Views from the Hills by R. E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail

Presentation is incredibly important.

The above sentence was the lead to a full page article in the August 12, 2002 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The second sentence was, "It's the first thing they see, and you can't redo it."  The article was all about job interviews.  The article went on to say, "In a perfect world, potential employers wouldn't care how you dress or what color your hair is or whether you have a pierced nose and lip.  Evidently, some folks think we live in a perfect world.  They regularly turn up wearing shorts, rubber slippers, blue hair and prominent piercings.  Don't they realize that the people they see are actually in aposition to hire or not hire them?"

Why am I writing about this?  All the readers of the Views have been involved in job interviews and know the importance of "First Impressions."  Where I'm heading is not about personal first impressions but first impressions of our brands as we introduce them to the consumers.  How much time and effort do you spend on the presentation of your brand to the public?  My favorite chef has a statement about food that I think is very appropriate for the packaging of consumer brands.  That is, "People eat with their eyes first."  People shop with their eyes.  If the consumer does not see your brand, you cannot expect them to purchase it.  To achieve effective sales, you need ...

In a recent Views on PathTracker, I covered the importance of understanding the shopping habits of the consumer within the store and how important it is to know and understand how the shopper travels through the store.  Today, I would like to raise a question about Point of Purchase Research given the points stated above.  From my point of view, there is very little research being conducted between distribution and sales of a brand.  That is, is anyone evaluating the presenation of their brand to the consumer?  Is anyone measuring Awareness, Recognition, Appearance, Communication or Purchase Motivation?  I have found Point of Purchase to be easy, simple, economical and very rewarding . . . but seldom utilized.

Recently when I asked a friend these same questions, I was told that they did the research three years ago and have not changed their packaging since then.  My first question to him was, has competition changed their packaging since the research was conducted?  If so, their three-year data was no longer relevant.

In selling, we seem to be very concerned about appearance in all areas ranging from houses, cars, oneself, food, etc.  Why are we so negligent in the appearance of our brands?

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