Adventures in Sign Placement
“Whatever you do, don’t look down!”
Great advice if you’ve just been plucked off of a crumbling skyscraper and are now clinging to the hand of a Bruce Willis-type who himself is dangling from a Black Hawk copter.
Not so great if you’re a retail marketer.
Because “down” is an often untapped space for marketing messages. Most signage is strategically placed at eye level, which makes the line-of-sight view among the most cluttered in any given retail environment. So let’s hit the floor.
According to a study by Joseph King, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and director of the Honors Academy at Radford University in Radford, Va., shoppers naturally look down. In The Psychology in the Floor, Dr. King contends that we are programmed to concentrate on the ground. He also found that attention directed downward narrows our focus.
So, distanced from the visual “noise” and perfectly positioned to grab shopper attention, floor graphics work extra-hard in-store. And not just for grocery and big box brands. Bold design, unusual materials and experience-craving shoppers have evolved the form beyond that simple cling leading to the cereal aisle. Graphics now grace the floors of fashion, accessory, technology, toy, jewelry, sportswear and specialty stores.
What are retail marketers doing with floor graphics?
- Leading the way
- Delineating an event space
- Creating an experience
- Designating a VIP area
- Showcasing a special sale
- Linking to a promotion
- Reinforcing brand identity
- Teasing a viral marketing campaign
- Elevating store design
- Transforming an underused space
- Continuing a digital story
- Delighting (sometimes shocking) shoppers
Taking the in-store visual experience to the floor is not only strategic, it allows for mind-bending creative opportunities. It is a chance to play with perspective and shopper expectations and the very idea of interaction. It is a chance to use space in a completely different way. To do that, one must see space in a different way. Like these guys did.