Dirty tissues aren’t a very good sales tool

13Dec11

While working through my shopping list at a local store, I spotted a rather strange approach to product sampling. A particular tissue brand was apparently trying to get customers to touch and experience their new design. So, the product display contained a supply of tissues sticking out the front, along with a call to action about trying one.

There are several problems here. First, could there be anything grosser than asking shoppers to blow their nose? Who knows how many germs would end up dispersed throughout the store if the call to action was successful. Second, the display included a trash area where people could place the used product. The trash bin was crystal clear and mounted at eye level, leaving the dirty tissues for all to see.

When I encountered the display, the new tissues were gone and the trash area was filled with dirty ones. Accordingly, I would be more inclined to associate the advertised product with overflowing garbage than with anything remotely related to cleanliness and hygiene. So if you’re ever involved with designing a product sampling station that has a built-in trash repository, make sure that the trash area is opaque or well-hidden enough that it doesn’t steal the show from the actual product.



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