At the Retail Level, What do Effective In-Store Campaigns Look Like?

Effectiveness is increased when a business targets two audiences.

This series revisits the basics of branding and marketing by answering questions marketers, entrepreneurs and small business owners face when growing their business. I hope this series provides you with knowledge to think smarter and a nudge to make stuff happen.

At the Retail Level, What do Effective In-Store Campaigns Look Like?

That’s a meaty question. Let’s simplify this and focus on the importance of communicating to two audiences to make a retail marketing promotion successful.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my retail marketing days at Starbucks is that marketing has two audiences: Customers AND Employees.

Most retail marketers focus solely on the customer experience in designing and delivering effective in-store retail campaigns. My Starbucks tribal knowledge tells me otherwise.

The most effective in-store campaigns also think of the front-line employee as a customer to be marketed to.

Do you think all the posters, banners, brochures, and other marketing signage you see in Starbucks are meant solely for customers? Think again as marketing at Starbucks impacts more than just customers—it also impacts employees.

Starbuck understands marketing signage can be used to inform and inspire employees, which can better influence purchase decisions by customers.

Sure, Starbucks uses its in-store signage to promote seasonal beverages, whole bean coffees, and pastries with hopes of triggering impulse purchases from customers. However, customer focus groups have told Starbucks they do not necessarily rely upon the marketing signage to influence their purchase decisions.

Instead, customers rely upon the opinions of baristas behind the counter to influence which beverages, beans, and pastries they buy.

With that understanding, Starbucks uses its in-store signage to influence the opinions of Starbucks baristas.

For example, the many brochures Starbucks displays at the condiment bar are noticed more by employees than by customers. Customers rarely read these brochures, which range from descriptions of whole bean coffees to marketing promotions to Starbucks environmental efforts. But all employees at some point read these brochures—whether out of company adoration or break-time boredom.

Even the banner sign, which is strategically positioned in the pathway of customers walking to the counter, has a greater impact on employees than customers. Starbucks employees see that banner sign every day of every week they work and automatically know the product focus of the current marketing campaign.

In-store marketing programs can be used to inform and inspire employees, which can better influence purchase decisions by customers. And when customer decisions are positively influenced, the more effective an in-store retail campaign will be.


#01 | How Should a Brand be Defined?
#02 | What’s the Difference between Branding and Marketing?
#03 | Is there a Difference between a Company Name and a Brand Name?
#04 | Does every Brand need a Unique Selling Position?
#05 | Do Consumers Really Feel Emotional about Brands?
#06 | How should “Brand Personality” be Described?
#07 | Are Taglines Important? Why or Why Not?
#08 | Are Logos Important? Why or Why Not?
#09 | Can a Brand be Built without a Large Budget?
#10 | Why is a Brand Style Guide important?
#11 | What are Key Components to Include in a Brand Style Guide?
#12 | How Rigid Should a Brand Style Guide Be?
#13 | The Brand Style Guide is Built. Now What?
#14 | What Matters Most to Consumers: Brand, Price, or Convenience?
#15 | Does a Company’s Mission Statement Play a Role in Marketing the Brand?
#16 | How can Business Operations Support the Brand Promise?
#17 | How do you get Employees to “Live the Brand”?
#18 | Do all Marketing Activities need a Strong Call to Action?
#19 | Do Brands need to be Marketed Differently Depending on their Stage of Life?
#20 | What Role does Promotion Play in Effective Marketing?
#21 | How Connected should PR efforts be to Marketing efforts?
#22 | At the Retail Level, What do Effective In-Store Campaigns Look Like?


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