What the Point of Purchase Industry Can Learn from the Design of the iPod, Vespa & Escalator


ipod vespaEscalator_XXL

By Mike Eckert


CNN asked some of the world’s greatest designers to name the top 12 industrial designs of the past 100 years. The iPod, Vespa and Escalator were 3 of the 12. To see the entire list visit: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/28/tech/best-design-100-years-zaccai/

What was it about these three product designs that stood out and how can the Point-Of-Purchase industry further integrate innovative design into the retail environment? As more consumers look for an engaging “shopping experience”, what can marketers do to make their displays more effective?


The Apple iPod took a great design and incorporated technology, affording users a heightened product experience while offering features that only technology can provide.

With the launch of the Disney Infinity display, winner of the POPAI Display of the Year Award, along with great design, one of our goals was to engage consumers in a truly interactive experience at the point of purchase. Utilizing the latest RFID technology, we created a display that used technology to make it easier and more enjoyable to experience the product in-store.


The Vespa has a unique look and personality that stands out from its competitors. Displays at retail also need to be eye-catching. We use the latest materials that can be bent, molded, and curved to incorporate shapes and sizes that truly stand out.

Lighting can also be one of the most important elements incorporated into displays. With the latest LED lighting features, more and more fixtures are using lighting to capture the attention of consumers at retail.


Initially the escalator was introduced as an experience for which people would pay just to go up and down. When the escalator was incorporated into architecture, its elegant design brought form and function together perfectly.

Design is not just about a sleek look but a number of variables that need to come together to create a display that stands out, offers the consumer an engaging experience, and brings out the best in the product.

As the retail industry embarks on a new wave of creativity, point of purchase will be an integral part in creating an environment that captures the imagination of consumers.


Mike Eckert is President of Design Phase Inc., a leader in the point-of-purchase industry. With over 30 years in the industry, Design Phase’s innovative displays for some of the world’s largest brands including Microsoft, LG Electronics, Disney, and Bose have won a multitude of awards, including Display of the Year four times. Mike can be contacted at meckert@dphase.com.

Watch the video Making Retail Fun at www.dphase.com/company

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