Go Pro – Passion at Point of Sale

Guest post by David Nichols, Managing Partner (Global) and Head of Invention

Most point-of-sale (POS)  I see is pretty boring and unlikely to grab attention. One exception to this is GoPro, whose POS stopped me in my tracks in the Sandton shopping mall om a recent trip to Johannesburg.Go Pro is the leading brand of small digital sports video cameras you can attach to your bike/board/helmet to capture the thrills and spills of extreme sports (or Saturday afternoon fun). 

The POS was very simple, but highly impactful. It’s just a fantastic video of cool people using their product. Not a feature list or functional claim in sight. No explanation of how to use it (it’s simple enough not to need any), no exhortation of quality or the founder’s philosophy. Just a perfect dramatization of their brand proposition: ‘Be a hero’.  Here's why I think this works so well.


Tight targeting:
They have zeroed in on a clear target for their brand communications – cool extreme sportsmen such as skydivers, heli-skiers, wingsuiters and aerobatic pilots. These people are hugely aspirational for the Saturday afternoon sportsmen who will make up the bulk of their customers. If they had shown shots of middle aged men in Lycra (MAMILS) doing gentle rides along canal towpaths I don’t think the effect would be the same, despite these people being the actual buyers.

Sell benefits, not features: The POS talked about the benefits they offer, not the features. This is almost unheard of in the tech space. Think of Sony, Panasonic, Canon etc. and all you see is adds stuffed with functional claims and feature lists set against a picture of typical users.

Less is more: It is a small compact POS unit so retailers can put it at the front of their stores where it draws in gawping punters (me) creating increased store footflow. The major brands with their huge product lineups languish in glass cabinets within the store, resting on their brand laurels and much bigger ad budgets to draw people in.

Focus on the core: They are showing only a very limited range of products (three) and a few accessories. No long explanation of irrelevant functions (‘now with eco- energy shutter drive!’) or offers of prize trips etc. Just a simple proposition “Cool video. Cool camera”.
Pic of GoPro POS next to clothes in window

New Distribution: A further benefit of this focused approach is that the compact and attractive POS gets placed in the window of outdoor clothing stores (see below) where again, it brings in customers. This gives GoPro valuable new distribution points – targeting people when they are in ‘outdoor’ buying mode, not in ‘tech’ buying mode. For the clothing retailers this is a great way to push sales of high margin items like digital cameras that usually languish at the back of the store as additional purchases for committed customers.

In summary, don’t leave Point of Sale at the bottom of the marketing communications pile. If you do it as well as GoPro do, it can make a dramatic difference. My favourite GoPro clip: Kirby Chambliss the Red Bull Air Race pilot in his Edge 540 stunt plane. Wow!