Category: "visual merchandising"

Numbers and Design – The Unlikely Pair

When you think of design, you think of creativity and freedom. When you think of numbers, you think of sequences and structure. So, how can the two possibly ever go together? They seem to be complete opposites of one another, yet – as we all know – opposites do attract. Our visual merchandising consultants are here to share with you the undeniable chemistry between visual merchandising and those all important numbers.

What Are We Talking About?

When creating displays for windows and shops, we have to think a lot about numbers. Pairings of items are essential to a good, cohesive display, so we’re constantly looking at how many of one item we need and how many corresponding items we should also include. By being careful with numbers, we help to create a display that’s pleasing to the eye and puts the focus where we want it. It’s pretty clever, actually.

Symmetry in Numbers

All of this works because, when we see multiple of one item or a group of similar items, it creates more of a visual impact and pulls the audience’s attention. It’s a way of directing focus. It also helps to create a more aesthetically pleasing display without becoming overwhelming. By using multiple of the same or similar, the eye doesn’t become overwhelmed by too much clutter, even if you have a display that’s completely full. Think about it, if there’s a shelving unit full of odd, completely unrelated items, it’s far more overwhelming than if they were, say, all the same colour or just two items repeated.

The Magic of Odd

Odd numbers are a visual merchandisers best friend. For years and years, odd number pairings have been used to create impact in a display and enhance visual appeal. In particular, groups of three work best to draw the eye. For example, three similar art pieces on a wall looks better than two. Everyone would agree. We can’t tell you why (we’re not scientists!) but we do know that it’s true.

How You Can Use Numbers

When working on visual merchandising displays, always keep numbers in mind. If you want to bring focus to one product in particular, think about keeping a minimalistic background but repeating the item to create impact. If you want to create a cohesive display, consider adding accents of the same colours or textures throughout to make groups that draw the eye. By doing this, you’re telling the audience what they should be focusing on, even if they don’t know it.

If this is all sounding a bit too technical for you or you just really hate numbers, drop us an email at VM Design and ask for our help. We’re an expert visual merchandising company and would be more than happy to give you advice or start chatting about how we can work together. Don’t be shy!

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Visual Merchandising for Modern Marketing

In this modern age, our attention spans are falling short of what they once were. A fast-paced, fast-reward world means that we no longer want to sit around waiting – when we want something, we get it, whether that be food, information or entertainment.

This has led to the marketing world having to evolve to suit our need for instant gratification. If brands don’t follow suit then they’ll be left behind. It’s just the way of the marketing world!

How Does Visual Merchandising Fit In?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of ‘old’ techniques are falling out of fashion. They still work, but their priority in the advertising world is slowly declining. Things such as long, wordy editorials and even TV ads – which are usually now impatiently skipped through – have taken a hit from our lack of concentration. Banner ads on social media for a while seemed to be working until research was conducted and, actually, the user’s eyes rarely even flicker onto those ads. This is where visual merchandising comes in.

Unlike these other marketing methods, visual merchandising has certainly passed the test of time and is managing to hold the attention of an audience with a concentration span that is damaging brands. Why? Well, partly because people respond to visuals. Rather than reading a description of an image, we now prefer to see the image (this is shown with the popularity of TV in comparison to the decline in reading books) and visual merchandising does just that. It also allows for people to look at a display for even just a few seconds and be able to absorb the majority of your marketing. They’ll register your logo, your colours, your products and understand your target customer (if your visuals are done right, of course!).

In short, a well-executed visual merchandising display advertises everything you want to your audience in just a few seconds. You can see how this works in the modern day now, can’t you?

Modernising your Visual Merchandising

When looking at your own visual merchandising portfolio of your past displays, ask yourself how it can be improved to fit with this modern marketing approach. Have you got too much text? Does it get your message across? Does it engage, entertain and educate? Most importantly, could someone look at it for just a few seconds and understand your brand? When other marketing methods are failing, it’s important you make the most of visual merchandising and suit it to the new generation of consumers.

If you don’t think your visual merchandising is up to scratch, get in touch with us at VM Design. We can match you with a visual merchandising consultant who’ll pinpoint where you’re going wrong, make the changes you need and improve your brands so you can sit back, relax and watch your business thrive!

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Dressing to Impress: Fortnum & Mason Window Design Secrets Revealed

When it comes to shop window displays, there’s nowhere better for inspiration than London’s prestigious department stores. With creativity, design flair and undoubted expertise they stop at nothing to light up the city streets with their wonderful displays. Now, the secrets of one of London’s most renowned department stores, Fortnum & Mason, have slipped out, letting all of us know just how they do it…

Find your Defining Factor

Before even getting out your pencils to sketch your ideas, consider what makes your displays so undeniably ‘you’. As Fortnum & Mason reveal, their defining factor for their windows is ‘abundance’, and everything they do is an extension of this. Whether your store is more centred around minimalism, bright colours or whatever it may be, use this as your blueprint. By having an iconic look, you’ll help your displays to be recognisable and work with your products.

Dash Expectations

Never play by the rules when it comes to window design. You don’t want to just repeat displays other stores have already been using for years or create something obvious, you want to surprise your audience. Fortnum & Mason speak of how they once had a display which focused on a singular bottle of wine but they stacked the window from floor to ceiling with cork bottles. Not only is this inventive, it also attracts the eye to that one singular wine-bottle and the audience knows exactly where to look. Genius!

Keep the Lights On

If you walk past Fortnum & Mason after closing hours, you’ll notice their lights will still be on. In fact, they tell us that they set a timer to keep their windows lit until midnight. Why? Because, if you turn them off as you close, you miss a huge amount of late-night footfall from people wandering past your shop on their way home from late shifts or on their way out to events.

Follow your Theme

The famous department store also let it out that they allow their window theme to trail around the store, continuing their display on the tops of shelves and areas out of the way of products but within eye-sight. This helps to lead customers inside the shop and creates more of a presence from your shop window, accentuating the story you’ve created.

Embrace your Individuality

Finally, Fortnum & Mason spoke of individuality. Particularly for local shops that aren’t part of a chain – though chain stores should also pay attention – they reveal that your individuality is your greatest design asset. Let your window express who you are in terms of your values, products and personality. Be unique and you’ll spark the interest of your audience who will be too intrigued not to look inside!

If you are looking for windows displays of Fortnum & Mason quality but at affordable prices, plase get in touch with VM Design today. We are an experienced and established visual merchandising company.

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Easter Window Display Ideas

With chocolate eggs filling supermarket shelves and little rabbits popping up all over the place, it would be hard to miss the fact it’s nearly Easter! For most people, this means anticipation of a long weekend, a big Sunday roast and time spent with the family, but as a visual merchandising company, we here at VM Design can’t help but focus on the great window dressing opportunities this holiday brings. We just love what we do! To get you into the Easter visual merchandising spirit, we’ve put together some ideas to help you out.

Easter Egg Extravaganza

It wouldn’t be Easter without Easter eggs, would it? Sure, this is a bit of an obvious one, but it’s a definite winner with consumers and an iconic symbol of this holiday. But that doesn’t mean you have to be boring! Be creative with your egg use. As we mentioned in our Spring ideas, you could have giant eggs showcasing your products or create beautifully decorated eggs that reflect your brand image. You could even encourage customer participation and let them submit egg designs that you’ll turn into a reality in your display.

Ditch Dull Colours

Easter certainly isn’t a time for dull colours. Be bright and cheerful in your tones! Pastel shades are quite synonymous with the Easter period, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for more vibrant tones and create a vivid display. As long as your colours pop, it doesn’t really matter!

Chicks, Rabbits and Flowers

Three items that are all synonymous with Easter – other than the eggs – are chicks, rabbits and flowers. Well, flowers are more general for the Spring season, but can still brighten up a display when paired with some other Easter icons! Incorporate these items into your window display and you’ll be on to a winner.

Family Values

Easter is a time when families come together, stepping away from their busy lives to catch up and relax, so highlight this in your display. Use your products to emphasise a family orientated image, showcasing items that can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages, or by laying out a whole family set of products.

If you’re lacking in imagination and think you need some window display guidance, visual merchandising companies can be a great way to bring new life into your shop displays! If you have any questions about the services we offer or would like to discuss working together, get in touch with VM Design – we’re always happy to help!

 

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Spring Visual Merchandising Ideas

Winter may have felt long and arduous, and you may have started to doubt that the tips of your fingers would ever feel warm again, but fear not! The first signs of Spring are staring to bloom and blossom, bringing with them the promise of warmer weather and longer days. Here at VM Design, our visual merchandising consultants anticipate the change of every season, looking ahead as to how we can use it for design inspiration. Spring in particular is a great way to shake off those winter blues and brighten up your shop. If you’re in need of some spring time inspiration, we’ve got you covered.

Pastel Colour Scheme

If you want to channel those spring time vibes into your displays, focus on pastel tones, adding splashes of brighter colours as Spring progresses and we move closer to Summer. For now, though, keeping things pastel can be a nice way to transition out of winter. You can do this either by displaying ranges of pastel products against simple toned backgrounds (white will really allow them to pop), or by choosing pastel coloured décor with more boldly coloured products.

Floral Lovers

Although it’s an obvious one, it’s a definite fail-safe and there are ways of incorporating florals into your display that are unique and eye-catching. After bare branches and brown leaves, customers can’t get enough of bright flowers! Use interesting materials to create more abstract versions of floral scenes, or use flowers (we’d suggest fake – they’re far easier to maintain) to create something else, such as a frame for a central product. Don’t just stick a couple of flowers around your display; be inventive and use your imagination!

Easter Excitement

Who could say no to an Easter display? This year, take the themes synonymous with Easter and go wild, using simple ideas to create something extraordinary! Have products spilling out of giant eggs, brightly painted bunny statues loitering around the store, mannequins with rabbit ears; anything you can think of that is different and eye-catching. Easter can be quite ‘samey’, so it’s important to stand-out.

Go Natural

Spring’s a great time to incorporate more natural materials into your visual merchandising, and you’ll get bonus points if you focus on being eco-friendly. Cut down on the plastic and bring in natural resources instead that will add that earthy feel to your displays. You could even look into new and innovative environmentally friendly materials, such as those that have been recycled from other sources.

Spring Accessories

As Spring arrives, customers will be starting to shop for warmer weather products (especially here in Britain, where one warm day leads to huge sales of picnic blankets, Pimms and swimming gear), so be prepared! Make sure you change focus on your visual merchandising to the Spring/Summer orientated products. In particular, highlight your luxury items as customers become much more willing to splash their cash on hot days.

If you’re a bit stuck in terms of display inspiration, it might be time to call in the help of visual merchandising companies. Here at VM Design, a top visual merchandising company, we can help boost your business and turn your store displays around. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for you!

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Valentine’s Window Dressing Tips for 2017

It seems as though we’ve only just celebrated New Year and it’s almost Valentine’s Day already – what is happening? Although we must admit that Valentine’s Day is a favourite here at VM Designs, so we’re not complaining! Not so much because of the romance and boxes of heart shaped chocolates – although those are good too – but because of the window dressing opportunities it brings. You can tell we’re visual merchandising consultants, can’t you?

If you’re feeling a little uninspired this Valentine’s Day, then no need to fear! We’ve put together some of our best tips to creating a jaw-dropping display that’ll be turning heads left, right and centre.

Avoid the Obvious

This is a good tip to keep in mind throughout the year, but especially for Valentine’s window displays where clichés seem to run rampant. If you want to stand out and engage your audience, don’t just go for hearts, teddies and a whole load of frilly red objects. Be different! Maybe take one aspect, such as the hearts, but put a fun new twist on it. For example, use interesting materials to recreate the traditional shape or go with an interesting colour scheme. In a sea of red windows, a vibrant rainbow display is sure to stand out!

Anti-Valentines

If you want to really stand out (and maybe be a little bit controversial) the anti-valentines can be both a funny and empowering twist. Focus your display on the single women and men, advertising objects perfect for defeating Valentine’s day blues and empowering the lonely hearts out there.

Fairy-tale Love

As a complete opposite to the Valentine’s day cynic display, go all out there with a window inspired by the greatest love stories of all times – the fairy-tale romance. Pick a fantasy romance that you can really let your imagination run wild with. The great thing about basing your window on a fairy-tale is the endless opportunity for creativity and all things ‘bizarre’. Fantasy displays are a great all-rounder for window displays, but is there a better time to let the Princes and Princesses’ shine than on the day devoted to love stories?

Encourage Gift Buying

As the January lull comes to an end and people start once again digging into their pockets, encourage luxury buys. Pick your most luxurious products for the centre stage – the ones that he/she will notice and beg their partner for. Valentine’s Day is a time of year when couples will be more inclined to splash the cash on one another, so definitely take advantage of this! Make sure your most coveted products are at eye-view and don’t hide them behind an over the top display.

Visual Merchandising Consultant

If you’re a little stuck with window display ideas and find yourself scouring our blog for inspiration, it may be time to hire yourself a visual merchandising consultant to take the worry from your hands.

If you’d like to hear more about bespoke visual merchandising training or shop window dressing services, please contact us!

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7 Merchandising Tips for Retailers

If there’s one thing every store owner should know, it’s the importance of visual merchandising. A good store display and product placement can do wonders for your sales! But, unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with the illusive creativity of artists, and understanding the ins and outs of attracting customers through visual merchandising methods can be a little tricky. At VM Design, we understand that some retailers may struggle with this, so we’ve put together 7 of our best merchandising tips to help you out.

1) Change your Displays Regularly

There’s nothing worse than keeping a display up for months on end. After a while, what’s the point of even having it there? Everyone’s already seen it, and, if they were going to be enticed by what you’re promoting, they would’ve taken action by now. To effectively push sales and keep your store looking fresh, you should be updating your visual merchandising displays at least once every month.

2) Think about Perspective and Eye-Line

Something you should always be considering when creating visual merchandising displays and product placement is how your customer will be viewing it. It’s no trade secret that the most expensive items should be in direct eye-line! You should also make sure your displays make your product the focal point and that eyes will instantly be directed to where you want them to be.

3) The Power of POS

POS (point of sale) is a visual merchandising device that’s all too often forgotten about. When customers are lining up at the till, chances are they’re going to have a little bit of time to look around as they wait, so use this to your advantage. Create product displays and have posters visible that could lead to some add-on sales.

4) Think Like a Designer

One of the most important things you should do in regards to your visual merchandising – particularly when creating window displays – is to think like a designer. If you’re a shop manager, it’s likely your mind is more business-orientated and logical, but you’re going to need to think creatively! You’re not just showing a product, you’re creating something beautiful and eye-catching; a piece of art in your own shop window.

5) Use Themes

If you’re struggling to produce a creative display, picking a theme can be a great starting point to get the ball rolling. This could be something simple, such as a colour, or something that inspires you inside or out of the store. You could reflect on social or seasonal events, or perhaps work with a theme already present in a range of your products.

6) Play on Desires

One great way to maximise sales is to play to people wants and desires. Don’t place your bog-standard, practical products in your window, instead put in the luxury, more unconventional items that customers will lust after, but wouldn’t necessarily buy if you hadn’t displayed them so well. There’s no point pushing sales on products that will be bought anyway!

7) Use Visual Merchandising Consultants

Hiring visual merchandising consultants or enlisting the help of a visual merchandising company is great if window displays and product placement simply isn’t your thing. Here at VM Design, we can use our expertise and skills to help you. Our staff are all incredibly talented and can bring fresh inspiration and a new look into your visual merchandising.

If you’d like to hear more about our services or have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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How Visual Merchandising Can Help you Compete with Online Shops

As we become more immersed in the digital age, the appeal of ecommerce and online shopping is seemingly on a never-ending increase. Shoppers are trading in Saturday trips to the high-street in favour of browsing the web for all they need – from clothes to food to digital downloads of music and books, everything can be done online. This has been quite a hit to high street shops. Not only are you now competing with the stores around you, but also the endless brands online! To ensure you don’t lose your customers to the convenience of online shopping, you need to remind them of the appeal of actually stepping out to the shops and bring back the value of the experience. A great way to do this is through visual merchandising.

Shop Windows

A shop window is something that online shops don’t have the access to, so use this to your advantage. Make the most of your space, creating eye-catching and engaging displays that will entice your customers in store; customers should be looking forward to seeing your displays, and you should make it part of the appeal of the high-street shopping experience. Advertise products in creative ways and incorporate seasonal or topical designs.

Bring in the Digital

The appeal of digital in regards to shopping is something that can’t be argued and can’t be ignored. A great way to incorporate this modern way of shopping into your store is by using digital signage and displays which will attract the digital junkies. Install screens that show moving advertisements or even a behind the scenes look at your brand – how the products are made, catwalks and anything else that will interest customers.

Connect with Customers

You can also use digital visual merchandising to connect with customers by creating interactive displays. Allow customers to scan QR codes that will link to extra information about a display or your brand, or allow them to take pictures of themselves with your products that can be displayed on screens in your shop window. You can also connect with customers by using friendly, targeted visual merchandising services that will appeal to your target demographic. Creating a connection with customers is essential – it emphasises that high-street shopping is personal and social, unlike online shopping.

Show your Shop’s Personality

Branding has never been more important. A good brand image that differentiates yourself from competition both on the high street and online will help to attract customers to your store. In particular, use visual merchandising to express your values and ideals, for example you might be a family run business or support eco-friendly and ethical causes. Online brands put less focus on what their brand stands for and more on price and product, so this is an opportunity to show customers what you have that your online alternatives don’t.

Use Professional Visual Merchandising Services

Bringing in the help of expert visual merchandising services can give stores a huge boost in terms of enticing customers in store and making more sales. Their experience can help you create displays that will directly draw in your target customers and push aspects of your brand that online stores miss, and visual merchandising training will teach your team how to effectively display products and design displays that will maximise sales.

If your business needs help with standing out from online competition and wants to learn more about how visual merchandising can work for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Winter Window Dressing Ideas

 

As the nights get longer and the days get colder, shop fronts around the country light up in seasonal décor. Winter is fast approaching and, with it, perhaps one of the most exciting times of year for visual merchandising. It’s a time for theatrics and extravagance, adding a bit of warmth and life into the cold months ahead, and, of course, a brilliant time for sales with Christmas just around the corner. If you need a bit of inspiration for winter this year, VM design has got you covered, and as a top visual merchandising company you can trust our advice.

Modern Vs. Traditional

One of the main focal decisions of your theme should be whether you go down the modern or traditional winter route. For traditional, think cosy; dark hues, full displays and play to the nostalgic emotions of the consumers. Modern winter displays are usually more pared back, often quite minimalistic and use whites, blacks and grey rather than warmer tones. There is no right or wrong choice here, simply go with what best suits your store and target market and also the stock that you want to display.

Interesting Materials

Using unique materials to create your window displays is a winner all year round if done right, but with the often overused, cliché themes of winter, it can turn a very ordinary display into something far more visually interesting. Snow and ice are always great ones to play around with in regards to materials, and using soft textures such as wool and velvet to recreate iconic winter items such as Christmas trees can add warmth and comfort to your window; a definite consumer win in these cold times!

Be Extravagant

Winter is most definitely a time of extravagance and theatrics, so pull-out all the stops for this seasonal display. You can use an abundance of gold and silver, that at the other times of the year may just look a little tacky, and create eye-catching visuals that don’t even consider the term ‘over the top’. Be theatrical. Be excessive. Consumers will lap it up.

Play to Consumer’s Emotions

As any visual merchandising consultant will tell you, winter is a time when visual merchandising companies and marketers all-round love to tug at the heart-strings of consumers. It’s an incredibly romantic season, and one where family values take a rise in focus, so play to this. Create a story within your display that will evoke emotion from your audience, whether it be a nostalgic time-travel back to Christmas’ past or highlighting the importance of love and friendship at this time of year. If you need a better idea of how this works just look at the Christmas TV ads on during winter and see how they use emotional stories to promote their brands and encourage sales.

Lights

It’s always important to consider lights in your window displays, but especially in winter. Not only does it get dark much earlier so the need for lights is far more apparent, but it also creates that magical feeling that is synonymous with this season and the Christmas period. Choose your lights according to your theme; for example, a white, snowy scene should use bright white or blue-tinged lights, and a cosier, darker hued theme should use low-lit lighting.

If you need more help with your window dressing inspiration, it’s a great idea to hire a visual merchandising company. Get in touch with VM Design and speak to one of our expert visual merchandising consultants for more information on how we can help you.

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Tips for Eye-Catching Window Displays

A shop window dressing is just as important as the cover of a book. Sure, your products and services might be amazing, but without a front that entices and engages, customers just aren’t going to be that interested. It may seem shallow, but appearance really does matter. This is why it’s vital that your retail window dressing is up to scratch and catches the attention of passers-by, so we have put together a little guide to help you out.

Stay Original

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s so crucial to a good display that it needs to be included. To get noticed, you need to go against the norm and create a display that surprises customers with originality and inventiveness. Use unexpected materials for everyday items or create large-scale versions of small products to create a surreal display. Be whacky and create something people will want to stop and look at, and even take pictures of, before being lured into your shop. At all costs, avoid cliché seasonal themes – there are enough of those already!

Be Bold and Bright

Displays that are bright and colourful are instantly more noticeable than bleak, grey windows. Don’t be afraid to use colour – and lots of it! Pick a colour theme of a few bright colours to base your window around, or go completely out there with a rainbow palette. People are attracted to colour so make the most of it. Just be sure that, if you are using a lot of colours, they all work well together and won’t give passers-by an instant headache; be tasteful with your tones.

Think About the View

It’s important when shop window dressing that you consider the view from the street. Windows aren’t usually at ground level, so from the inside where you’re working, the angles and height will be a lot different from where the passers-by are looking in. Head outside and mark out where eye-level is on your window from the street (you could use wash-off markers or tape) and base your display around that point. This will make your window a lot more visually pleasing to viewers, and you can set the focal point directly in their eye-line.

Don’t Clutter

Having a cluttered display is a big no. If you have too much going on, your display will just look busy and confused, and passers-by will struggle to spot what you’re actually advertising. Stick to advertising a few key products rather than trying to get your whole shop in the window display, and make sure that whatever you’re trying to get across to the customer is clear.

Keep it Fresh

Don’t ever stick with the same retail window display for months on end; it’ll end up just fading into the background as passers-by will have seen it so often. If you want to keep people looking to your shop, you need to keep things fresh. This means that you should be changing it up at least every 2 to 4 weeks. A new display means more attention, and that often leads to more customers.

Your shop window display is absolutely crucial to attracting new customers and enticing passers-by into your store, which is why you can’t get it wrong. If you think you need some help, or just want to stay on the safe side and ensure you’re getting those customers, get in touch with VM Design. A visual merchandising consultant can make the difference between a floundering and a flourishing business.

 

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