Product Placement Mistakes - MyStartupLand

In restaurants, chefs go to a lot of trouble to make their product (your meal) look amazing. That’s because the saying is true. You eat with your eyes first. Believe it or not, the same concept applies to your product. If it isn’t displayed in the most flattering ways possible, it becomes less appealing. So many things impact the look of your products. The materials you choose, the color schemes you pick, and your packaging are just a few elements that really matter.

One thing that is often overlooked is the importance of product placement. That is, how and where the product is displayed when potential customers may encounter it.

This includes:

  • Positioning And Presentation on Store Shelves
  • How the Product is Displayed in Online Advertisements And Landing Pages
  • Strategic Placement in Film Video or Television Spots
  • How the Product is Displayed on Product Pages

In order to ensure that your product is properly displayed in a way that enhances its visual appeal and stays true to your branding, you have to be vigilant.

You can start by avoiding these five product placement mistakes.

1. Failing To Retain Control Over In-Store Merchandising

Take a walk through your grocery store and you’ll notice that the name brand and higher end items are prominently displayed at eye level. The shelves they are on are usually impeccably organized. Labels are facing frontward. This is because the companies that make these products retain control over how they are displayed.

Your product isn’t going to look its best when it’s tossed on a bottom shelf, or not displayed in a way that makes it highly visible and appealing. When you place your products in stores, establish some ground rules for merchandising. Make sure those rules are followed.

2. Failing To Create Buzz When Your Product Is Featured

You’ve done something big. Your product is going to get on screen time on a television show. You’ve leased a huge billboard in the middle of the town where your flagship product is going to be displayed. Maybe you’ve sponsored a local theater group, and they’ve graciously offered to use your product on set as one of their props. Whatever the case may be, your product is going to be prominently displayed to a relatively large number of people.

So, here’s the bad news. Nobody is going to care unless you make them care. As Amanda Sparks, marketer and author of TopDownWriter blog, emphasizes: “Products flash by our eyes hundreds of times each day. Getting your product in the sights of a large audience is only the first step. You have to create a buzz. This means promoting the event on social media, engaging with anyone else involved, creating press releases and other business copy, and otherwise generating conversation and enthusiasm.”

3. Cutting Costs When It Comes To Image Quality And Production Value

According to a white paper published by Bright North, customers are three times more likely to convert when they are presented with high-quality images. If the quality and production value of your product images do not match or better your competitors’, you are essentially driving people away from your business and towards theirs.

Whether it’s print images, product pictures on your website, images in supported posts, or videos production, value and optimization are both keys. This is not an area where effort or expense should be spared. Instead, great care should be taken to ensure images are of the highest quality possible.

“I’ve seen many websites and online stores that tried to save money using poor quality pictures from free image hosting services or shot by themselves. The results were always the same – low user engagement, higher bounce rate, and less income at the end of the month,” shares James Daily, professional content manager and author at Brainished blog.

4. Using A Vehicle For Placement That Is A Bad Fit For Your Brand

When Elliot used Reese’s Pieces to lure ET, sales of the candy skyrocketed. The same thing happened to toys like the Mr. Potato Head and Etch-a-Sketch when they were portrayed in the Toy Story movie franchise. This kind of product placement, however, isn’t a guaranteed home run.

Take Home Alone 2 as an example. American Airlines had its planes and brand prominently featured in the movie. Unfortunately, the trade-off is that the characters portraying American Airlines staff were astoundingly (albeit hilariously) inept. That’s not exactly flattering to a company that wants to be known for reliability.

Before making a product placement deal. Keep a few things in mind.

  • Is the content something your audience will appreciate?
  • Is there a risk of offending your target audience?
  • Are you certain the portrayal of your product will be flattering?

5. Not Emphasizing Your Product Benefits

“100% of Your Recommended Daily Vitamin C!”. “Less Sugar Than Other Leading Brands”. “A Trim Toned Waist in 30 Days!”. These are just a few examples of things you might see on product packaging. Remember that the customer-facing side of your product is your canvas. If you don’t use it to draw attention to the benefits of your products, you’re missing out on an important opportunity.

Packaging is important. It should have appealing images such as smiling children, quality pictures of your product and logo, and eye-catching information about what’s inside.

But the text is also something you can’t neglect. “Customers are a lot savvier nowadays. They read descriptions thoroughly and want to be sure they buy quality products. But on the other hand, they are overwhelmed with information. So your job is to write the description that would catch customers’ attention as well as provide all the data they need in an easy-to-read manner”, Jessica Fender, the chief content officer at OnlineWritersRating, reveals.

Conclusion On Product Placement Mistakes

No matter where your product appears, it is imperative that you ensure it is presented in the best way possible. This means maintaining control over its placement in stores, having high standards of image quality, and making the right decisions when it comes to packaging and product placement. Avoid the mistakes above to ensure that your products remain reputable and desirable.


Do you have any experience with product placement? Have you encountered any of the difficulties highlighted in the article above? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

James Scott is an independent blogger and professional marketer. He has more than 5 years of marketing experience and enjoys sharing his tips. A bit of a musician, a bit of a dreamer, and a bit of an introvert, James also spends time watching detective movies and refining his culinary skills. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScottEsp to find his latest posts and marketing ideas.

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