By Lea Schneider
If you are looking for new opportunities to market your business, the answer may be right in front of you. Your store window opens a pathway to get your message to consumers on a daily basis and should be used as a promotional tool for your business.
Window displays are not just for retail stores. Every sector of business should use their windows to get attention. No matter if you own an insurance agency, a nail salon or a payroll accounting service, you have a message to impart. Sure, it’s great to concentrate intensely on your website and social media marketing but it might mean you are missing old-school opportunities for foot traffic or drive-by customers.
Get started on your visual marketing plan with this checklist:
1. Take a Look at the Window.
Don’t shrug off this window of opportunity if you don’t have a display window. Often, adding a window isn’t as difficult as you imagine. Consider it an investment in long-term marketing.
If you already have a window, there is no point in bringing attention to it if it is an eyesore. If you need to replace damaged or weathered glass with a new, clear window, then do so. At the very least, make sure your window trim is caulked, painted and sparkling clean.
2. Develop a Plan.
Like all good marketing, a great window display doesn’t happen by accident – it happens by planning. Remember, your window is a reflection of your brand. If your store is an elegant boutique, then your window should be elegant, too. If your business is a skateboard shop, then have some crazy fun. Perhaps your business offers a specific service, such as carpet cleaning or graphic design. Your window should reflect exactly what it is you have to offer. Make sure each window has a message.
While you want the window to share your brand, don’t be too afraid to try something new. After all, windows can and should be changed often. Create a schedule for window changes to reflect the seasons or big industry events, and mesh them with your promotions and online marketing plans.
3. Be Talked About.
Just like you hope your social media posts get shared, you’ll want people to talk about your windows. Surely you’ve chuckled over a funny saying, such as “Free Tacos Yesterday,” on a business marquee. So get smart and get clever.
Use bold colors to catch the eye and be seen from a distance. Go big with lettering on signs. Mock up something on a roll of paper and tape it in the window. Get outside and across the street. Make sure you can actually read it before having it printed that size.
If creative ideas are not your strong suit, get ideas from others. Open your eyes as you drive around and see what colors, signs and displays catch your eye. Bring your employees and even your customers into the mix by offering a prize for great ideas.
4. Think in Emoticons.
You can text an entire paragraph to someone and get one little emoticon back. They were able to convey their response to you in just one click.
Keep that concept in mind for your store window. Try to “emoticon” it, meaning you should convey your message in as few terms as possible. Unless you are at the longest stoplight in the world, people don’t have much time to see your display.
Likewise, keep it simple and uncluttered. Too many objects create a visual blur to the passerby. You might try a solitary message or item, or use a quantity of the same item over and over, such as a row of rakes or red shoes.
5. Success is in the Details.
Don’t forget you have hours of marketing available after dark. In fact, your window display might stand out more in the night than during the day. Make sure your window is well lit. Add spotlights or uplights inside your window or exterior lighting that illuminates your window signs.
Remember to place signs and products at the eye level of a person on the street. Too often, items are placed on the floor of the window display, which is too low to be seen clearly. Elevate products and displays so they are at exterior eye level.
6. Market Your Marketing.
Once your window display is up, take the opportunity to market your marketing. Connect your old-school marketing with your current digital plan. Post a picture of your window on your website and share it on social media. Tie it in to a promotion going on or invite readers to suggest window ideas.
A big, creative window display may be just the thing you need to drive your business even more and attract new customers.
Lea Schneider owns her own business as a professional organizer. She writes about topics such as organizing your day to be more productive and creating window displays to market your business. If your business doesn’t have a window but would like to add one, check out the selection of bay windows at The Home Depot.