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ThePublican.com's new PoS zone enables users to access branding material. Adam Withrington explains.Point-of-Sale (PoS) offers a well-established,...

ThePublican.com's new PoS zone enables users to access branding material. Adam Withrington explains.

Point-of-Sale (PoS) offers a well-established, highly effective method for getting messages across to consumers in the on-trade. Only last week Interbrew UK announced the launch of a new PoS feature to help raise consumer awareness of the new Fastflow system for Murphy's.

Colin Pedrick, on-trade managing director at Interbrew UK, said: "We want to make pub-goers aware of the significant benefits Fastflow delivers in terms of a more rapid dispense and encourage more people to sample it for themselves."

The fact that Interbrew chose to embark on a programme of PoS rather than a normal advertising campaign speaks volumes for the potential impact of the advertising medium.

However, one of the problems encountered by licensees is that often there are no major resources for accessing PoS material throughout the year. They complain that they only get access to PoS material when a drinks company or brewer launches a new initiative or advertising campaign.

That has all changed now with the launch of a special point-of-sale zone on thePublican.com, which you can access by clicking here​.

Several major brands, including Kronenbourg, Strongbow and Carling, have signed up to the scheme, allowing licensees to access all their PoS offers. They are able to order anything they need on-site, cutting out the middle man.

PoS offers a fantastic business-building opportunity and thePublican.com's new zone makes it much easier to make the most of this opportunity more often. Sometimes we hear stories of licensees buying PoS material from drinks companies without investigating what it is. The PoS zone will show them exactly what they are getting.

This is even more important when you consider a recent piece of research by drinks consultancy the Drink Tank. It looks at customer behaviour "in the final 10 ft of the journey to the bar", and, contrary to previous research, finds that 96 per cent of customers already know the type of drink they want prior to entering a bar and 77 per cent which brand they wish to order.

One of the conclusions of the study is that consumers often have other things on their mind when approaching a bar and so will not absorb huge swathes of PoS information. So it is crucial to use the right type of PoS in the right areas. The new PoS zone can give licensees just this.

If proof were needed of point-of-sale's potential to reach drinkers, look no further than the example of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). In June, as part of its European election campaign, the Kilroy-Silk inspired political party decided to sponsor a newswire on thePublican.com.

This included a click-through button allowing subscribers to order UKIP beer mats. During the period the button was operational, UKIP sent out more than 60,000 beer mats - all resulting from orders on thePublican.com.

So if you are a licensee, this is an opportunity that is just waiting to be exploited.

  • Access the PoS zone by clicking here​.

The importance of PoS for the drinks industry

  • Nigel Pollard, director of on-trade PR, Scottish Courage

"The critical thing about PoS is that it brings your brand to life in outlets. A huge number of purchasing decisions are left to the last moment, so you need good quality and commanding PoS. "It is important that licensees get hold of the right kind of PoS - it needs to be proportional. For example, lager brands can sell well because of the visibility of fonts, but pre-packaged drinks need to work harder around the bar because they are often hidden on the back-bar and in fridges."

Reich Westerlund, marketing manager, Independent Distillers (brands include Vodka Mudshake and Woodstock bourbon)

"On-premises activity makes up almost 100 per cent of our marketing activity. As a drinks company we want consumers to choose our drinks over other products and on-site, below-the-line activity is the best way to achieve this. We cater for what publicans want - we don't go for permanent PoS. We have an open brief to try and build the brand in discussion with the licensee on the premises."

Deborah Carter, brand controller for WKD, Beverage Brands

"PoS is one of the basic bones of retailing. We have had a freephone PoS hotline number in place since 1999, which allows licensees access to the materials they need whenever they want. More than 1,000 people use this facility each month. You need to create theatre behind the bar and you can do that with good PoS material. Licensees who put this kind of effort into the ready-to-drink sector can really reap the benefits."

Fraser McGuire, trade marketing manager, Bacardi rum

"Paper PoS (posters and bunting) is a great medium to communicate a message to the consumer and it still works really well in high street and community pubs. However, top-end bars and pubs are less keen to employ it. There needs to be more innovation in PoS - which is what we feel we have achieved with our Plan B campaign. We have put PoS messages on ice buckets, cocktail menus and staff uniforms."

Aisling Young, MD, Cubo Brand Communications (a marketing communications agency)

"The on-premise is much more than purely a sales channel. It is a communications medium, a recruitment vehicle, and an emporium for brand experiences. The drinks companies that have grasped that there are gains to be had from heavily investing in the on-premise are tomorrow's winners."

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