For any consumer brand there comes the time to physically put your brand out there. It might be a tradeshow, a showroom space, a dealership, or a retail setting. Regardless, it’s your chance to capture the consumer, draw them in, and make an impression with your brand.
So what are key practices to creating an impact?
Messaging in material.
Material selection should drive your message. What do you want to say? How do you want the viewer to feel? Wood and fabric offer warmth and security. While glass, metal, or plastics offer a sleek, modern vibe.
As a mid-market product manufacturer you may not operate in the retail arena, yet a lot can be learned from how these savvy stores handle their brands. Take Anthropologie®. This Philadelphia-born clothier has a talent for creating next level retail displays. As a former resident of Philadelphia, I found walking past their store windows captivating. The creative use of mixed material supported the eclectic nature of the brand, without the need to show a single product.
How does your brand personality translate to physical materials? Brand expression in windows and in-store displays should support your overall brand message. The idea is to tempt consumers to immerse themselves in the setting and view products in a new light. This practice works for any size and type of organization—down to the smallest window display or tradeshow booth.
Offer relevant content, consistently.
Material is key but content is king. With so many elements coming together, your content approach must stay relevant and consistent. Keep focused on the pre-defined qualities of your brand. If a display graphic didn’t have your logo on it, would the color, photography, and message still be identifiable as your brand? Think McDonald’s, Mercedes, or Mont Blanc—instantly identifiable.
One good example of this principle is Suitsupply®. A fast-growing men’s shop, with a clean modern brand image featuring showrooms that consistently enforce their message. Attentive employees, sleek simple product displays, large, bright wall visuals of models. The same imagery appears in Suitsupply collateral and advertising. There’s even a tailor in some shops, busily working in view as shoppers enter.
Consistency builds credibility. Consumers need continuity to feel a connection with your brand, whether in the showroom, at a tradeshow, or on the road.
Once your brand is on display your job is finished, right? Actually, no. There’s always room for evolution. Involve employees and get live feedback. In a tradeshow booth you have the sales team interacting with customers. With a retail display, you have consumers browsing in and out. Keep your eyes open. Have someone watching and recording reaction and interaction to your display. How does your target enter your space and move through it? This is valuable information, whether for a small startup or a billion-dollar retailer.
Placing your brand on display is more than just putting it out there. Get creative, be focused, and always be consistent. And keep learning from your consumer. They are your lifeline to success.