In the digital world, there are tons of different places for a business to display its brand. Websites, social media accounts, press releases and even email signatures can all work in tandem to promote a cohesive image. This isn’t always as easy to achieve in a physical storefront, but it’s certainly possible with the right design techniques.
We asked Forbes Communications Council members how brick-and-mortar retailers can use in-store elements like layout, logo placement and colors to communicate their brand in the physical realm. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Train In-Store Employees To Be Great Brand Communicators
In the e-commerce age, the role of brick-and-mortar employees as brand communicators is critical. Consider how companies such as Amazon and Returnly have made online product returns so easy that many consumers choose to order online even when they’re not sure of their size. In this arena, passionate and knowledgeable in-store employees must take center stage as communicators of the brand. – Cameron Conaway, Solace
2. Try Modern Tactics Like Pop-Up Stores
Brick-and-mortar retailers can adopt modern tactics to communicate their brand in an authentic manner, yet also surprise consumers. Tiffany & Co., for example, has been experimenting with pop-up stores in select locations in an effort to bump up sales. This allows the Tiffany brand to remain true to its core values and court its base while also introducing the brand to a younger generation. – Monica McCafferty, MCM Strategies LLC
3. Blend Physical And Digital Marketing
Combine physical and digital marketing to capture and convert every possible sales opportunity. Some customers would rather interact through technology than through human contact, and vice versa. For example, equip print ads and signage with QR codes that can direct more digitally savvy customers to more information and interactive online content. – Alex Goryachev, Cisco
4. Create An Immersive In-Store Experience
From the moment a customer walks into a store, the brand should not only be seen, but felt and experienced with all the senses. The layout of the space, the logo and material placement, personnel and overall aesthetics should be combined to better represent the company’s core principles. It is important to create lasting impressions that will remain in the customer’s mind. – Jeniffer Bello, Source Furniture
5. Make Your Store An Extension Of Your Brand Promise
Your products are a means to a greater experience in your customers’ lives. Successful brick-and-mortar retailers transform their stores into experiential venues that reinforce their brand promise. REI is a great example. The company offers free classes on a range of outdoor activities in stores across the country. Like REI, your store should be an extension of your brand’s purpose in people’s lives. – Hussein Ebied, PACIFIC
6. Create Opportunities For ‘Social Moments’
Think of your store design in terms of Instagram moments. Make everything something that people want to explore and share. It will keep people in the store longer and then share the store on social media. The flow of merchandise, where the cash register is, types of displays you get — all this and more convey a brand to customers. – Sherry Jhawar, Blended Strategy Group
7. Digitize Your Store
The future of marketing lies in digitization. Now you can install store windows that will present your products using video. You can also install interactive mirrors in the dressing rooms. In the age of the internet, your entire sales process — from store entry to purchase — should showcase modernity and your brand. – Pawel Kijko, TimeCamp
8. Focus On How You’re Making Customers Feel And The Story Your Layout Tells
Think about the layout of your store and the flow from shopping to the payment area. Is it cozy and overstuffed, or expansive and airy? All these elements help build the customer experience and can create radically different feelings. Do you want your customers to feel energized or relaxed? Charmed or inspired? There’s a brand story in every element of your customer experience. – Jessica Terashima, CallFire Inc.
9. Engage With Customers After They Leave The Store
The store is the personification of your brand, including how you interact with customers. In fact, once a customer leaves the store, you can leverage that interaction and send a note within seconds thanking them for visiting your store. In today’s digital era, customer engagement is your edge, whether you are a brick-and-mortar retailer or a digital company. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.
10. Promote Mobile In-Store Interactions
A mobile phone is most often in the consumer’s pocket or purse and is frequently referenced during the shopping journey. Why not employ this device to bring relevant images and messaging to life to augment your in-store experience and influence brand perception? Shopping apps and location-based marketing solutions can partner with retailers to create a rich in-store brand experience. – Kristy Stromberg, Shopkick