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One Giant Step Toward Success

Shoppers Move to the Beat of Graphic Advertising for Floors

Success is Underfoot: Literally

Graphic advertising for floors is a vital and effective tool in the effort to break through the “noise” of consumer advertising. These images are particularly powerful because consumers are less likely to expect such graphics under their feet; most advertising is strategically placed at eye level, making the line of sight zone among the most cluttered in any given retail environment.

The use of graphic floor images has become particularly important at a time when consumers are checking their spending habits and tightening their financial belts. Many brand owners and retailers are taking note of these developments by collaborating on innovative approaches that put the customer squarely at the center of their advertising efforts. 

This customer-centric approach is designed to create a connection between the customer and specific brands. Retailers and brand owners can do this by creating branded zones that reinforce a product’s identity.

These zones can be created be using a combination of traditional means, such as windows, walls, packaging, and point-of-purchase (POP) displays, as well as non-traditional mediums, such as indoor carpets, outdoor walkways, and floors. This store-within-a-store environment helps prompt an immediate and sometimes emotional connection between the consumer and the brand, helping to build both trust and loyalty.

A Moving Experience

At the heart of this new approach is an effort to use advertising graphics as a “people mover,” something that will not only draw attention to a particular brand, but literally pull consumers to a specific area within the retail environment. The store-within-a-store approach has been used effectively in privately-owned department stores, like Klem’s in Central Massachusetts, to regional retailers like HOM and Dock 86 furniture stores in the upper Midwestern states to national chain stores like CVS.

Klems before


Klems after

Creating an Integrated Advertising Campaign

An excellent case in point can be found at Klem’s, a family-owned department store located near FLEXcon’s headquarters in Spencer, MA. Klem’s, which has been in operation for more than 60 years, offers a wide range of products, from clothing and household goods to farming and gardening supplies. Although an established business among the residents of central and western Massachusetts, Klem’s is never content to sit on its laurels; the family is constantly looking at new ways to attract and retain customers.

Thus, when Klem’s decided to adopt an innovative approach towards advertising for one of its mainstay products, they decided to turn to FLEXcon. They had teamed up with FLEXcon in 2008 for an innovative marketing effort involving Carhartt, a nationally-renowned work clothing manufacturer. That effort yielded a 31 percent increase in sales.

In 2009, Klem’s hoped to produce similar results with an integrated advertising campaign centered on Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.’s gardening products. Jessica Bettencourt, General Manager at Klem’s, said she too was ready to see another promotional effort take shape.

“The Scotts’ project came about because we had taken up the Carhartt floor and were looking to replace it,” she says. “We have a lot of spring and garden business, and we were looking for the appropriate sized vendor for that project. Scotts has a good marketing department, and we felt they were a company we could deal with for this.”

Ultimately, the goal was to get the same or better sales results as the Carhartt campaign, says Michael Chevalier, a New Business Development Manager for FLEXcon’s Product Branding Business Team. 

“Klem’s was poised to do so, and they have a brand owner who is more than willing to support them in their in-store marketing endeavor,” he adds.

Unique Challenges, Unique Solutions 

The Scotts’ promotion posed some unique challenges. Unlike the Carhartt promotion, which had directed attention to products near the entrance of the store, the Scotts promotion was designed with the idea of leading people through the store to the actual display.

“The Carhartt product is located right at that part of the store,” Bettencourt says. “The Scotts’ products are located at the back of the store. We have a lot of lawn and garden products, but do customers come in and buy them here or do they buy their dog food and not buy their fertilizer? If we could get them to buy it here, it would provide a significant increase.”

“Brand recognition in terms of Scotts was good,” he says. “But many consumers didn’t know they had the Miracle-Gro brand as well. This would help tie that to the whole lawn care system.”

Chevalier contacted Marc Lapenta, Boston Sales Manager for Scotts, to discuss which graphics the company could provide that would offer the most dramatic results.

“I had input with the store as to what images should be used,” Lapenta says. “We decided on three different images.”

In addition to Scotts’ logo and brand name products, those images also included a series of pests, in the form of brightly printed bug floor decals, which led customers from the front door, through the store, and right to the actual display.

These graphics were a people mover. They drove the traffic to the Scotts’ products. It was great to see how children reacted, physically jumping up and down through the store.

– Michael Chevalier, New Business Development Manager for FLEXcon

A Hopping Success

“The FLEXcon® FLEXmark® product is constructed different from some traditional floor graphics,” says Chevalier, of the construction that Klem’s used. “Statistics suggested that they could expect a sales lift of between 7 percent and 16 percent. Our study with Carhartt indicated a sales lift in the 31 percent range.

“This is not just a decal in front of the product,” he adds. “These temporary floor images have an enduring effect on the customer.”

The eye-catching Scotts’ graphics proved a hit with both adults and children, who Bettencourt says would sometimes lead their parents through the store, stomping on the oversized insects.

“These graphics were a people mover,” Chevalier says. “They drove the traffic to the Scotts’ products. It was great to see how children reacted, physically jumping up and down through the store.”

This experience helped enhance the customers’ shopping experience, prompting them to interact with the store environment in a unique and exciting way. Every parent knows that shopping with children can sometimes be a challenge, but in this case, many kids were excited to move through the store.

“We had seen something similar with the previous Carhartt installation,” Chevalier says. “People were coming up to employees and referring to the graphics. This time, it was a unique experience for parents and children; they were forming an emotional connection to the brand, the products, and the store.”

Dramatic Results

Just as Klem’s employees could see the children jumping on the floor graphic bugs, so too could they see a jump in their sales of Scotts’ products. During the promotional period, Scotts’ products experienced an overall sales lift of 29 percent, representing an $85,000 increase in sales volume. Specifically, Scotts’ Step Fertilizer and grass seed sales increased by 18 percent, a sales volume increase of $32,000. The company’s lawn and garden products also experienced a sales lift of 18 percent, with an associated sales volume increase of $82,000.

Although harder to quantify, the long term results may be even more impressive. The floor graphics helped increase brand recognition of Scotts Miracle-Gro product, helping to tie that specific product to the brand name. One consumer actually said he was surprised to learn Miracle-Gro was part of the Scotts family of products, and said the fact made him more interested in purchasing Scotts fertilizer products.

Lapenta says he was pleased with the reaction to the promotion. “It was beautiful,” he adds. “I hope to put this into our presentation books for other accounts to see. I went out to Klem’s to take a look at it, and it is truly beautiful.”

Bettencourt noted that the promotion brought a lot of fun into the store, as well as new sales.

“With the kids jumping up and down on the bugs and the fun it brought to the store, you couldn’t miss it. We definitely sold more Miracle-Gro," she says, adding that she is already looking forward to working with FLEXcon on the next floor graphic promotion.

“I have a couple of vendors I’m thinking about,” she adds. “We would like to drop it into that same kind of format; anything that adds to the fun. You want to keep customers excited…and moving.”