Feel Free, Retail Marketers!
In-store retail marketing ain’t what it used to be. Thanks, shoppers.
Smart, demanding, particular and vocal, today’s shopper seeks more than quality goods on a shelf. She needs acknowledgement, entertainment and interaction. When she goes into a store, she wants an experience. Retail marketers must work harder – and smarter – to grab and hold the shopper’s attention and give her what she wants
Or she simply won’t come back. (And she’ll post a bad review. And she’ll tell her friends. And she’ll call you out on Facebook. And probably blog about her disappointing non-experience.) Retail marketers can’t let that happen. They must listen to the shopper, and innovate historic approaches to in-store display and signage. The push is on.
And it’s the shopper doing the pushing. She’s not giving retail marketers permission; she’s issuing a mandate.
Which is actually a great thing. Thanks, shoppers!
It’s a liberating opportunity. Retail marketers now have the freedom to move forward and break the chains of “we’ve always done it that way.” They can (nay, must!) escape the tyranny of safe ideas. The time has come to declare independence from mediocrity.
So in honor of the Fourth of July, here are a few ways retail marketers can deliver in-store signage and displays that make an experience sparkle:
Show some personality. Who is your brand? Retail marketers must figure that out, and then put that person in front of the shopper. All the visual and psychological details of an in-store marketing look and feel should work together to put that face forward.
Demonstrate emotion. It’s OK for a brand to have a point of view. It’s good to have strong feelings or a soft spot. Feelings humanize a brand, allowing the subsequent experience to resonate emotionally with the shopper.
Work with new material. What have you always wanted to build a display with? What would be outrageous? Unexpected? The embodiment of brand personality? Unique materials draw the shopper into the display, and speak volumes about the brand essence.
Be provocative. Challenge and delight the eyes and mind of the shopper. Use visuals to plant fresh ideas and prompt unique questions. Mix and curate in a way that makes a surprising statement and impactful experience.
Encourage input. Use displays to open and sustain a conversation with the shopper. Build in mechanisms that seek her opinion and acknowledge her contributions. This can be as simple as a modern take on the survey, or as complicated as live audio and touchscreens. The bottom line is to give the shopper a voice while she is in the store.
Break a rule – on purpose. That’s one of the best things about learning the rules. Once you know them, you can break them. Retail marketers should identify a critical design mandate, and then do the opposite. The result will be in-store signage and displays that defy tradition and bring the shopper back to see what you’ll do next.