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Sidekicks + Power Wings: The Complete Guide

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The Complete Guide To Sidekick Displays

We see this a lot at retail and club stores: simple, non-custom Sidekicks + Power Wings that get the job done. How can you expect to hit your sales target if you don't invest in your presentation at the store?

You have a great product, a beautiful package, but you left out one thing - your display! A Sidekick is a great way to grab your customer's attention on the store floor. It's easy for most brands to overlook, but this is precisely the issue we aim to solve.

Though customers are taking fewer trips to retail every year, each trip has tripled in value - meaning you must catch their attention.

We help upgrade brands from plain to premium with our custom digitally printed Sidekicks + Power Wings. A Power Wing is a point-of-purchase retail display - or POP Display - used to promote and sell products.

Learn more about our Sidekicks + Power Wings

Aspects of a Sidekick Display

  • Limited depth + height, but perfect for strategic placements
  • Typically hang from a shelf in an aisle or on an Endcap at eye level
  • Great way to catch your customer’s attention with special or sales items
  • Impulse buys galore, these increase sell-through rates
  • Perfect for most retailers, drug stores, convenience stores, and more due to their size
  • Can be built as a stand-alone display instead of a hanging design
  • Can be pre-packed and delivered to retail for quick setup

Step 1: Determine Your Needs

  • What type of product do you have?
  • Are there new innovations you can implement?
  • How many units do I need?
  • How can this be an extension of my brand?
  • Which retailers/club stores are you selling at?

Step 2: Designing Sidekicks

Designing can be a fun process. Whether you’re tackling it or working with our Creative Services team, you need to consider critical things about your retail display and your customer.

  • Who is your target demographic?
  • How tall are they?
  • Are you selling multiple items?
  • Is this a promotional item?
  • Can you create alternate designs for seasonal/regional messaging?

Related: How To Use Color Theory With Displays

Working with the right design team will ensure your display matches your branding and is a retailer complaint.

Step 3: Choose A Printing Style

Choosing a printing option is more than simply looking at cost factors. The technology has been changing over the years, and while some older methods are still proven and effective, newer methods have introduced entirely new ways to attack the marketplace.

Here are three printing options to consider:

Lithography Printing

When it comes to commercial printing needs, lithographic printing is the most used solution. And it’s great if you are creating a single design to print over and over without much customization.

One of the main issues is the upfront costs for the printing plate and the lead time for the project. If you choose Litho, that means you’re committing to waiting and a portion of your budget before you even get your first box.

If you are looking for a high-volume production run of a single design, this is the way to go.

High-Speed Digital Printing

Bennett's digital presses are game-changing for the custom retail display industry. While other companies might tell you that Digital isn’t competitive when running large orders, what they aren’t telling you is with Digital, you can run a variety of designs and be extremely cost-effective.

No need to pay for or wait for new printing plates to be made!

Digital has been growing in the industry, but only a few brands have actually started to take advantage of this enormous opportunity.

Imagine creating regional messaging, designs for different stores, seasonal or product variation sizes - all without additional costs.

We were the first to invest in a high-speed, single-pass, direct-to-corrugate, 6-color digital press in North America. If you want to learn more, check out our page on Digital.

Flexography Printing

Flexographic printing will bring your printing costs down, and tooling costs are typically lower. It has a fast turnaround time and can use both water- and oil-based inks. But, compared to Lithography and Digital, Flexography has a noticeably lower printing quality.

It cannot create photo-quality images, and smooth colors or gradients will have visible banding. 

The colors aren’t as vibrant or crisp as the other two options, but this printing format is inexpensive. It also doesn’t require much attention to detail and can be produced at very high speed.

High-Speed Digital Printing

Digital Printing has opened up entirely new avenues for brands to create a Sidekick. The most significant advantage of a digitally printed Sidekick is alternate print designs.

By using this approach, you can create seasonal messaging, regionally targeted messaging, or simply create a new look when you need to replace the display. 

Thanks to Digital, each new print won’t incur additional costs because you don’t need printing plates. There’s no slowdown to get you to market.

There are no minimum quantity orders, which is great for the initial proofs - but even better if you run 4-versions of a display rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Digital opens up a whole new world of possibilities - and we were among the first to invest in this game-changing technology. That has put us ahead of the learning curve in the industry.

Related: Digital Printing Can Help Make Your POP Display More Sustainable

Designing With Digital

Here are some design tips to create an effective Sidekick from the ground up:

Strategic Location

From a customer’s perspective, many club stores can have dim lighting - which means bright, bold, and contrasting colors will stand out.

Information Architecture

Messaging needs to be clear and motivated. What should your customers know as they pass by the display? What can they see from across the store? Keep it concise and focused! Only the important benefits should be included here.

Sidekick Product Showcase

Sidekicks are all about driving incremental sales with a low-cost display. They are ideal for showcasing a smaller amount of your products, but are great at highlighting a new product or even a promotional offer to drive impulse purchases. 


It may sound silly, but so many businesses simply fill a quota of products in their display. They forget a customer has to interact with the display and take the product out. That said, you want the display to be easy to restock for retailers to keep selling your items.

Color Science

Each color speaks to the customer on a different emotional level. That's something all designers know. Why not use that on the store floor? Here's an actual opportunity to put that knowledge into practice and create something that matches your brand in a powerful way. 

Match Your Brand Colors

Most manufacturers claim they will match your brand colors accurately, but they're not actually equipped to do that. We have some of the best printing capabilities in North America and promise we can actually match with 100% accuracy. 

Refreshing Your Look

Consider how often you will need to replace your display over the year. Each time you do is a chance to attract more customers - so why not harness the power of Digital Printing and create a fresh look for your display at a fraction of the cost - and without slowing your speed to market.

Uncluttered Products

It may sound silly, but so many businesses simply fill a quota of products in their display. They forget a customer has to interact with the display and take the product out. That said, you want the display to be easy to restock for retailers to keep selling your items.

Turnkey Solutions

A great display is key, but don’t forget about warehousing and fulfillment. You need a plan to get your display made, packed, and sent out to retailers.

That’s why we offer turnkey solutions, including Contract Packaging, Shipping Boxes, and Packaging Supplies. The more downtime you have with a display, the less money you make. More on that later.

Retailer Compliance

When you are creating a new display or updating an existing design, it’s important you are confident that your new partner understands all the current retailer and club store compliance guidelines.

If you design a Power Wing for Walmart that won’t be approved, you will have to start all over. 

You need a partner that not only designs and manufactures Sidekicks + Power Wings, but also understands the entire production process to get you to the storefront as fast as possible.

Step 4: Establish Your Budget

A successful Sidekick program depends on your understanding of the entire budget and economics of the whole process.

Setting a budget for your display is essential before beginning the design process.

Without a budget or range, the process will become inefficient and aimless. When creating your budget, consider your product's price, profit margin, anticipated sales, and the length of time you expect your display to be in place.

The higher the sales price of your product, the more you should consider investing in your Sidekick Display. 

How Quantity Affects Cost

After material costs, the best way to manage per-unit display costs is volume. Each display design will require tooling, set-up time, and upfront costs. The longer the manufacturer can run, the more units you can use to spread those costs out.

But thanks to Digital Printing, we can create multiple graphic designs for your display without increasing costs for those changes.

Using a single design shape but unique seasonal designs, you can look brand new at retail and keep your costs relatively the same.


If you order 2000 Units at once, You would need to pay all upfront tooling costs, wait for the project to be prepped, and purchase all the materials upfront. Then consider the entire supply chain, including storage, of your 2000 Displays.

If you order 5 runs of 400 Units over 3 Months, You would need to pay all upfront tooling costs and wait for the project to be prepped, but only purchase the initial materials upfront. Then you can actually redesign the graphics of the following 4 orders of 400 Displays.

Although both orders are purchasing 2000 units, the second order has more design flexibility and lower upfront costs to get started in the market. Because of Digital Printing, the difference between short and long runs is no longer much of a factor in cost.

Step 5: Creating a Dieline

Now that you have your design, it’s time to transfer it to the structure template, a.k.a; the decline.

Your designated designer must take care of a few dieline and artwork preparation and requirements, even if your artwork is done and ready to go.

If you do not have a designer, your packaging company will take care of this.


A dieline is typically created on a computer using a design tool such as Adobe Illustrator, Artioscad, or InDesign. Measurements need to be precise to save time and money.

Step 6: Preparing The Artwork

Working with your packaging partner, you will deliver high-resolution quality artwork for printing. It’s best to speak directly to the company you are working with to determine the exact specifications for their CMYK printing.

At Bennett, we offer access to our award-winning Creative Services to help you design, prep, and deliver all your artwork to our manufacturing teams - and ensure your project details are correct every step of the way.

Pro Tip: Need more clarification on preparing your artwork? Reach out to Bennett if you need help with any of your designs!

Step 7: Creating Prototype Sidekicks

You should always ask for a prototype display to confirm the structure and printing for final production, especially if you have a very large order. Once the prototype is created, it can be delivered to you in person or via mail carrier.

We have an array of equipment in our Creative Services Department that will match the exact quality of our High-Speed Digital Printers to allow you to quickly get prototypes - and move your project to production.

Step 8: Production + Shipping

Once you finalize everything, your retail display is ready for production. You can sit back, relax, and wait for the arrival of your display!

Receiving your shipment all depends on your requested timeline, the size of the display, the method of delivery, etc.

It is different depending on your situation, but your account manager will keep you up-to-date with the production and shipping process, ensuring that you are always on track.

Key Questions:

  • Will your Display be shipped fully assembled or KDF?
  • What is the weight of your Display with your Shipping Box and Supplies?
  • Where will you store your Display?
  • What is the cost for Packaging Supplies?
  • Fulfillment costs, if any?
  • How will you account for returns?

Learn more about our Contract Packaging Services


Pro Tip: If you need to order on a consistent basis, speak to a packaging specialist to map out your inventory expectations and schedule. This will make maintaining a healthy inventory flow easier and allow the manufacturer to know exactly when you need it.

You’ll want to make sure your provider can safely deliver your Displays as a 3PL.

Shipping Sidekicks Fully Kitted

Over the years, we have been delivering fully kitted displays for customers across the United States without issue.

The reason you would want to choose this option is to cut down on costs. The less hands your Displays and products have to touch, the lower your costs.

Shipping Sidekicks Knocked Down Flat

Shipping KDF is an excellent option if you want to assemble in your own facility and prefer the safer and cheaper shipping method. Thanks to the stacking efficiency, it’s easy to see why this is a great way to cut costs for some companies.

But, you will need to create and include a set of clear assembly instructions along with a parts list and any tools required for assembly. 

Selecting The Right Box And Shipping Supplies

To ensure your Display arrives safely, picking the correct type of corrugated material and packaging supplies for the job is important.

You’ll want to talk to your manufacturer or 3PL provider to consider the best shipping box and packaging material.

Learn more about our Packaging Supplies.


ISTA Testing For Power Wing Displays

International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) testing helps brands create packaging that will protect against shock, vibration, compression, and any other atmospheric hazards in the distribution environment.

This allows you to eliminate the need for multiple trial shipments and get your products to market faster while ensuring their survival.

It can also help you negotiate lower freight and cargo insurance rates - due to the confirmed lower risk of shipment damage.

We conduct a range of shipping tests (vibration, drop test, etc.) so that you are certified and ready to go. We partner with you through the entire process and make sure there aren’t any surprises - and if there are, we are prepared to solve them.

Step 9: Following Up With Your Sidekicks

One of the most important things you must do is stay on top of maintenance.

Don’t neglect your display upkeep. Even the best displays will lose appeal if they look dusty or worn down. Remember, your display represents your brand and your product - if you invest in a great display, you should make sure it stays presentable.

Displays should be checked regularly, even throughout the day. That way, you can be confident they never appear “shopworn.”

If you invest in a great display, you should make sure it stays presentable.

Retail Store Audits

Brands and product companies should regularly perform retail audits to ensure stores’ merchandising is compliant with agreed-upon standards. The retail store audit process checks merchandising execution, including:

  • Correct product placement, including location in the store.
  • Product expiration dates.
  • Item counts on shelves and in back-room inventory.
  • Count of facing items per SKU.
  • Sufficient and accurate signage.
  • Usage of floor and shelving space.

A number of people can perform audits for you. Retail staff, brands, or even third parties can complete the task, but give them a checklist and get photos.

Audits help retailers and brands hold each other accountable. After all the agreements are in place for floor space allotment, signage, and other elements, retail store audits verify the deal, and everyone is happy.

Thanks to the latest innovations, you can use software that includes inventory management and automated audit-based reordering - all great tools that can further the benefits of audits and help keep your supply chain moving.

Bennett Makes Custom Sidekicks + Power Wings

Bennett is a premier packaging and retail displays manufacturing company striving to protect and promote our clients' products with customized corrugated solutions. When you work with us, you’re part of the family. We will partner with you every step of the way.

With our fully integrated design-to-delivery process, we can be the single supplier source. We are an award-winning manufacturer of virtually anything corrugate. We offer everything from plain brown shipping boxes to sophisticated, high-graphic printed point-of-purchase displays and everything in between.

Talk with our team today about your next Power Wing

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Sidekicks + Power Wing Displays?

A Sidekick or Power Wing is an ideal display for stores where you are allotted a smaller space to showcase your product. These are more economical and are very strategic. This display can be placed at checkout, in an aisle, or anywhere you want. And it is great for promotional items or new products.

Are you retailer and club store compliant?

Of course! We have great relationships with all major retailers and club stores and are current on the latest specifications and guidelines for complete compliance. If you want to go to Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Sam’s Club, Bjs, or any other store - we can get you there.

Where can I order retail displays?

Bennett offers a wide variety of retail displays. No matter what kind of product you have or display you need, we can make it. Just contact us, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

What Printing Styles do you offer?

We are able to produce Litho and Flexo and specialize in Digital. We were one of the first manufacturers to invest in Digital Printing, putting us ahead of the curve. Typically, customers think Digital is only useful for small runs, but Digital allows you to create printing variations and multiple runs of different targeted designs - using some of the latest innovations in marketing!