March '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1 8 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 9 1 8 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 9 Window Shopping MAXIMIZE THE FIRST IMPRESSION morial Day, and Labor Day. Change out the wrapping paper to another solid color to showcase a different holiday. Lean a lad- der on the wall or background, and hang folded shirts, towels, blankets, or bags on every rung. Fold baby blankets or onesies on the ladder and prop a giant stuffed ani- mal by the foot of the ladder for an instant spring and baby shower window. Keep color and scale in mind when creating your displays, as well as for your backgrounds and with your props. Go for bold, solid colors. Pull colors that will complement or contrast well with the products you put on display. Change out your display regularly. You send a message that nothing is new in your business when the same display remains month after month. Change at least the background color once a quarter. Start with a clean slate at least once a quarter. Remove any old wires, staples, and bits of tape that would create the impression that your business is not paying attention to detail. Put in good bright lighting. Dust the space and clean the window as needed. Having an effective window display does not require that you spend a for- tune. Invest in good quality props that you can use and repurpose over and over. This is your store's resumé, your invitation to come on in and check you out. This is where you need to look good! HAVE BRANDING, WILL TRAVEL What if you are going out on sales calls and making presentations in a meeting? The same thinking applies. The visual im- pression you create when you first meet O ne of the most important places to make an impact, and probably one of the most overlooked, is the visual display of your business. This includes retail windows, displays in your store, and even how you present your products in a meeting with customers. WINDOW DRESSING One of the first connections you make with anyone is a visual one. Your window displays or product displays are your first opportunity to get someone interested and curious enough to come inside or to ask questions. Putting together good-looking, effective displays is the key to getting people to buy from you. Think of the possibilities for displaying your products and services like how you would think about a great meal. Whatever the customer sees first, (e.g. your window display, when you walk into a meeting, or when you meet with them at the coffee shop) is the appetizer. When you order an appetizer, it does not come out with a little bit of everything on the menu. It is one thing, and it enhances your expectations about the meal that is to follow. If you have a retail window, it needs to do the same thing. It needs to capture their interest and convince them that they want to see more so they come into your business. Window displays do not need to be complicated, expensive, or fancy to be effective. In- stead, streamline and simplify. Pick one theme or story that you want to tell. This can be the next holiday, one category of items, or even different items in one color palette can make a great impact. Put a golf bag in the window, put two golf shirts on hangers, and suspend them on either side of the bag, about the height of a person's torso. No mannequins required! Your display must tell the intended story in an in- stant. If someone has to stop and think about it to fig- ure it out, edit down what is in the display. It is always better to show fewer items than to stuff the display to the point where it feels crowded. People know that you offer more than what is in your window. Tease their brain, ignite their curiosity, and they will come inside. A background for your window display creates focus and helps generate that curiosity. It also helps define the story you are telling. It can be as simple as a tension rod hung in the window or from the ceiling with a drape of fabric on it. It can be a painted partition wall, or a folding screen. Choose props to enhance your theme or story. Props from around your home or business are not large enough to attract attention or make a statement usually. Wrap some larger sturdy boxes of different sizes in solid red wrapping paper. Add wide white ribbons and they are holiday packages. Change up the ribbons, and you are now set for a Valentine's window. Add a few blue and white boxes, and you have an All-American look for July, Me- EMBROIDERY Stitch Solutions J e n n i f e r C o x Building your brand story is part of building your business.

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