The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is a one-stop shop for convenience retailers. Product exploration is the key focus of this annual event. As such, the expo hall is a sea of big brands competing for attention and, in turn, shelf space.
Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. has been on a path of growth the last several years, as the company has responded to changing consumer preferences through product innovation and portfolio expansion. The objective for Ferrero’s presence at NACS was to develop a breakthrough environment that portrayed Ferrero as the leading confectionary company it is today, with power brands and exciting new innovation.
With this in mind, a key design challenge was to solve for the fact that each brand within Ferrero’s product portfolio employs vastly different marketing strategies and brand positioning – think Kinder Joy vs. Ferrero Rocher. Additionally, NACS 2019 was the first official debut of the former Nestle USA brands under the Ferrero name. Integrating acquired brands with big industry names seamlessly with their widely loved and recognized legacy products was an important design consideration.
The space also needed to effectively draw show attendees through innovative and eye-catching design, encourage dwell time and be conducive for both one-on-one conversations as well as more private, formal presentations to key customers.
Last but not least, despite the need to showcase Ferrero as the contemporary, confectionary leader it is today, it is an important part of Ferrero’s exhibit presence to pay homage to its roots and the values from which it was founded in 1946.
A SWEET SOLUTION
Ferrero at NACS broke through the noise with a show-stopping exhibit presence that unified iconic brands under a cohesive customer-focused exhibit experience. It was bold, bright, playful, and balanced with contemporary finishes, high-end design and cutting-edge innovation.
Anchoring the 50’ by 50’ exhibit, and providing a high-level wayfinding “wow” factor, was the 44’ wide by 28’ deep overhead sign. Attendees couldn’t miss the expansive 20’ long by 30” high 3-dimensional Ferrero logo, complemented by an eye-catching illuminated canopy set in alternating saturated brand hues – a great way to involve the brands in a subtle way at the highest level.
The stars of the show were highlighted through three double-sided 16’ tall by 8’ wide LED brand pillars. For an ultra-sleek execution of these digital brand showcases, custom designed and engineered frames enabled a super-slim profile – an ingenuity that did not go unnoticed by industry professionals. More importantly, moving from static brand imagery of years past to a fully digital brand presence enabled greater versatility to showcase more brands than ever before from Ferrero’s beloved and extensive portfolio.
Convenience store retailers could dive deeper into Ferrero’s product packaging and promotions at brand merchandising displays integrated throughout the exhibit. A simple, yet innovative design solution enabled Ferrero with limitless display possibilities to accommodate any number of brands, merchandising display objectives, or exhibit space configurations using open, stackable cubes. The cubes were inset with grooves on both sides that could be outfit with a Plexiglas panel, or fully branded graphic and could be stacked and reconfigured in any imaginable way—aesthetic, functional and highly flexible.
Paying tribute to Ferrero’s humble beginnings, a central café served visitors coffee throughout the day. The Ferrero café was fully outfitted to create a unique experience and destination within the exhibit. Its pin-striped awning, custom trimmed sampling counters reminiscent of old world charm, and fully propped retail window displays gave visitors a novel brand experience that conveyed the history and deep-rooted values of this industry-leading global brand.
High-top bistro tables adorned the café area for casual one-on-one customer meetings, while two fully enclosed conference rooms featured custom executive-level furnishings for VIP customer meetings. High 10’ ceilings with recessed lighting, custom designed glass-top boardroom tables, and a brand mosaic feature wall created an inviting space to hold important private customer discussions.
The entire exhibit, from the first impression, to the unique details and surprises within created an end-to-end customer experience that educated, connected and inspired. Ferrero was able to engage with this convenience store audience in new and novel ways, and present the organization and its brands as the industry leader that they are.