For most merchants, the Holy Grail of product placement is
the checkout lane. The challenge is
that everyone from candy makers to battery producers has their eye on the same
limited amount of space.
If you have ever felt the frustration of trying
to place your product in that crowded spot you may want to read about Jordan
Eisenberg, the founder of UrgentRx. Mark
Cohen in his New York Times article, “How UrgentRx Crashed the Party at the
Cash Register,” provides some valuable tips on how this genius of the checkout
figured out how to do it.
UrgentRX makes those individually packaged pain and
discomfort relievers that can zap a head or stomach ache on the spot because
you can take them without water.
Eisenberg started his company at the age of 28 and was able in three
years to place his product at checkout in 2,700 retail stores. Wal-Mart, Kroger and Duane Reade are among
his customers and more are on the way.
He is projecting to be in 27,000 stores by the end of 2013.
He claims that he has spent less than
$100,000 in slotting fees so what he has accomplished is not just impressive in
its breadth of placement but in its relatively low marketing costs. The question you are asking is certainly “how
does he do it?”
He does it by finding oddly shaped, non-allocated space and
then building displays to fit. Usually
these spaces are perceived as unusable and as such have been overlooked. As the article puts it: “Employing a variety of custom-fabricated
display units, the burly former engineering major has designed lazy susan-like
trays that spin atop the stanchions of queue lines, racks that hang off the
ends of display walls, and oddly shaped shelving units that seem to levitate
above sale counters.”
I found it fascinating and was taken particularly by one
counter-intuitive remark. He cautioned
that manufacturers should spend money to make great looking permanent
displays. Why, because when cheap ones
sell down they are frequently thrown out rather than being restocked. The better looking the rack the more perceived
value and the more likely it is to be maintained.
Jordan Eisenberg is a smart guy…and he’s only 31. Watch out!