Inserting a lake, a gym and a hoarse into a display – If marketing guru’s are to be believed, bricks n mortar retailers would be wise to think about how their store designs and related merchandise displays might create an emotional connection between a shopper and the product being sold.  It has been suggested that one way to accomplish this is by summoning the context where the product might be used.  Does this mean that a diamond ring is better displayed when presented by candle light, flowers, a gourmet dinner?  What about a canoe, a pair of sneakers, a cowboy hat, …”  Do we need a lake, a gym, and a hoarse to suggest the desired context?  So it would appear, especially if we go by design strategies that we see being employed by businesses and retailers who seem to be surviving the effects of online sales.

An obvious way of inserting the lake, the gym and the hoarse into the scenario above is by the use of a digital sign.  Since these are clearly showing up everywhere in the public arena, we thought it worth examining how they are being used.  To that end we went happily to the epicenter of everyday electronics, Best Buy.  Before proceeding, a word about the images used here.  These are phone photos taken while I was in the store shopping for a TV which I purchased and will be used on a digital sign.  The comments which follow are intended to be instructive on a general topic and reflect on neither the practices and policies of Best Buy, nor the suppliers of the products on display.

Measuring Success – I evaluated each display below for:  a) Notice-aibility of the display – 5 pts,  b) Brand identity – 4 pts.,  c) Shopper connection with the context in which the product is presented – 3 pts.,  d) Shopper engagement with the product – 2 pts.,  e) Shop-abiltiy of the display – 1 pt.  I made a score card, success being assigned according to the order of importance on the list.  The highest possible score was 15 points.  Click through the images to see who won.

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This display is a real standout, which is accomplished by how it is composed into a unified presentation. The large, shiny merchandise is balanced nicely with a prominent image of the brand. Context and connectivity are created by the life style photo wall behind the display and then augmented at the micro level by the inclusion of an informational video showing both how the laundry got dirty and then adding instructions on how the appliances should be set to clean it up. The merchandise, which is labeled with price and specifications, can be handled and partly tried out, making this a shoppable display. The entire display gets a bonus point because it proves that neither a huge screen nor budget is necessary to create an effective marketing campaign to be presented on a digital display. Score: a.5, b.4, c.3, d.2, e.1, bonus 1 = 16 points total score

What is the point? – So why go through this exercise?  Many of us have been writing about the marketing importance of creating an emotional connection between a shopper and the product being sold. This is certainly important, yet there is another more practical conclusion to be had and it is most evident in the last and final slide in the sequence.  It has to do with our preconceived notions about costs, namely the best and most effective display in the sequence was also inexpensive to implement.  No customized light boxes, electronic displays, large TV’s or digital display screens are required. Nor are customize informational graphics, merchandise mounting systems, or complicated apps necessary for access to streamed information.

The winner is – The content of the Whirlpool display is no less curated because only a wall, a decal, a logo sign, a small smart TV, a power outlet and merchandise are required.  A message is delivered that clearly says, “this washer and dryer is able to provide clean safe clothes for your kids to wear when they are playing outside.”  If you are a retailer thinking about introducing technology into a store design, my first recommendation would be not to over complicate what must be done.

Free digital signage trial – Retailers, service providers, and non profits are operating in a new marketing environment requiring that their online and “bricks n mortar” presence be seamlessly integrated.  Business are now beginning to understand what museums have known forever; without curation there is only a warehouse.  To this end Gaddis Architect will soon be testing a new service designed to provide, manage and deliver curated content for use on digital signs.  To be notified about details of our free digital signage trial please join our contact list at the link