What I Learned About In-Store Marketing from a Trip to Panera Bread

Let me make something plain, I love Panera. I love the tomato & feta soufflés and the asiago cheese bagels. I also love the way they publish calories next to everything so I can make informed decisions. Bill DeAngelis, our Director of Strategic Development, and I meet there for breakfast once a week and solve all of the world’s marketing challenges.

This morning we walked in and ordered our usual items. While standing in line to order, Bill saw a sign for Low-Fat B-Green Smoothies. Now, I have to be honest, while I love Panera, I have zero interest in any product this particular shade of green. Looking at it made me think of the days long past when my wife, Lisa, and I were changing the kids’ diapers.

I hope I didn’t lose too many of you with that visual.

Bill, thinking the same thing I am, asks the charming young woman at the register, “How many of those things do you sell?”

She replies, “We weren’t selling any of them until they had us put up the sign. Now we’re selling a lot of them.” She also mentioned that it’s not just the smoothie that sells but anything they seem to feature sells.

It immediately hit me: that’s the power of POP. Panera probably spent less than a buck per store on that sign and generated additional sales and margin.

I’m not sure how big the segment of green smoothie loving Panera customers is, but that sign nailed them.

I wonder how many marketers can pinpoint the ROI associated with POP?

Marketing is everywhere.

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