Nobody can deny that the global pandemic has resulted in some rather erratic shopper behaviour. We’re all human, and it’s in our nature to panic when the doomsday scenarios are played out continually over our media channels. As a result, we tend to shop, albeit most of the time subconsciously, as though we’re going into hibernation. In an attempt to combat this, retailers removed the majority of their promotional activity (of the xx% off variety) in an attempt to discourage panic buying and protect the supply chains.

According to The Grocer article https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/prices-and-promotions/supermarket-promotions-pick-up-further-but-still-not-at-pre-covid-levels/645342.article promotions are still down 35% at Tesco, 28% at Ocado, 23% at Asda, 14% at Sainsbury’s and 12% at Morrisons.

Coupled with this, industry figures indicated 2 million fewer visits to the supermarket were made after facemasks became mandatory to wear in retail environments.  https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-fewer-supermarket-visits-after-face-mask-rules-introduced-12051709.

So how can you make your brand stand out?

We believe, as an agency, in the importance of secondary promotional in-store activations. Point of Purchase (POP) and Point of Sale (POS) promotions are vital to ensure your brand is kept in the front of the mind for your shoppers.

One of our national in-store brand promotions has proven a huge success during this period. Having launched at the start of lockdown, we have seen redemption rates of 16%+.

Here at Grand Central, we strive for five key drivers which make for an effective in-store promotion (pandemic or not!):

Clear readability on pack

To create stand out, especially in a highly cluttered environment, the promotion should be BOLD, BRIGHT & LEDGIBLE, you want all eyes on your promotional pack and to generate shelf appeal.

Keep the call to action SIMPLE

We’re not afraid to get a little creative here at Grand Central but it’s about using clear and concise terminology, words that evoke an emotion or enthusiasm. Give the consumer a reason to pick up your promotional pack over others. And if you can use numbers, this adds even more value.

Make it engaging… make it social 

There’s no room for bland and boring especially as consumers will lose interest in a blink of an eye.  Consumers who are engaged and satisfied ultimately click more, buy more and shout about a good promotion. With booming social media platforms, your consumer can be a great (and free!) brand ambassador. It’s getting the right mix of a punchy offer, smart strategy and creative visuals to really wow the consumer. Keeping in mind that simplicity is key.

Make it rewarding

Consumers are influenced by rewards, whether monetary or a physical gift with purchase. Receiving a reward only extends deeper long-term consumer loyalty and helps win over new consumers. Being consumers ourselves, we make sure that the mechanic is easy and hassle-free where possible, this is where our experienced in house tech department is key. Making the process as seamless and instant will incentivise consumers to redeem an offer and keep levels of entry high.

Make it relevant

Know what you want to achieve and who you are engaging with at the start. An in-depth understanding of your target audience makes tailoring your messaging and execution tight and focused.

At Grand Central, we understand that reaching the shopper in-store has always been a challenge but on pack / in-store promotions still play a vital role in sales and long-term brand building. With effective technology and well-crafted creative, we see the opportunity for brands to connect with consumers in a far more seamless intelligent approach.

Grand Central develops shopper marketing solutions for a host of brands and organisations. For help with planning, designing and building your requirements please contact us at

hello@grandc.co.uk / 020 8546 0150