What is a brand?
In simpler terms, it is a set of ideas or expectations that the business creates and the customer associates with. If we treat it as a person, the business is what the aim is and, what it does, while the brand is who the business is.
Now the very next question that arises is how does the brand convey what it is to the customer to stay ahead of the curve. The world is changing and so are the customer’s needs, thereby making the brands evolve and adapt. But how do the brands convey that they hold the same core values to make sure that the sense of trust the customer has in the brand remains undaunted?
That’s where store visual merchandising comes in. But the term in both literal and industrial means can’t be considered as a restriction to only displaying products it’s much more than that. It is everything that the customer sees and interacts with. It’s the visual part of the brand experience. However, it’s not just how the product would look but, also how the place would look where the product is. Additionally, how the daily experiences of the customer are affected after engaging with the product.
Now as the industry thrives, it has led the focus on more direct and forward methods.
Visual merchandising includes the products obviously but will also include iconography, the decorated physical space itself and, even the attire of the staff. Anything or anyone that positively interacts with the brand becomes a carrier for the brand’s public perception, given how most of the population is more inclined to visual stimulus.
Still, there are additional nudges that can increase its effectiveness, some are here since the beginning of time, yet still relevant to this day –
- Mannequins: It is the most well-known way of visual merchandising. A preview that lets the potential customer visualize the connection with the brand or the product before any commitment. They are not new, yet the way they are presented has been changed. Earlier, there was one body type, now you can find every other through these mannequins.
- Signage:As the marketing is done around an icon or celebrity but when combined with the market reputation of the brand causes the potential customer to put trust in the brand and associate the visual elements to it.
- Interactive boards: The gap between product marketing and the potential customers has been reduced greatly. And with a touch of artificial intelligence, the brand can suggest what is best for the customer (through a scan by the AI) before the customer makes the decision, making the buying experience seamless.
- Holograms: Though they date back to many decades ago but their usage is increasing according to time and intellectual acceptance. Including them in visual merchandising is a great shift and change from conventional ways. Flexibility to energy ratios varies though.
As the potential customer has the initial engagement with the brand, it serves as a channel towards the final stop, increasing the possibility of a sale. The additional benefit of such a method is that it increases the chance of impulse buying.
The high density of visual stimulus has led to the visual merchandising services in India to employ stronger visual elements. However, all in all, it is a subconscious persuasion, the brand link with the customer, all rolled into one. It is a vital part of store experience and one of the most effective ways to cement the brand’s identity and for the customer to merge it (Brand identity) with their own.
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