Cel­e­brat­ing Ex­cel­lence

Point of Purchase - - EDITOR’S NOTE - Vas­ant Jante

As you can see our high­light this month is the POPAI OMA Awards 2012. Hav­ing per­son­ally steered an an­nual VM&RD Re­tail De­sign Awards dur­ing the last five years, I can very much un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the pro­cesses that go be­hind such events -- or­ga­niz­ing the en­tries and their cat­e­gories, se­lect­ing them, short­list­ing them and then judg­ing them. But what re­ally strikes me about this in­ter­na­tional award is the sheer va­ri­ety of cat­e­gories and the num­ber of brands that have all made it to the top list.

To see so many gold, sil­ver and bronze win­ners is cer­tainly happy news for some­one from the in­dus­try. I’m also amazed when I won­der how mind bog­gling it must have been for the Jury to se­lect from among so many vy­ing for the top slots. It is cer­tainly an in­di­ca­tion of a healthy com­pe­ti­tion and a good ref lec­tion of how se­ri­ously in­ter­na­tional brands are tak­ing their re­tail pres­ence. It also makes me won­der about the In­dian sce­nario. Need­less to say, there have been some very good ex­am­ples of in­store vis­i­bil­ity initiatives by brands. POPAI In­dia OMA Awards is es­sen­tially about rec­og­niz­ing this. But there is still a big room for growth. To be­gin with, of course we don’t see too many new cat­e­gories en­ter­ing the re­tail vis­i­bil­ity fray al­though ev­ery­one to­day is pretty gung- ho about woo­ing shop­pers and ev­ery­one agrees that one of the most ob­vi­ous ways of tap­ping them would be at the point of con­nec­tiv­ity -- re­tail. Sec­ondly, the qual­ity of dis­plays.

We are yet to reach a stage where eye catch­ing, classy dis­plays that com­mu­ni­cate brand in­for­ma­tion even as they per­suade the shop­pers to buy are a reg­u­lar sight. There are ex­am­ples, but they are ex­cep­tions rather than the norm. It brings me back to the same old ques­tions -- is it that brands just don’t care enough? Is it that they don’t find the right ven­dors to ex­e­cute? Is it that the re­tailer and the re­tail space are too chal­leng­ing? This ques­tion of course goes back to the first ques­tion...May be it’s a mix of all th­ese rea­sons. But what is the way for­ward? I would like ev­ery­one who has a stake in this whole path to pur­chase -- whether it’s the brands, the in­dus­try, agen­cies, spe­cial­ized agen­cies or any­one else -- to come to­gether, form a com­mu­nity and de­fine ex­cel­lence. This ob­vi­ously means thrash­ing out is­sues, ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, set­ting up new yard­sticks etc. So as a first step, I would cer­tianly like to hear from you re­gard­ing your thoughts on this. So please feel free to con­tact us and share your ideas on how a col­lec­tive pool of dif­fer­ent stake hold­ers can form a com­mu­nity to pro­mote ex­cel­lence.

Well, mov­ing on, we as usual have some in­ter­na­tional stud­ies, col­umns and more for you. They all point to two things- a) Study­ing the shop­per is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing more im­por­tant and b) Tech­nol­ogy is the most in­dis­pen­si­ble tool to­day to help us woo the shop­per. The sooner we ex­plore al its pos­si­bil­i­ties the bet­ter for all con­cerned.

Happy read­ing!

Cheers!

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