» The Secret to Great Store Windows
What message does your storefront convey? If you ask the merchants or category managers, they may respond that their offer is the best they could do. If you ask the store managers, they will tell you if the signage was executed well against the playbook. But how would your customers answer? What kind of first impression do they get from your store?
To ensure you’re always seen in the best light, we’ve gathered some tips.
- Plan in advance. A great window takes time and planning so merchandising and marketing can get on the same page. It’s helpful to create an event calendar so you can track competitors and align your promotions with sales holidays. You’ll also get better pricing if you order and ship material early.
- Be a storyteller first. The key to marketing success is storytelling ability. Unite your individual merchant offerings under one theme that speaks to your customers’ lifestyles. For example, it could be “fall football weekends.” Customers then think about the multiple items they’ll need to buy from you to enjoy the game. When you tell a story with your windows, you engage your customers in a unique, more memorable, limited-time opportunity. It’s no wonder that spaces with a clear branded presence consistently show stronger ROI.
- Size matters. The rule of thumb, according to the US Sign Council’s legibility index, is to increase letter height by one inch for every 10 feet of viewing distance. So, for example, if you want the words on your sign to be visible from 100 feet away, you’ll want the text to be at least 10 inches tall.
- Limit your color palette. Too many colors or patterns can be distracting and make it hard for customers to focus. Also, to help readability, you’ll want to use colors that give you good contrast: a light background with dark lettering, for instance. If you stick to a consistent color palette, it will help to make your signs easily recognizable. Think of brands like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Home Depot. Their font choices and colors stay the same. As a result, they convey the brand identity. You can tell who they are even without a logo.
- Keep your message at eye level. View your windows from all angles. If your storefront can be viewed from the road, try looking at it from inside a passing car so you can find the right height that works.
- Know your lighting conditions. Oranges, yellows and other bright colors will be hard to see on signs in direct sunlight or under harsh lights. Conversely, tinted windows will affect the visibility of darker colors.
- Millennials vs. baby boomers. Can’t get an office consensus on what your signage should look like? This could be why: A 2014 survey said your millennial coworkers place more value on creativity while your baby boomer coworkers value simple design. So, how can you solve the internal dilemma? Turn to a neutral third party, such as GSP, to help you get the best of both worlds.
- Customize your message. Are you trying to fit the store to the idea or the idea to the store? Insist on marketing ideas that are scalable or, better yet, tailor your marketing by store for a message guaranteed to always resonate with your customers.
Other Outdoor Advertising
Take advantage of your lot space by using a variety of POP material to influence someone who may be driving by. Balancing strong offers with institutional brand messaging on your banners, pole signs, bollard guards or yard pennants can influence drivers to stop and shop with you.
If you have gas pumps, you can tell a longer story on a pump topper sign. Customers at the pump are considered a “captive audience.” They’ll have up to five minutes of reading time while they’re pumping gas.
How GSP Can Help
GSP uses its almost-40 years of retail expertise across all channels to help you tailor a consistent, branded experience. We think big picture, bridging the gap between marketing, merchandising and the stores to ensure seamless execution. From design to installation, our team can help you satisfy the needs of each target market and maximize sales. We also feature full-service, onsite project management to handle all of the details. Most importantly, we will save you money by implementing a store-specific marketing strategy that uses the latest technology to tap into your store profile data and eliminate guessing.