Digital TV & the LobbyPOP Concept

As we provide information in this blog to fulfill our goal to create “Better Retail Through Education and Technology,” we must share what we can about the LobbyPOP premise and platform. Over the coming four years, we anticipate great growth in the arena of “video signage” and predict that the “traditional” sign industry will also come to embrace this “fringe” trend. Don’t be surprised to see the International Sign Association offer seminars to the entire sign industry on the subject!

In the meantime, here’s what we see and do:

Industry predictions about the likely penetration of digital TV over the next few years vary wildly. But for those concerned about access to information, there remains a danger that the digital revolution could leave the small, independent business even more threatened by large-chain use of technologies and costly brand-building techniques, including satellite-fed narrow-casts. How will the digital sign enterprise compete?

LobbyPOP  was launched by Sign Biz, Inc, last year, with first product packages shipping in September of 2006, to help small businesses increase their sales, credibility, and profits.  The LobbyPOP dealership is unique in the marketplace, and provides a selection of exclusive client products and services which aim to give independently owned establishments a point of difference to compete with any multiple chain.

The LobbyPOP package of complete waiting room supplements to build stronger identities includes a cornerstone product that is a point of differentiation in the marketplace: Customized waiting room “Edutainment DVD” and media package.

To ensure the success of small enterprise, LobbyPOP dealers reach out to local small businesses with free one-to-one consultations in the use of video-inspired multimedia techniques that are affordable, targeted, and as high-quality as those displayed by the large chain outlets. LobbyPOP dealers also guide their clients in developing their own company image through simple “make-over” techniques, as featured on the LobbyPOP.com website.

“The overriding aim of our program is to ensure that retail-based companies obtain sufficient knowledge and training to enable them to make the best business use of branding and multi-media techniques,” explains Teresa M Young, President & CEO of Sign Biz, Inc, and founder of LobbyPOP.

One stand-out feature of this approach is that LobbyPOP Pros are already digital sign experts – in print and graphics. By adding this dynamic element to what is already available, a very complete branding program is now available.

The mission could now be stated as, “The design and distribution of advertising and brand identity material to promote the business goods, services, and credibility of others through the mediums of audiovisual displays, murals, and floor graphics in business lobbies and waiting rooms; and by rendering sales promotion and branding advice.”

Next post: On-Demand Wallpaper!

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Sign Companies as Branding Machines

Branding machines, such as ad agencies, media companies, marketing firms, sign companies, and brand managers, must be great at keeping up with the trends, spotting trends, utilizing the latest technologies and knowledge, to help build those consumer brands….  So we,visual communicators, must brand ourselves as “In the Know” for the coming decade… as part of the “Brand Building Ecosystem.”

The Jargon:

Above the Line advertising for inclusion in any media.
Below the Line packaging, promotions, sponsorship, point of sale signage, mail order, etc.

Current reality: From the Big Three lighting companies and their research to produce new light sources that find their way to shopping malls, parks and building structures where large screen video has become an identity beacon in creating digital public space, to the shift in advertising spend from “above the line” traditional media, to “below the line” retail environments, these are now trends firmly in place, recognized by more industries than ever before.

Even the boutique publication, Southern California Business Chronicle, says, “Don’t spend another marketing dime” until you know the changing face of advertising.

During the past decade, according to an article in this month’s Signs of the Times magazine, the sign industry has adopted three EDS technologies:

  1. LEDs illuminate outdoor video screens and electronic message centers
  2. LCD and
  3. Plasma Screens advertise indoor, retail messages.

Wade Swormstedt of Signs of the Times, after last year’s trend discussion at a Sign Biz convention, wrote that our industry needs to get on board and understand Content. This is a term for the coming decade- -what can we deliver to our clients- -with a focus on the “less than 80” location client.

More next post about our industry’s role and the market for dynamic digital signage…

What is Retail Marketing? Part 2

Retail Marketing is, at its most fundamental, the push of sensory stimuli in the retail environment to engage a decision to buy. The sensory stimuli are events that reach through noise and clutter to engage the consumer. Knowing this, is it any surprise that sign design professionals have become far more expert in this craft than even brand marketers themselves? Reach Part 1 of this series to understand the reasons why.

Part 2 describes the reasons why Retail Marketing has overarching importance in an advertising mix.  

First,  at issue is not just the power of the retailer; it’s also the dynamic of the consumer. We now have two-wage earners in the family, creating a fundamental lack of time and therefore a focus on convenience and simplicity. We also have an increasingly educated consumer who is constantly challenging the notion of the price-value relationship. And finally, the options to “tune out” traditional (above-the-line) advertising are robust. Here are some examples of this technology impact:

  • Personal video recorders and commercial-free satellite radio
  • Print readership is at an all-time low
  • Commercial-free television is common with new recording tools
  • The average consumer is bombarded with 3000+ ads per day

Is it any wonder that the last three feet of marketing is hot retail marketing real estate? The brand marketer must completely re-think and re-engineer the brand plan development process, which historically has treated the retail trade as second-class citizens. Retail marketing environments must now carry the message formerly residing in traditional media. It must create better ad recall, and use the science of signs to engage.

More to come! In our next post, we reposition the sign professional and place them in the mix where they rightfully belong – as Retail Marketers extraordinaire!