Shelf talkers have been around for as long as one can remember. Their purpose? To attract eyeballs, quickly communicate information, and ultimately differentiate one brand from another. While some felt they were effective, others considered them to be nothing more than physical clutter and a compliance nightmare.
Today, the importance of differentiation at the point-of-purchase cannot be overstated. With the rise of omnichannel marketing, effectiveness of brand storytelling, the emergence of private label brands, and the rapid A/B testing of product packaging, brands are eager to stand out from the crowd. The retail landscape is ever-changing, outside of traditional retail environments, brands look to pop-up experiences and event marketing to fuel customer engagement. So the question remains, how can we empower brands to better leverage advancements in technology to captivate, engage, and influence consumers in a whole new way?
To answer this question, we need to go back almost two years in time. On October 30, 2020, we received a web inquiry from Brian Sturkie, the Industrial Design Director for E. & J. Gallo Winery who has since been promoted to Senior Manager - Prototyping and VFX. During my early exploratory conversations with Brian, he expressed a keen interest in challenging us to design, develop, and commercialize a next-generation digital shelf talker that was budget-friendly, scalable, customizable, and internally powered. To add, given E. & J. Gallo Winery’s “[belief] in the importance of preserving and enhancing the land for future generations to enjoy,” our approach to solution design, engineering, sourcing, and logistics was built around environmental responsibility and corporate sustainability.
After conducting extensive market research and global competitive analysis, we determined that there was ample opportunity to innovate in this area and informed Brian that his challenge was accepted. With our second-mover advantage, we put pen to paper and began to cross-pollinate ideas. After well over a year of research and development, we are excited to announce the launch of ‘Hourglass’ - a highly unique, digital, miniaturized, POP solution that empowers brands to:
- Attract eyeballs
- Effectively differentiate themselves
- Create rich and memorable emotional connections with consumers
- Increase sell-through and category lift
- Embed digital assets into the shopping experience where previously not possible
The Benefits and Advantages of the Hourglass Solution
Traditional shelf talkers utilize a physical push button to trigger audio/video rendering them reactive, not proactive when it comes to customer engagement. Hourglass modules on the other hand are paired with a state-of-the-art motion sensor that consistently delivers the right message at the right time.
Through the combination of proprietary batteries, battery holders, and breakthroughs in power management by our talented engineering team, Hourglass modules can live upwards of 90-days on a single charge delivering tens of thousands of impressions. For display applications where an ultra-slim form factor is required and battery packs/holders are not feasible, we now have the unique ability to power our modules via wireless charging thanks to a strategic partnership with a global leader in wireless charging.
Because we maintain a healthy-sized inventory of raw materials, hardware, and accessories, our typical lead time from purchase order to delivery is less than 90-days. We are rarely subject to issues with supply chain constraints, in large part, due to the fact we work directly with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), benefit from priority allocation, and unify demand and supply management wherever possible.
Traditional shelf talkers are designed to be single-use products. When a program concludes, they are simply thrown into the trash. To combat this phenomenon, we utilize commercial-grade hardware (reusable) and do our best to source substrates made from recycled materials. For programs where dry lithium batteries are used, we will collect, safely store, and then dispose of the batteries through several partners that specialize in lithium recycling. To minimize the impact to the planet, after a campaign/program, the ‘Hourglass’ modules are collected, returned, and then repurposed. Beginning this year, we have committed to planting a tree for each Hourglass module deployed.
With a 12-month commitment (which translates to approximately x3 90-day campaigns), the ‘Hourglass’ solution runs between $35 and $50/month depending on factors such as volume, level of customization, and installation. From a CPM standpoint, a single 15-second clip at the point of decision runs less than $0.01 per play. From a customer attribution standpoint, we can also incorporate QR codes and/or SMS/text messaging to paint a clear picture of CPCs as well.
Through the combination of industry-leading software, machinery, and premium inks/substrates, we’re able to consistently design, manufacture, and deliver sleek and eye-catching products that we’re proud to call an extension of your brand. When it comes to enclosure design, material selection, shape, and print quality, we don’t cut corners.
Want to learn more about Hourglass? Feel free to download the Hourglass Solution Brief HERE or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Written by Daniel Black, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glass-Media, Inc.