The Basics of Point Of Purchase Advertising

At Middleton Group, we work hand in hand with our clients. We guide clients through the merchandising process, helping them to create the best possible point of purchase advertising.

Here’s a few of the basic things you should know when considering point of purchase advertising for your business.

POP Categories

POP displays fall under three main categories:

  • temporary (1 to 3 months)
  • semi-permanent (3 to 6 months)
  • permanent (6 months+)

Temporary displays are often used for new product promotions. They are economical and ideal for large quantity rollouts. Semi-permanent displays are the answer to display mid-priced retail goods.

“Permanent displays, if they are designed well, will allow you to display different items throughout the year without incurring the cost of brand new displays,” says Middleton Group President & CEO Rob Stratton. “Look for versatility in these displays that will allow the units to remain functional for years to come.”

Point of purchase advertising typically showcases:

  • lifestyle images
  • seasonal merchandise
  • new products
  • new styles
  • special price merchandise/sale items
  • featured items
  • features and benefits

POP displays are found at almost all retail outlets, from convenience stores to big box and department stores. They take a variety of forms, from cosmetic counter displays to complete wall fixture programs in large department stores.

Some common types of displays include:

  • floor displays
  • standees
  • valances
  • end caps
  • gondola fixtures
  • dump bins
  • kiosks
  • pallet programs
  • interactive touch screen displays
  • wayfinding/navigational
  • pin-mounted lettering
  • fixtures

3 Visual Merchandising Questions You Should Consider Before Your Next Retail Display Project

If you want your brand to stand out in today’s busy marketplace, effective visual merchandising is a top priority. Point of Purchase (POP) displays significantly impact consumer buying decisions at the store level. A strong display can generate the attention that you know your product deserves. Here’s 3 visual merchandising questions we think you’ll want to get answers to:

1) What general visual merchandising questions should I be able to answer before starting my project?

The more information you can provide up front to a visual merchandiser, the faster they can start building your displays. Some factors to think about when contacting a visual merchandiser include:

  • Are you looking for a temporary or more permanent display?
  • What product are you displaying and how many do you want to place on each display? (A product sample is a big help!)
  • Where will the product be displayed?
  • Are there any in-store restrictions on dimensions or weight?
  • How many colours will the piece be printed in?
  • What quantity do you need?
  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s your timeframe?

2) What materials should I use?

“The materials used are based on budget, quantity of displays needed and design factors,” says Middleton Group President & CEO Rob Stratton. “Materials can have a dramatic effect on the end result. For example, a unique material such as an exotic edge-lit acrylic can make for an attention-grabbing display.”

The quick answer is “it depends on the project”. A good display design company will want to know a detailed outline of your goals before making suggestions on materials.

Temporary displays are typically made from corrugate, card stock, foamcore or coroplast. Semi-permanent displays are often made out of corrugate, styrene, ABS, rigid PVC, acrylic or gator board.

“Permanent displays require materials that ensure the lifespan of the display,” notes Stratton. “Materials can include metal, woods and rigid plastics. They often contain molded parts and lighting features.”

3) Timelines - How long should I expect my project to take?

We recognize that POP displays are often time-sensitive. Our design process can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Once design and materials are selected, we build prototypes for approval and then move to production of the units. Production timelines can vary from a few weeks to a month, depending on the complexity of the project.

Middleton Group has a highly experienced team of designers and skilled fabricators. All of our prototypes are done in-house. We understand graphics and the best way to image your display graphics (screen, digital or vinyl). We have decades of experience with all phases of design, manufacturing, printing, packaging and distribution. We also have our own installation crews coast to coast.

We work with some of the most well-known brands in banking, big box retail, automotive, fashion, toys, electronics, beauty and pharmacy. Contact us now to get started on your next project.

Colour in Advertising: Why The Colours In Your Retail Display Matter

Effective retail merchandising relies on a number of factors, not the least of which is colour. We all know that colour can affect people’s general mood. This is no different for colour in advertising. Picking the right colours for your advertising can have an impact on the mood of your audience - which can have a positive impact on sales.

Research conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 found that over 84 percent of people think that colour is more important than many other factors when choosing a product to purchase. Similarly, the Institute for Color Research found that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of seeing it and that between 62 to 90 percent of their assessment is based on colour alone.

Colour in Advertising: Choosing Colour Vs. Black & White

Research has shown that colour ads are read up to 42 percent more than similar ads in black and white. Black and white pictures hold people’s interest for less than two-thirds of a second, but a coloured image may hold attention for more than two seconds.

Colours inspire emotions that might otherwise be absent from merchandising pieces. For example, yellow is perceived as a friendly colour, blue makes people feel calm and relaxed and green is perceived as environmentally friendly.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example (See feature image on this page). Black combined with a primary colour creates a contrast that creates a strong presence on store shelves.

The right colour in advertising can improve the odds that your marketing collateral catches your target audience’s attention. In a well-known marketing experiment, Heinz changed the colour of their ketchup from red to green and sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months -  the highest sales increase in the brand’s history.

Colour in Advertising: How Age and Gender Matter

Favourite colours vary by age and gender. In one survey, many women and men picked blue as their preferred colour, but more men (57 percent) than women (35 percent) picked blue overall. No men chose purple, while 23 percent of women selected it as their favourite. The preference for blue increases with age. As people mature, they develop a greater liking for hues of shorter wave length (blue, green and purple) than for hues of longer wave length (red, orange and yellow). Overall, orange, brown and yellow were found to be people’s least favourite colours.

While the colour in advertising is most often dictated by company branding, we offer printing options that can increase the impact of your colour choices. Have a look at our Middleton Group portfolio to see how we work with our clients to enhance their retail merchandising displays.

How We Bring Your Vision to Life

Our Design Process – How We Bring Your Vision to Life

Our people make the difference. At Middleton Group, our design process allows our expert team to work closely with clients to ensure that their retail merchandising displays are exactly as they envisioned them to be. Maybe better.

Our team of resourceful designers has created top-notch displays for a diverse range of clients, from financial institutions to fashion and beauty companies. Here’s a quick look at how we bring our clients’ visions to life.

What Do We Need From You?

All of the retail display design that we create is brand-driven. To begin the design process, our team requires the client’s marketing collateral - company logos, product packaging, graphics and anything else you think is important. We partner with the client to ensure we know all we need to know about their brand. Without these assets, our team relies on the web and in-store research.

“We consult closely with our clients from the beginning of the design process,” says Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. “We often meet at our facility so we can show examples of projects we have already done and the variety of materials available. We also often meet right at the retail store to review options and issues that will affect the display.”

Of course, before we can begin, we need to know where the display is going to be placed. Display programs are typically driven by the retailer and the specific area of the store where the display will end up. Generally, the four key areas for retail displays are:

  • End cap (the end of the aisle)
  • On shelf/on wall (in the aisle)
  • Floor display (free standing display)
  • On counter (typically for smaller products such as cosmetics)

“Where the display will be placed determines the scale,” notes Spagnolo. “Some retailers have very strict guidelines on the scale of in-store displays.”

What You Can Expect From Us

When our initial research is complete, our design team develops basic sketches for internal use. We then turn to 3D modelling software to provide nearly photorealistic renderings. These images Western union money order give the client an accurate representation of what the display will look like once it’s built.

Together, our design team and our clients go through revisions (sometimes many of them) until the 3D renderings match the client’s vision and budget. Once our client is satisfied, we build an initial prototype. When the prototype is approved, we begin to engineer the unit for full production.

Budget Considerations

We know that budget is always an important factor. Your budget determines what kind of materials we can use in the display and just how much of an impact it will make. The quantity of displays you wish to produce also affects budget.

“The quantity is important because it affects the economy of scale, meaning the more displays you buy, the better the unit cost,” points out Spagnolo. “The quantity also affects the manufacturing method. When the volume of displays is higher, it allows for more efficient production methods, such as thermoforming (vacuum forming), injection molding and die-cutting.”


The amount of time we can dedicate to a project is another key factor that influences the end design. If your timeline is extremely tight, we suggest that you provide us with as much information as possible at the start of the process. With appropriate directions and marketing collateral, we can minimize our research and get started quicker.

“Although this seems like a long process, often we are dealing with extremely aggressive timelines,” says Spagnolo. “This entire design process can range from a few hours to a few weeks.”

What Our Design Process Entails

With this great design process, our dedicated team has developed many stunning designs for all types of retail merchandising products, including point-of-purchase displays and permanent, semi-permanent or temporary promotional displays or retail fixtures.

Call us today to discuss how we can bring your core values, culture and goals to life with powerful designs that are sure to connect with your target audience.