Click here! —-> Sept. Newsletter 2015
With so many choices in the retail merchandising world, it is no wonder retailers and product marketers are not sure where to start when it comes to making decisions about a point-of-purchase product display. From simple branding, to color, to material types and kinds, heads start to spin and ideas seem to run wild when the possibilities are endless. In order to better understand what type of display fits your brand and product’s needs, you may need to ask yourself some basic questions about your retail display:
Ask yourself and your team:
- What is the objective? Do I want to launch a new product? Do I need to promote a trial run, an out-of-stock item, or just show off my brand’s image?
- How long should the program last? 4-6 weeks? 7-12 weeks? Longer?
A retail display must communicate vital information to the consumer, including position, value, and an overall image to encourage consumers to buy. Customers want to touch, experience, and connect to a product; therefore a custom display is a necessity to retailers and marketers alike. There are two types of point-of-purchase displays that a retailer can choose from. Which type best fits your brand?
A TEMPORARY POP DISPLAY
The first is a temporary display. This type of display is designed for a period of 4-12 weeks and is usually constructed in corrugated (cardboard) material with a screen, flood, or litho print graphics. They are designed for one-use only, and are an effective way to communicate a low-cost brand position so they can be seen as “cheap and cheerful.”
Pros and Cons of Temporary Displays:
Pros- Up-front costs effective for distribution and inventory gains, look and feel is usually rectangular and positions a low price point value product well, used for specific objective for a short time, can be recycled, versatile, light-weight.
Cons- Assembly required, short life cycle management, low perceived value, store staff removes from floor quickly, can take a beating from overall store floor (customers, floor cleaners, movement, etc.), high tooling price.
A PERMANENT POP DISPLAY
The second type of display is permanent. These displays are designed for a displays period of 12-52 weeks and are made with more durable materials. This is Sharn’s specialty! These types of displays have limitless potential in terms of design, materials and functionality. Plastic, wood, and metal are just some of the strong materials used in the construction of these displays in order to capture the brand’s positioning and essence.
Pros and Cons of Permanent Displays
Pros- Claims retail territory, cost-effective life cycle management, completely flexible and can be designed to anything you want it to be, simple implementation (shipped and ready to go), better reflection of brand positioning, which increases market share, flexibility of use, ability to last long, unique to product, can be used for years.
Cons- Higher upfront costs, but display cost per week is lower due to longevity on floor, longer planning time for proper engineering and prototyping
When considering your retail display strategy, there are many factors to consider when choosing the type of retail display for your products. It’s not just a home for your product; it’s where they get sold!
You must consider your overall objective, your timeline, your needs as well as the needs of the retailer, ability to reflect brand image.
Of course, here at Sharn we are a bit biased towards permanent displays. Since 1974, we have been designing and manufacturing custom retail fixtures out of wood, metal, and acrylic. If your needs align with our capabilities, let us know and we will do everything in our power to make your product and display stand out among the rest.
For more information on Sharn Enterprises, Inc’s permanent displays, check out their website at http://www.sharndisplays.com.
Growing up, sports were always a major part of my everyday life. From playing t-ball as a six year-old, to playing collegiate volleyball, my days revolved around practices, scrimmages, tournaments; all of the above. Reflecting back at my past world, I realize that being involved in sports not only helped me transition into to the professional world, they taught me valuable skills I currently utilize and will continue to develop long into my career. Here are five ways being a former athlete translates into your professional life:
1. You know the importance of being on time… all too well.
I remember one morning waking up late for a volleyball practice in college because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM. I woke up in a panic at 6:05 am when practice started promptly at 6:00am. I jumped sky-high out of bed, threw on my glasses and sped to the gym. When I got there, I knew exactly what was waiting for me: sprints. I ran those sprints and promised myself from that day on to always double-check my alarm clock before going to bed.
This same principle goes into effect when you are in the professional world. You may not have to run sprints if you are late for a meeting, but it throws off the entire team. Your punishment may come in missing out on important details or even losing a sale. Punctuality showcases respect for your own time, and more importantly, other people’s time.
2. You are competitive.
You know that practice makes perfect, and that it was all worth it when game time came. Your desire to win was evident and you wanted to be the best athlete you could be. The same goes for your professional life. Being competitive is a fundamental part of growing in your position and career. It shows that you have drive, ambition, goals, and tenacity. Employers want to see this side of you, and being in sports previously fosters this skill.
3. You know how to win, and you know how to lose.
You have lost the big game in regionals, you have messed up on a play, and you have had your good and bad days. The best part about it is that you know how to use those experiences as opportunities to learn, and grow for the next challenge. You keep trying and never give up on the things that matter most. You also know that there will more opportunities to get yourself a win, if you do lose.
4. You are a team player.
You have been on a team all of your life and know that if your teammate does well, the whole team does well. Same principle applies in the workforce. If there is a large project that has to be worked on as a unit, you know how to extend your hand and offer support. You know that if the project goes well, then the whole entire company does well.
5. You communicate.
In volleyball, you have to call “mine” when the ball is coming towards you to let the other players know you are going to take it. When there was no communication between me and my other teammates while on the court, the ball dropped right in the middle of us. Speaking up and allowing a fluid transmittal of communication not only helps make the play, but also leads the team to success. Same rule applies in a company.
What if you assumed your co-worker finished the project you were working on together, when he/she didn’t? The figurative ball was dropped and the project didn’t get finished. Now you have an unhappy boss. You know that simple updates, the effective flow of communication leads to better results.
Here at Sharn, we know the value of the above skills. We strive to be on time, be competitive with our prices, be team players, and communicate with our customers and clients. We design custom point-of-purchase displays for retail, so our communication is vital. We want to win your business, and being a company with former athletes as employees, we stop at nothing to earn it!
Interested in our products or services? Visit http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715!
With Presidents’ Day today, Monday, February 16th, we need to all take a step back and think what Presidents’ Day is all about. Yes, most of us view it as a day off school or off work, but what is the real meaning behind Presidents’ Day?
Presidents’ Day was established back in 1885. Surprisingly enough, it was not always known as “Presidents’ Day”. This day was originally created to honor George Washington’s birthday and was celebrated on his exact birthday, February 22nd. This became the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American that is classified as a national federal bank holiday. The date did not become known as ‘Presidents’ Day until after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekend’s for the nation’s workers. Although the third Monday in February is still listed as “Washington’s birthday” on official calendars, Presidents’ Day is now known as a day to celebrate all United States Presidents, past and present. Presidents’ Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments, and other such events.
Many states require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents’ Day teaching their students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with the focus on the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who happen to be the most recognized leaders. Abraham Lincoln is often named the number one most influential president due to his actions leading to the abolition of slavery. Lincoln is then followed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his recognition in leadership throughout World War II and his hard work to end the Great Depression. The third most influential president known is, George Washington for becoming the first president of the United States, setting the precedents that would be later followed by other presidents.
So, from here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we encourage everyone to remember and celebrate the past and present presidents of the United States this Presidents’ Day.
After all, we are a proud American manufacturer!
For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com
or our latest video at: http://vimeo.com/7147155
Creating a custom display from start to finish is an exciting, yet difficult task for a designer and a manufacturer. Unlike a stock display store, Sharn Enterprises, Inc. builds custom displays out of various American materials and is a one-stop shop, with everything made in-house and on-site.
That is where our American made promise comes in. Everything manufactured in our plant is Made-in-America, which helps support the local economy and provide jobs here on U.S. soil rather than overseas. Many people also feel that American made products are of the highest quality.
That’s why we here at Sharn wanted to give you a little bit more insight on how we handle a custom display project.
Although every experience with a new or current client is different, these are the usual steps taken in order to complete a custom point-of-purchase display made just for you and your products.
A customer might have a design in mind for their custom display, or have no idea at all! And that’s quite alright, because our designers have the experience to come up with a design idea that reflects your brand. After an initial call, we usually schedule a meeting with you to get a better idea about what you are looking for.
After a meeting (either in person, Skype, or on the phone), a designer will come up with a few different display concepts according to the client’s specifications. We know you have a budget, and the designer will keep that in mind when choosing types of material and the kinds of customization required. We use the latest AutoCAD software to create your display and render it out to make it look like it will in-store.
After a client decides which custom display they like for their brand, we will estimate the cost of the display based on the quantities he/she may be looking to order. More often than not, the more displays ordered, the more the price per display will go down. Below is an example of a quote we will send for your approval.
Now this is the fun part. You actually get to see your display come to life! We manufacture your prototype in-house and then ship it to you so you can see it in person. Does it reflect your brand? Does it catch your eye? Is it everything you hoped for and dreamed of? If we don’t get it right the first time, we will revise.
Re-Engineer & Build
Sometimes your prototype is exactly what you are looking for. Other times, it needs a few revisions. And that’s okay. We want your display to be perfect! If you are looking for a nip there and a tuck there, we will redesign and re-prototype until both parties reach a mutual agreement.
As you can see here, three different designs were prototyped until an agreement was met.
You decide on the display concept and prototype and place your order with us. You choose what quantity are you looking for and when the you need the project needs to be completed by. Our manufacturing plant starts producing your parts and puzzle is almost finished.
When we say we are a one-stop shop, we mean it! We fabricate a custom box for your display along with an instruction sheet for whoever is putting together the display in-store. Once you let us know your date, the display will be ready to be filled with your product.
So what’s stopping you from your own custom display? Contact Sharn today to get started. We can’t wait to work with you!
For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com. Also, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Sharn Enterprises, Inc.
“A Proud American Manufacturer”
http://www.sharndisplays.com | @SharnDisplays www.facebook.com/sharnenterprisesinc
Deciding what kind of resolution to make at the beginning of the New Year is not an easy task. One might even decide not to make a resolution because they know they will break it right off the bat! But this year…This year is going to be different.
You have to dive in head first, and the first step is to really reflect on what you want to achieve and not let yourself fall off the wagon. Because what really is a resolution? It’s a solution to a problem you are trying to fix.
Your resolution may be to lose weight, get a promotion or maybe just to spend more time with your family. But achieving a goal like any of the former isn’t an easy feat. My mother always told me a good piece of advice when trying to reach a goal, “You can’t rise to the top of the ladder without hitting a few rungs.”
That’s why, whether a business or personal New Year’s resolution, take these things consideration.
Make a plan of success
Think about your resolution carefully and write down the steps you will need to take to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is a promotion, maybe decide to stay later at work to complete a new project or set a goal to finish your to-do list every single day. Coming up with a plan will allow you to see the future and what is next in your professional and personal life.
Set realistic expectations
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You can’t set your goal to lose 100 pounds because you will not see results quick enough. That is why making mini-goals for yourself is a must. Try setting a goal for 2-3 pounds each week, which is healthy, and actually do-able. You will be more likely stick to the program if you see the small results, rather than having that 100 pound huge number looming in the back of your mind.
Write down your resolution, EVERYWHERE!
Keep a reminder in your phone, write your resolution with a dry erase marker on your mirror, or keep a post-it note in your purse. These constant reminders will keep you from forgetting the goal, especially during a time where you feel as though you need extra motivation.
Don’t look back
As easy as it may be, do not fall back into the same patterns you were in before. Success rarely comes from comfort zones!
But forgive yourself
If you fall off the wagon and are unmotivated one day, don’t let that discourage you from your success. Everyone has off days, but it’s the people that power through the hard times that reach their goal.
Once you hit your target or maintain your resolution, whether it happens in weeks or a year from now; treat yourself to something you love to do. Having a reward to look forward to gives you an extra boost of encouragement and keeps you on the right track.
Sharn’s goal in 2015 is to grow our business by continuing to treat our customers, employees, and vendors fairly and with the respect they deserve.
For more information on our products and services, make sure to check out www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715 with inquiries.
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2014 was the year of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Pharrell’s “Happy”, Disney’s “Frozen”, and the infamous Oscar selfie featuring Ellen Degeneres, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and other famous celebs. On the other hand, in the world of retail, 2014 could be labeled as the year of the consumer experience.
No matter where, when, how and why a person purchased a product, it was all about the process being fast, easy, and simplified. There is no doubt that consumers expect the best of the best when it comes to customer service and experts across the board say that currently, “the power has shifted from retailers to consumers,” and the customers are calling the shots. They have won the battle of pricing, shipping, and overall satisfaction when it comes to a purchase decision (BWP Group).
And there’s no stopping this trend. Americans are consistently shopping and the numbers are growing. The amount of total spending has risen this year, around 0.7% in November despite feeble Black Friday sales (Census Retail Sales Report).
With the constant evolution of the consumer experience, there is no doubt that growth in technology, social media, customization, and more will continue.
Here’s a list of the top most memorable moments in retail for 2014:
Who would have thought we would be reaching a time where a smartphone doubles as a wallet? Officially introduced on September 9, 2014, Apple Pay could possibly become the norm within a few years span. But some critics are uncommitted in the matter, stating, “The world today is still in an early adoption phase with regard to new payment methods and mobile wallets, and retailers still have to contend with EMV and mag-stripe data and advanced threats” (Gothard).
Others suggest it will take much longer to become the standard way of pay. Currently, only 220,000 stores have the point-of-sale terminals that can accept contact-less payments like Apply Pay. Even though that may sound like a lot of stores, it is not as widespread as it could be, leaving out the other 6 million retail stores nationwide (Forbes).
The fact is, Apple pay is out there, and it’s a possible revolution in the world of the digital payment.
Retail is growing and so are the jobs in the industry.
In fact, statistics from 2014 show that there are 3,793,621 million retail establishments that provide 42 million jobs. The industry also supports 5 million logistics jobs, 4 million management jobs, 2 million health care and service jobs, 2 million finance, insurance, and real estate jobs, and 800,000 technology jobs (NRF).
Chief Economist of the National Retail Federation, Jack Kleinhenz, said, “The economy is progressing toward sustainable growth with employment gains key to improved confidence and self-reinforcing economic growth.” That growth can be seen this past October as well, with over 22,000 jobs added to the retail industry (NRF).
Currently, 85% of people state that their mobile device is a central part of their lives. That device along with other forms of online e-commerce is increasing. According to Forrester’s May 2014 research, U.S. retail sales are expected to grow from $263 billion (2013) to $414 billion (2018), at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5%.
A recent survey also found 63% of consumers planned to use a laptop or home computer to make purchases or research items this past holiday 2014 season, up 16 percentage points from last year (Accenture).
In strictly online sales this past Black Friday and Thanksgiving 2014, consumers set new online records with $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion in sales, respectively (MarketingLand.com).
Taking a look at e-commerce powerhouse, Amazon, you can purchase items with the utmost of ease. With the Amazon Prime feature, consumers can purchase a single item with a click of a button. If you have not heard about Amazon Prime, it is Amazon’s shipping service where for a yearly fee, as a member, you get free shipping on any item you buy within that year; no matter how many items you buy, big or small. That’s a huge incentive to buy different products online without hassle.
The self-service theme was also huge in 2014. According to RetailCustomerExperience.com, self-service kiosks empower customers, create opportunities to up-sell, increase time for staff to provide personal service, and simplify the supply chain (2014). Just look at the current collection of self-service machines. This includes express checkouts at grocery stores, the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine, almost all frozen yogurt shops, DIY check-outs in hotels, and many more. Smart service is an incentive for the consumer (saving time) and the retailers (saving money) and there is no doubt the self-service trend is here to stay.
Have you seen more iPads in stores or sales associates holding them, ready and eager to help? These iPads as well as your own mobile devices encourage interactivity, engagement and social sharing inside the store environment.
In addition, Walmart’s new smartphone apps made a splash in the world of technology and retail this year. According to the mega-retailer, its “app-wielding customers make twice the shopping trips per month and spend 40% more than non-app users” (Fast Company). With those types of numbers, it’s certain that Walmart’s smartphone efforts are effective. Other ideas and improvements the area of shopping marketing at Walmart in the future include, “the ability to guide customers (via GPS) directly to products in its cavernous stores, and even let them skip the checkout line and scan and pay for items with their smartphones” (2014). Sounds appealing, right?
Another technological advantage is a retail store knowing that a consumer is currently at their location and texting a promotion right to his/her smartphone. Does this take it too far? In our opinion, it is scary but satisfying. Having a store know you are inside it and showing promotions takes the guess-work out of looking up the sales on one’s own. The downside for consumers? You spend money you might have not spent. The upside for retailers? More sales.
Social Media Madness
This year, Target launched “Awesome Shop” which is a site that showcases the store’s best reviewed and most pinned items. The “Awesome Shop” idea was formulated with Pinterest in the back of the developer’s minds. Target sent out a press release with their clearly stated goal.
“This curated crop of trending items is a shoppable visual catalog that inspires gift ideas and helps you discover cool stuff that everyone currently loves” (Target).
Going onto “Awesome Shop” gives the consumer the feel of a bulletin board, with the functionality of an online store. Similarly to Pinterest, those people who visit “Awesome Shop” can see what is the most sought after and trending gifts, helping shoppers feel more connected in more than one space (VendHQ).
Speaking of Pinterest, the social media platform is leading the pack when it comes to influencing purchase decisions. In fashion and retail, 18% of content engagement on the site is driven by brands. Pinterest shoppers also spend significantly more per checkout, averaging between $140-$180 per order. They also own America’s trust; 81% of US consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest (DigiDay).
People loved their custom-made products in 2014. Whether it was etching a name into a drinking glass or a cutting board (check out our friends at Words With Boards), we saw the rise in custom-for-you sales. DIY e-commerce and custom-made website, Etsy, surpassed $1 billion in sales in 2013, and we are still waiting to hear the stats for 2014. 2014 was the year we moved out of the era of the “mass and the cheap,” and into the age of “luxury and made for me” (Now and Next).
About Sharn Enterprises, Inc:
Sharn Enterprises, Inc is no stranger to the lover of a custom product. Since 1974, we have been designing and manufacturing custom displays for retail environments. Our clients and customers realize that a stock display just doesn’t cut it when it comes to selling products in brick and mortar stores. If you are looking for a custom permanent or semi-permanent point-of-purchase display for your products or retail store, check us out at www.sharndisplays.com!
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