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I’m not one to start a LinkedIn discussion. Sure, I sometimes browse through the more interesting ones. And occasionally I might even jump in and have a say. But to start a discussion? I’ll pass the spotlight on to someone else.

So what triggered my question to the POP Online Network: ‘What personal quality is absolutely essential to a successful career in POP?”

Like many others in the group, my working day (and more often than not, working night!) is consumed by POP. We work closely with POP designers to understand their vision, and what electronic components we can provide to help bring that to reality.

But when I think of my clients who have really achieved, they share a common characteristic:


They know their business. They know their clients’ brands. They know their clients’ customers. They know their research. They know our industry. And when they want to know about sensory POP – they’re all ears to learning about it. They know, because they value ‘knowing’.

This thirst for knowledge results in the the sort of people you can just talk POP with all day.

Regardless of if one’s background is in design, production, sales or customer service – our industry is so vast, so fast-moving that knowledge is a prerequisite to success.

I was curious what others thought – particularly marketers. I sneakily limited responses to one word (hyphenated words are okay!) and I’ve been absolutely delighted with the overwhelming response.

There’s been a fascinating spectrum of answers. Vincent Tricomi from PFI Displays, Inc suggested determination:

“There’s nothing easy about POP–sales, design, production–it all takes a lot of effort, energy, knowledge, and more.” Vincent Tricomi

UDFC’s Senior Designer Peter Crum chimed in with creativity, while Paula Condorfrom Promo Print Solutions vouched for innovation.

John Columbus, Director of Project Management at GFX International suggestedcommon-sense: “I have found that the best and brightest Project Managers have a lot of common sense, and if you really think about it, it’s all common sense in making the right decisions on what to do or how to handle a project.”

Over at U.S Display Group, Sherry Stuckert nominated service. “Before I went into Sales I was a Merchandising Project Manager. I appreciated & considered everything the various suppliers brought to the table, but the deal-maker or breaker was determined by: 1) keeping their word on timing – whether it was a quote, a sample or the order itself 2) returning phone calls & emails promptly 3) confirmation of information provided (I hated guessing or feeling like I was bugging them by repeating a request, but if it isn’t confirmed, how do you know?). Even a two or three word response, “Will do!” or “Thanks, we’re set!” lowers the blood pressure or slows the pulse.”

David Wiesenfeld (Global Marketing Group) proposes that problem-solving skills are essential:  “How a company or sales person handles a problem if and when they occur is key. I have found that we as a company have solidified our relationships with certain client solely based on how we have reacted to a problem, one that was either caused by us or by our client, and we have taken the tact that lets fix the problem quickly and then find out what had caused it.”

President of the TD Fischer Group, Bob Fischer highlighted the need for initiative: “Look up the synonyms for “Initiative”  you’ll see words like Inventiveness, Creativity, Enterprise, Resourcefulness, Ingenuity, Wits, Edge and Advantage. We require our associates to have initiative to work at the TD Fischer Group.”

Kevin Saladyga founder of the POP Online Network also suggested knowledge: “Knowledge is power. The power to learn and to teach. The power to build character and confidence. The power to accomplish and succeed.”

But then again, maybe Sherry Stuckert is right when she says “If we digress from the one word answer, we have to admit that it takes every single word that has been offered!”

And often Sherry, I think you’re 100% right!


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