[SERIES] POS #5 of 6 - what makes for good POS design?

April 27, 2014

In this 6-part series covering everything an Account Manager should know about Point of Sale/POS material (also known as Point of Purchase/POP material) we will be exploring the many facets of creating and incorporating dynamic POS into your client's campaign.

  1. What is the purpose of POS?
    Different types of POS
  2. Substrates for POS production
  3. How to plan your POS
  4. Six shopper insights
  5. What makes for good POS design?
  6. AIDA: what is it?


What makes for good POS design?

POS design is different from other types of design

You have a very limited amount of time to capture attention and convey your message. The emphasis of elements will probably be different on POS than it would be in other types of advertising (e.g. magazine advertisement or pamphlet), and space is often limited (e.g. with a shelf talker or wobbler). There also may be technical constraints (e.g. type of printing method used) that you will need to bear in mind.

Here are some tips on how to create POS that is visually exciting and invokes a response.

Needs a clear call-to-action
POS should be designed to entice people to take an interest and then do something (enter a competition, buy a product, redeem a voucher, donate money, make a phone call, visit a website, text enter to win, share the information with others, etc). The call-to-action (CTA) is what you want people to do after they have finished reading your POS.
  • The CTA is usually conveyed via copy utilising a creative headline or finishing with a strong directive to do something specific.
  • Works well because most people are reactive rather than proactive. The CTA should communicate a sense of urgency.
  • Keep the CTA short and simple. One call to action per POS piece (or limit the number of CTAs in one article or flyer, etc).
  • The CTA should always stand out in the POS piece, written material or website.
Examples of effective call-to-action text:
  • Buy now and be in to win
  • Call us today for a free quote
  • Call now to book your first consultation
  • Click here for more details
  • Please visit our Facebook Fan page to learn about what happens behind the scenes.
  • Join LinkedIn group “X” to be able to interact with other cutting-edge, subject matter experts in your niche.
  • Follow us on Twitter to be the first to take advantage of our new promotions.

Clear design hierarchy and positioning of elements
  • The most important elements are usually the largest elements in the design, the least important messages are usually the smallest.
  • The eye reads in a Z-shape (top left corner, to top right, to bottom left to bottom right). Most important information usually sits at the top or top left, and you usually lead out with your logo in the bottom right corner.
  • Keep the design as simple and as uncluttered as possible. Your main concept should be quick and easy to understand.
  • Use readable fonts at appropriate sizes (make sure the body copy is a decent size for quick consumption).
Maintain brand integrity
  • The design should complement other brand collateral and maintain brand consistency.
  • There should be no doubt as to which company the POS belongs to (via logo use, colours, shapes, words, images).

Use appropriate imagery
  • Use imagery that is relevant for your demographic and relevant to your promotion.
  • Images will carry your POS message as strongly (and sometimes more so) than your call-to-action text (or special offer text).
  • Images, fonts and words all play on the shopper’s emotions. Make sure you are telling the correct story with the images you choose.

Use creative copy
  • You need punchy headlines for cut-through and well-written body copy.
  • Ensure the spelling and grammar is sound.
  • Refer to the AIDA principles as a checklist for effective POS copywriting.
Keep yourself legally safe
  • Make sure you are using images that are yours to use and that you can prove if challenged (e.g. you have commissioned the photography yourself, you have bought the rights to use stock photography, or you are using confirmed royalty-free images).
  • Make sure you include any terms and conditions you need, or have a reference listed to where these terms and conditions can be sourced from.
  • Ensure you have solid terms and conditions, especially for giveaways and competitions. Note that some competitions (depending on the value of the prize offered) come under strict regulations for how the competition must be run.


Enjoy this article? You'll love these...

[SERIES] POS #1 of 6: purpose and types
[SERIES] POS #2 of 6: production materials

[SERIES] POS #3 of 6: how to plan your POS
[SERIES] POS #4 of 6: six shopper insights
[SERIES] POS #6 of 6: AIDA: what is it?


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