Ally Holmes, Account Manager for Sage Appliances talks about the need to continually adapt in-store demonstration programmes in order to stay relevant to shoppers.
Shoppers are busy people and retail spaces are cluttered not only with consumers but with multiple brand messages, POS and products all competing for attention. In-store demonstrators are a great way to gain cut through amongst all that noise, and I’m lucky enough to work with Sage Appliances who see the value in in-store activity not only at busy periods like Christmas but throughout the year.
However having a year round presence in-store requires a really strong strategy to keep consumers interested and we have found that adapting our approach to our demos throughout the year has had a significant impact on not only brand awareness but sales too.
It’s so important to ensure in-store demonstrations are current; by mirroring the changes of the season we can capture the imaginations of shoppers.
At the moment we’re putting a festive spin on everything to prove that even out of season appliances can have an all year round use, for example mince pie ice cream or warming juices with ginger to boost the immune system. This not only demonstrates the functions of Sage’s products but also shows consumers how they can fit into their daily lives. We also encourage our demonstrators also get involved with decorating their demo area to attract customers and reflect the season.
We really focus on lifestyle selling, so at this time of year we think about what people are doing and what they need help with. During our interactions with customers we’ll advise how our machines can enhance their lives. For example with our multi-cooker, in the transition from summer to winter we focused on the fact that it’s a rice cooker, does a 30 min stir free risotto with seasonal vegetables yet it’s also great for cooking your porridge in a morning. However in the run up to Christmas we have also been preparing mulled wine in it. Of course shoppers get to trial the fruits of our labour, touching another of their senses and leaving a lasting impression.
No brand can ignore gifting in November and December. When we consider gift purchasers we also focus our selling attention on our more unique products. For example our tea maker is one of a kind, complimenting a kettle which the end user is already likely to own. This interaction truly adds value to the purchaser.
As we bring in the New Year we’ll turn our attention to healthy eating and fighting the festive over indulgencies. Again this is mirroring people’s attitude in their current climate. We’ll also focus on investing in your own health so we don’t ignore the non-gifting purchases.
We can also take this mirroring method beyond the seasons. Whilst the popular Great British Bake Off was on TV we were able to run our demonstrations in-line with the series. This allowed us to discuss contemporary media and make it accessible for the consumer by suggesting beginner’s recipes helping them to feel part of the baking revolution! Even Comic Relief was marked with red noses on cupcakes.
Humans are sociable beings – we need interaction. By reflecting the seasons and popular culture in our demonstrations we are able to engage with consumers on a far deeper level then any TV ad or clever POS display could.