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#BizTrends2018: The in-store experience - an opportunity for brands

How many times do you go to the shop for only one item and land up buying a number of products? The in-store experience is a valuable opportunity for retailers to build brand loyalty and drive sales, with messages that spark thoughts and create perceived needs.
Caroline Currie
Seeing a bathing costume on a rack isn’t very appealing, but viewing the product against a large format backdrop of a woman in the same bathing costume, sitting on a deck chair on the beach, sipping a cold drink under an umbrella with a beach bag and towel, sets an appealing scene – and the likely result is that the customer will leave with both the bathing costume and the towel, and possibly the beach bag too. The imagination is an amazing thing, and can be very convincing.

We can expect to see the growth in the use of these new technologies and methods for in-store branding in 2018:

Theatre in the window


Increasingly, brands are building a theatre experience in their store window displays, using a combination of different print materials with various textures, props and lighting, telling a story in layers to entice the customer inside. If a customer can imagine themselves in that situation and aspire to a look or an occasion, brands can entice the customer inside to shop for the same items to give themselves the same experience.

LED animated lightboxes


LED animated light boxes – customized LED digital animations behind fabric prints – create an eye-catching, vibrant visual branding experience through movement across the image, highlighting the product or message in a unique way in an already cluttered environment of brand messaging.

These customized units are very new to the market, and despite the time it takes to integrate new systems into creative strategies and into store design departments, we anticipate huge growth in the use of these lightboxes in 2018.

The shop in a shop experience


Increasingly, large retailers are creating individual brand identities and experiences with separate brands, all within one retail space. This enables the customer to really feel and understand the uniqueness of that particular brand and what that brand stands for, without the distraction and clutter of multiple brand messages in one space. In-store branding then isolates the different brands within the larger store space, giving customers a chance to 'absorb' those brands separately, but all within the one retail experience.


Convenient, lightweight flat-pack systems for point of sale display


With exponential technological advances in the materials used for display stands, innovative products have become available that are light-weight, that pop up and down in seconds and are flat-packed for transport – which makes them very user friendly. The holding units (shelves) for products have great capacity for weight, making them ideal to display multiple weight-bearing products.

This allows for easy storage when the stands are not in use, easy transport and assembly for pop-up stores or events, and attractive, sturdy displays that carry brand messages.

Growing or changing brand loyalty involves taking the customer on a journey from the first point of contact to the last interaction. This takes time and consistent targeted efforts from marketers. The most effective way to do this is through storytelling – this is why branding in stores is so important to the customer experience.

The window display is the 'once upon a time, and the greeting or aftersales service from the retailer is “the end'.

About Caroline Currie

Caroline Currie is sales and marketing director for The Clarion Group. Clarion Retail is a division of The Clarion Group specializing in offering creative in-store print branding solutions with a cutting edge approach to industry innovations.
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