Make a Big Impression with Store Design Elements

Consumers quickly gain an impression of a brand’s DNA when experiencing the retail store environment around them. That experience ultimately becomes a memory, and if the memory is pleasing, the effort needed to activate a shopper and develop brand loyalty becomes a lot easier. An effective store design creates a strong brand identity and can positively influence shopper behavior.

Your store is an extension of your brand, and branded experiences create emotional connections with your customers. As we discussed in our Four C’s article, in-store marketing plays an integral role in connecting a brand and consumer at retail. Well-executed in-store marketing programs boost brand sales because they attract attention and engage the shopper. Retailers continue to increase their in-store signage and graphics spend as a way to enhance their overall store brand design.

Here are some retail store design considerations:

Build a brand pillar foundation

Start your store design strategy by building a brand pillar foundation. This foundation consists of visual, verbal and behavioral execution strategies that create a cohesive brand experience. Brand pillars can directionally guide the design of all communication elements within the store to ‘speak’ toward the brand.

The visual (what you look like), verbal (how you talk about yourself) and behavioral (how you act) tactics should tightly align to communicate and reinforce a cohesive brand message and experience. Consider how signage and architectural elements marry together to create an attention grabbing setting.


Communication elements should work together; Source: (Matthews/Kessel 2016)

Create an interactive experience

Well-designed displays can make it easy for shoppers to create their own experiences. Create space destinations that encourage shoppers to try out merchandise. By providing an interactive experience, you enhance relationship building with your customers. Effective POP units can increase dwell time, encourage multiple impulse purchases, and create memorable brand experiences that keep customers coming back.


Experiential environments are relationship builders

Consider your canvas

Don’t take any surface in your retail environment for granted. Visual aesthetics play a key role in brand perception. Re-skinning an environment is a cost-effective way to elevate the appearance of a department or high traffic area. Instead of replacing an entire fixture, consider using a temporary signage solution that will enhance its presentation.


Re-skinning an environment can boost its visual value

Don’t forget to communicate

Your store is a communication vehicle and signs are physical elements that serve many roles for a retailer, including communicating important and timely messages. A sign can reinforce a retailer’s brand, communicate and inform shoppers, and enhance a customer experience. Most importantly, in-store signage can garner attention and action.

According to a retail compliance study conducted by Shop!, the average promotional program value (PPV) for a branded display is 499%. For every dollar spent on a display, that’s an average return of $4.99 in incremental sales. Before you toss out signage to increase sight lines or declutter your power isles, consider how it affects your in-store conversations.


Consider how signage could fill a communication void

Encourage word-of-mouth

Store personnel are great advocates for your brand. These individuals help inform shoppers and become your most loyal brand storytellers. Consumers are brand advocates too. Consider creating a memorable shopping experience that turns your customers into the storyteller.

We live in a social networking world where we share our interests and experiences online. With mobile phone cameras at the ready, consumers are one click away from capturing that emotional or noteworthy experience. Studies have shown that emotional marketing has become a strategic way to build brand recall. Put a spin on your in-store environment that encourages a positive social engagement.


Movie theater promotions present an experience sharing opportunity