Creative design and visual merchandising have increased beyond belief in recent times. With more and more companies using these tools to grab the buying public’s attention, the window display industry is now big business. With current headlines surrounding the economy, as a nation we are being cautious with our spending so it is no wonder companies are pulling out all the stops to get buyers through the doors.

There is no better way of grabbing someone’s attention than at the first instance and a well dressed window display does just that. With more and more companies realising the impact of displays, we are beginning to see more unique designs and increased efforts in this area.

So knowing that retail displays are an effective tool, where do we start and what should we be trying to achieve? In the first instance brand image should be at the forefront of our minds. As the supplier, you need to feel comfortable with the displays reflection on the company. We should not be afraid to be bold with our display statement but should feel happy with the displays message and general image. If sourcing an external designer to carry out your window displays, do not be afraid to question aspects of the design and have a fair input with your own ideas. A designer will bring great artistic flair to any project but you will bring brand knowledge and the two aspects should result in a pretty fantastic display.

OK so you have a concept you are happy with, does it work? You need to stand back and question the purpose of the display. Does it attract attention? Will people stop to look? Will it capture the imagination of potential customers? If you feel you meet all these points you are half way there. You next need to be sure that you have addressed the particular products or theme you are trying to promote. If it is a seasonal display, is this obvious enough? Do your products or product message shine through the props and gimmicks, the props are an essential part of the display but so is your business!

Props are a fundamental part of any window display. They will spark interest, catch your potential customers’ attention and will form the basis of any good display. All good props work well when used in the correct context. Whether the props appear quite run of the mill or very outrageous, as long as they are in keeping with the theme the idea should be portrayed. A good place to start is with things that attract and excite you. For example; food props quite often capture attention as we all have that connection with the things we like and can easily associate with. Giant sweets and candy displays for example are always a winner! The bright colours attract the eye and the temptation of all things bad for us holds our attention. They may only be props but they have a familiar place in many peoples’ minds! At the other end of the scale seductive high end props can be very welcoming. Items like chandeliers, candle sticks, fake diamonds, champagne and silk fabrics can capture that part of us that likes to be spoilt and pampered.

Seasons also play a very big role in all window displays and as your products change throughout the seasonal year, so should your window displays. Spring and summer have seen some great nature inspired displays this year and flowers have played a big part in many large stores. Halloween is possibly one of the shorter celebrated holiday events yet it is one that is still big business. Halloween props can be either very comical or very spooky, giving you several display angles to attack. Christmas for retail outlets is understandably a busy time. With increased competition and high volumes of passing trade you need to ensure your display is the one that gets people off the street. There are quite literally thousands of Christmas props and themes available for you to experiment with. Don’t be afraid to be different, it doesn’t all have to be about Santa and snowmen!

Whatever display idea you opt for and whatever way you go about it, remember your displays portray your brand or business, they attract custom and promote your products. Window displays are one selling device we should not be ignoring.

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