or market should be visible product. Only 20 percent of the visual should be the display fixtures to maximize opportunity. Clearly the proper display unit, table, or case adds value and image to the product you're presenting. Often times we all need to step back and ask ourselves whether the unit adds or takes away from the overall objective. Does the structure complement the look and feel of the product attached. Go for it, and take a look around. Food retailers and independent farm marketers are breaking this rule all over the place. Remember we're not selling table legs and furniture we're driving food business sales! Show the product not the shelves, and train your employees to do the same.
Imagine you are shipwrecked on a deserted island. A ship passes by and you fail to scream and shout and wave your arms. This begs major questions. My favorite farm & food marketing competitors are those who take this very approach to selling fresh foods. I notice so many marketers that pour massive energy into making and producing products, followed by erecting the deserted island display.
We've all seen them the display that's 4-5 feet back from any other displays. If you blinked you'd miss it. You can almost see through the display...and someone's sitting awkwardly behind it half hiding, half ready to pounce on the next passer by.
Here's a four steps to ensure you're not the "market's wall flower."
1. Door vs. Window Approach: Design a display you can't see through! Make your wares visible by spreading them out to minimize seeing what's behind you instead.
2. Line it Up: Move forward to be in-line with all other vendors and level the selling field. Have some confidence in your product, and give it the view it deserves.
3. Loosen Up: If your product's not worth standing up for, then get out of business. If it doesn't appeal to everyone sit down and stop trying to pounce on visitors. Selling your product is a fine balance of offensive selling to generate interest, then back off and let the customers decide.
4. Get off the Island: If other vendors don't show up to market in a week asked to be moved closer to another main vendor, or move as close to them as your space allows. Don't be caught being the lone small vendor in the middle of a large open space.
Do everything you can to "get off the island" and get marketing! Best luck.
Congratulations Whole Foods.
I'd be interested to understand what others view as the difference between Whole Foods and companies like Wegmans (a previous employer of mine in Fresh Produce Merchandising). What is the key difference that others might determine that sets these two styles apart. In general Wegmans has a more massive approach to their merchandising. Whole Foods is much more tame, small, but exceptionally manicured and detailed in display. Wegmans is much more apt to build creative one of a kind temporary displays, while whole foods sticks to their structured layout much more often. Take a moment and let me know what you think.
Take a moment to review their merchandising photos online:http://vmsd.com/content/whole-foods-vmsdpeter-glen-retailer-year
Food Merchandising Blog: Ideas & Tips to Help you Grow Your Food Market