Visual merchandising can be a powerful marketing tool. It is a marketing technique in which retail stores use the aesthetic appeal of a specific product to maximize interest in the product, with the intent to increase sales revenue. In addition to increasing sales, visual merchandising or retail displays have the capacity to impact the feel and look of the brand. When done properly, retail displays can increase brand awareness, while also increasing customer loyalty; however, its greatest value is concealed in its ability to help close sales. All of these benefits and more can be achieved through the aesthetic appeal of a quality retail display.
The Primary Components
Retail merchandising is about more than simply displaying a particular product; it is about proper placement, the appearance of the store, lighting, menus, signage, point of sale material, packaging and more. When retail displays are done properly, they will have a “wow” factor that will capture the attention of the customer the moment they walk into a store or a particular department in department stores. Many manufacturers even design the packaging with retail merchandising in mind. When all of the essential elements are properly combined it will work to enrich the customer experience — subsequently leading to a positive shopping experience — culminating in increased sales and brand loyalty.
A significant part of the branding process is ensuring that the customer has the opportunity to experience the brand through a number of visual components that occupy the periphery of the product. It is important that the signage and other peripheral pieces provide the proper context for the brand. In other words, a cosmetic brand that is attempting to make a bold statement will likely go with bold signage and bright colors, but that would not be as efficacious for a conservative cosmetic brand, which would benefit more from softer pastels and script writing.
Not only will this type of marketing strategy draw the targeted demographic into the brand, it will also cause the customer to be more receptive to the entire brand experience. It is this dynamic that ultimately fortifies brand loyalty.
The Importance of Themes and Tonality
It is important for brands to implement certain themes into their in-store displays, because it helps the brand to maximize the visual experience. Tonality is also immensely important to elucidating the brand message, meaning that point of purchase displays has to reflect the consistency of the brand itself. Tonality is also often referred to as the brand personality or voice. It basically means that the look, feel and wholeness of the brand is expressed, in some way, in the merchandising display.
Retail displays are an essential part of any retail marketing campaign, being one of the most effective ways to use the aesthetic appeal of the product to connect with the customer on a number of different levels.