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Project Peacock POP blog

Print Customer Confidential: Point of Purchase

By Deborah Corn on February 15, 2022

Project Peacock hosted an event about POP with a keynote from Vicki Strull about capturing attention with print and a glimpse into material distribution and inventory technology with Elaine Scrima from GSP Retail. We had additional Peacock Partner speakers, including Angel Georgiou from Canon Solutions America Large Format Solutions. I included her presentation in my thINK Academy video about POP. Check it out! 

The event was truly informative and everyone, including me, took away new ideas and will think about a ‘store’ in a new way as well. That is the goal of Project Peacock, to present new opportunities — or in this case POPortunities — and provide printspiration. This event did both and in unique ways. 

Here are some of the bigger takeaways:

  • Create Experience: Going to a ‘store’ doesn’t have the appeal it once did for many people, and practically all the lower end of the Millennials and Gen Z. Even before COVID, e-commerce was on the rise. And now, well, is your first thought “I need to get dressed, get in the car, and go to a store,” or do you just open your device and get to it? That is the point. WHY would we go to a store to shop? Leaving out practical reasons like trying on things or needing items from stores that don’t sell online, the trend is to create an ‘experience’ for the shopper. Experience is a big word. I shared some examples in the POP video including branded masks, buying items through QR codes without salespeople, light-up packaging, and vivid store graphics.  Look at your customers and prospects in this space and start thinking within the walls. What could attract customers to get dressed, get in the car, and go to a store? Better all of that and then SHARE their experience.

  • Creating Engagement: The target audience for the retail experience lives on devices. Giving them an experience can really pay off in the free publicity department. At the Project Peacock POP event, Vicki Strull shared a Lay’s Potato Chip ‘Smiles’ campaign that allowed purchasers to use the bag as the bottom half of their face. The goal was simple...take a picture and share with the designated hashtag, #SmileWithLays. It took off. It became local i.e. #SmileWithLaysNYC, it became global with bags and imagery representing countries around the world. The catch in this case? You had to go into a store to get the chips. The online campaign drove humans to stores, humans shared digital content — commented, liked, reshared, and created an ecosystem of engagement. Take the CONCEPT and run with it. Whatever you can create for your customers to help them engage with theirs and then share with others. Add partners to fill gaps. You need to be in the retail experience and engagement business, not the ‘I print in-store graphics’ business. That is a component of course, but how boring does it sound to lead with that?

  • Materials Matter: Another OEM speaker shared a stat at Project Peacock POP worth passing along. He said that 45% of Gen Z have stopped purchasing certain brands because of ethical or sustainability concerns. I was surprised it wasn’t higher! There is no question all roads are leading towards ECO in every sense, in every possible manifestation. In our world, it's predominately manifested through the materials we use and how they impact the environment from cradle to grave. We saw some thought-provoking examples at the event: display bases made from stacks of bundled newspapers, signage made from reclaimed wood, counter and wall space made from corrugated materials. How can you create and engaging experience for a retail environment that is also shareworthy because of the focus on sustainability? The same sustainability that will help keep 45% of Gen Z customers from jumping ship. That is for you to ponder!

I told you this event made me think about stores in a new way, if your synapses are firing on all cylinders, welcome to the fun! 



Deborah Corn is the Founder of Project Peacock and the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse, providing printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through her website, She has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer and now works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers, industry organizations and events to help them create meaningful relationships with their customers and achieve success with their social media, content marketing, event marketing and sales campaigns. 

About Project Peacock: Project Peacock began in 2017 with a mission to share all the new and cool opportunities and applications available for printing and print marketing with buyers, creative and marketers from brands and agencies. After meeting with more than 2200 attendees between 2017 and 2019, which grew to include students and printers and expanded to event spaces as Project Peacock Print Fair, the pandemic shut us down in 2020. With uncertainly about gatherings at the start of 2021, I morphed Project Peacock into an online, global resource platform where attendees could get intel, get samples, and get partners 24/7, from wherever they were. The platform also incorporated on-demand webinars and interviews, networking, and live events. Take my thINK Academy course, “Print Buyer Confidential” to get exclusive intel from agency and brand print buyers and practical advice on how to connect with them to create meaningful relationships and generate sales.