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BAT: How to reduce the theft and shoplifting of our products (in retail stores) while increasing their brand perception?

British American Tobacco (BAT) wanted to develop a new product positioning strategy within supermarket chains where the participation of other types of products such as soft drinks and toiletries was more attractive.

Photo CD&I Associates.

Our goal was to develop a specific product sales and promotion center, where cigarettes, cigars, and accessories would be dispensed and promoted, in order to: protect the product from theft, guide the consumer's attention by offering many shopping possibilities, provide more convenience, increase turnover, and promote the positioning of different brands.

​It had been determined that the exhibition of tobacco products, safety, and customer service were neglected

Photo CD&I Associates.

The design effort was focused on the projection of new promotion systems for each point of sale, but standardized for their production, which were located in specific spaces and that will have a payment point and a person in charge.

Photo CD&I Associates.

The BAT tobacco shops represented a design challenge in two fundamental aspects.

First, they should be inspired by the concepts and communication strategies of their international brands Kent, Kool, and Belmont. They had to achieve a substantial visual impact that would harmonize with the communication of the supermarkets where they would be located.

In addition to this, the “tobacco points of sale” (TPOS) had to be designed modularly with easy installation and maintenance, including a design that had to be stable, to have auto lighting, electrical, and product safety systems, and to facilitate the replacement and handling of all the types of products that are on the market, (not exclusively those of BAT).

As an additional point, they had to concentrate all the materials associated with tobacco such as lighters, derived products and, also, to show competing brands equally.

Photo CD&I Associates.

Another design challenge was to produce different design concepts for each supermarket chain and for each brand, so that one supermarket, TPOS with the Kent brand, would look different from the tobacco shops of a different supermarket chain, and so on.

​There were particular requirements for each retail store that had to be treated and standardized: some of them needed to be adapted to the space and aesthetics of the liquor cellars and points of sale, while others adapted to the boxes and payment points. This meant developing dynamic materials and concepts.

The challenge also required a design line that was not particular to the BAT brands, but that needed to harmonize with them. And, finally, all these components had to maintain a low cost of relative production and a high promotion impact through their life spans.

Photo CD&I Associates.

The result was highly satisfactory for the company and represented an average 30% to 50% increase in sales, a considerable decrease in theft and product losses, an improvement in customer service, and higher visibility for the brands. It also represented for the supermarkets the benefits of logistics that increased the satisfaction of their customers.