How to increase your brand's presence in toy stores

Ian Wright, MD of creative point-of-sale and retail display company SDI, shares his top tips for small toy brands looking to gain greater in-store presence.
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With big brands dominating the retail landscape, smaller brands in the toy industry have to work harder and smarter to gain an equal footing. 

However, by stopping and considering the way they present their products in-store, smaller companies can not only gain a level footing with their larger rivals, but also create a catalyst for growth.

1. Take a stand

Brands that really want to stand out from their rivals should forget the shop shelves and get onto the shop floor. Investing in impactful freestanding display units is a great way of capturing the attention of customers. 

By securing floor space in prominent footfall locations, freestanding display units can help smaller brands gain leverage and help increase product sales. This will increase brand awareness and growth, which, in turn, will help persuade retailers to justify space allocation on main fixtures in the future.

2. Knowledge is critical

At SDI, we believe that to be able to sell to your customers, you need to think and act like they do. As well as understanding their shopping habits and behaviour, brands need to identify the methods customers use to find the products they want.

By failing to recognise customers’ mission paths, brands could be wasting a large proportion of their promotional spend, placing their point-of-sale and retail display units in the wrong in-store locations.

By taking the time to understand customers, smaller brands can ensure that their budgets are maximised by positioning themselves in the correct shopping path locations. 

3. Invest in success

While many brands invest heavily in marketing activities such as advertising, it seems that the vast majority of smaller brands fail to adequately invest in their in-store positioning, falsely believing they already have a captive audience.

But such an approach is flawed, given that they are marketing their products in the most competitive space possible – in-store surrounded by their rivals. Brands need to be prepared to dedicate a large part of their marketing spend on in-store positioning and developing impactful retail displays.

4. Tell your story well

In our experience, smaller brands often try to tell customers too much and, as a result, fail to communicate anything of note. In the vast majority of cases, brands only have a moment to catch the eye of the customer, so the key is to keep it simple and concise. It’s crucial that customers know straightaway why they should buy a brand’s products and the benefits of doing so.

By sticking to a single core message and telling it in the most compelling way, smaller brands can contend with a sea of in-store rivals, as well as other modern consumer distractions, such as busy lifestyles, children and smartphones.

5. Join the dots

Finally, it’s important that brands ensure consistency between what they say outside of the store environment and the messaging on their in-store point-of-sale displays. Any on-shelf theatre should replicate the messages used in above-the-line marketing activity so customers understand and recognise the brand positioning. 

Doing so will drive product awareness and sales, which smaller brands can then use to leverage prime in-store space on main fixtures.

About SDI

The creative point-of-sale and retail display company works with retailers including Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

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