Have you ever just stared at an aisle in a mass retailer overwhelmed by the proliferation of products? We all have our “go to” brands but especially when purchasing your first product in a new category, it can be daunting.

What packaging stands out? Do you have a coupon? Is there at-shelf literature to read? On and on. No offense to the buyer but trust me, getting a product to shelf and vying for your purchase, that is an equally daunting task. In today’s market of choice, choice, choice, product marketers have a difficult task to not just get on the retailers’ shelf, they want to get on your mental brand shelf. That’s called brand positioning. We can only hold so many brands in our heads for various categories – cars, beverages, hotels, etc.

I digress – back to that aisle in Target. So what tactics, beyond packaging, are going to get someone to pull a new product off the shelf and try it? Or keep my current customer happy and not pull down the “NEW” product one shelf below?

Based on research and my own experience in this field, here are the best marketing tactics to implement. That is, methods that seem to have the most impact – there are a dozen more out there but their effectiveness is perceived as low in creating action by a customer.

  • At-shelf display and coupons
  • In-store event with sampling
  • Online coupon on retailer website (code by retailer for tracking)
  • Include a QR code on your packaging or literature that leads to your website’s coupon and mailing list signup. Then, send monthly personalized emails out to customers.
  • If you work with a retailer to create events, be sure you invest in online promoting of the events including the retailer’s website and newsletters. Also remember the power of earned media – keep public relations in the mix too.