The concept of a retail showroom has evolved and expanded post-pandemic, with customers now wanting a more relaxed, exclusive and personalised shopping experience.Continue reading
It’s easy to focus on the lead generation aspect of marketing your business, and that’s understandable! What’s also important, however, is to make sure you give equal attention to your brand-related activity and overall marketing strategy.
The proliferation of digital media has made it easier for companies to generate leads and drive conversions. But unless brands enhance their awareness and build credibility in the process, they will ultimately become dependent on lead generation activity in the long term and their brand will be left behind.
Now, what if we were to tell you that a strategy built around brand activity could actually generate more leads than solely focusing on lead generation campaigns? There are a multitude of benefits to investing in brand-related activity over strictly lead gen campaigns. Here are four of our favourites:
Reach new audiences
Is your lead pipeline drying up? While it’s no surprise that lead generation is the primary objective of many businesses and marketing departments, building brand awareness will fuel your pipeline over the long term.
The consumer journey evolves with ongoing market-shifting trends, and you have to be ready to support those trends by continually driving top of funnel leads via promotion-based channels such as brand activations, events and experiential campaigns. Whether it be an indoor event, retail display, trade show, or on the streets of wherever you are located; brand activations and experiential marketing are great ways to build rapport with potential customers and drive new lead growth.
Really connect with customers
Authentic brand experiences bind consumers to brands. As you craft the narrative of your brand story, it is imperative that you get out of the office and meet with customers face-to-face to truly understand what it is they love about your company or product.
When you get your brand involved in the conversation, consumer interest rises, engagement rates go up and overall brand awareness increases. The best brands are built on personal relationships with consumers, so in-person brand activity and experiential campaigns can be a fantastic way to strengthen those connections.
Get recognition in the market
It’s no secret that a company’s brand has more of an impact on its success than any other metric. It (note space) takes more than just a good product to be successful; you need to provide great customer service and have a strong social media presence in order to attract loyal customers. The goal of brand activity is to focus on generating word-of-mouth referral traffic rather than relying solely on PPC, lead gen or social campaigns.
By creating exciting brand displays and campaigns, consumers will have your brand name on their minds when they need it most…directly before buying!
First they try, then love, buy and repeat
According to The Drum, “a good brand-in-hand experience leads to an 85% purchase intention and a 4:1 ROI.” Investing in these experiences can create a well-rounded brand and drive sales. Consider bringing your products into retail stores and offer samples or hold demonstrations so consumers can see how they work first-hand. This strategy helps encourage sales because consumers will already have tried out (and been impressed by your product before making any purchases. Plus, because these activities are engaging and fun for customers to participate in, you’ll increase customer lifetime value by keeping them coming back for more content.
DisplayWise has over 20 years experience working with clients to create amazing displays that tell a story, connect with customers and give brands an edge. We can help you create effective activations on a small or large scale, from the simple to the elaborate, and we’ll take care of everything from concept to execution. A DisplayWise activation is guaranteed to be memorable for your audience and for years afterwards.
Inspired to activate your brand? Talk to us today.
Sustainability is top of mind for both consumers and business owners when choosing a brand to buy from or work with. 88% of consumers want to work with companies who can help them make a difference*. That’s why now it is more important than ever to implement environmentally-conscious initiatives, operate sustainably and minimise our carbon footprint.
So, what does this mean for us at DisplayWise?
Whilst some parts of our industry may not be sustainably led, the importance and consideration for sustainable practices, when possible, gains more importance every day. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry found:
If you’re curious as to how to identify if an event is sustainably conscious, look out for these initiatives:
- Recycled and biodegradable materials.
- Digital tickets and flyers over paper or plastic.
- ‘Single-use plastic’ free.
- Shuttle services and public transport promoted.
- Energy efficiency, recycling and environmental policies.
Looking beyond sustainability at exhibitions and shows themselves, we realise the significance of our actions, which is why we conduct our own initiatives and practices internally.
Recycle, reuse, and repurpose
As our customer’s sustainable display choice, our whole ethos is around reuse and repurposing to suit the requirements of our clients. Without compromising on quality, brand exposure or impact, we create displays for exhibitions, events, conferences, and retail environments. It provides exactly what our clients are after, with no nasty or unnecessary additions to landfill.
You are who you surround yourself with
It’s not a one-man job, and it takes a village to make a difference. That’s why we choose to work with people and suppliers who align with our sustainability ethos. We request documentation from any suppliers that we engage with, relating to the business’ Environmental Policy or High Conservation Value (HCV) statements before any work is conducted as part of the project scope.
When it comes to production waste, we maintain a very close working relationship with our service provider, Remondis*. Together, we have organised collection services based on type, quality of waste produced, bin storage capacity and site accessibility to assist in minimising environmental impacts. By doing this, we can ensure that all items that can be recycled are done so to minimise the amount of waste that we produce going to landfill.
Tap into local
Our team makes a conscious effort to look for locally-run environmental initiatives we can work alongside. We have been proud members of Freecycle, South Sydney since 2019, a not-for-profit organisation made up of more than 5,000 local areas with over 9 million members globally. As members, we have the ability to post requests for ‘offered’ or ‘wanted’ materials on a public-forum platform for the reuse or donation of materials.
If our stands cannot be repurposed, they are disposed of responsibly. Utilising the above initiatives or associations greatly contributes to our sustainability and socio-economic projects.
So, there you have it. Like we said, we know it takes a village, but it starts with one idea. We’re doing our bit to ensure a sustainable exhibition industry that doesn’t forfeit the environment to be successful. DisplayWise closely follows up-to-date sustainability initiatives so you can rest assured you’re making the best decision for your business and the environment.
Want to get in touch? Contact us today.
Point of Sale displays (POS for short) are an extremely valuable marketing and sales tool for brands and retailers. Not only do they bring a space to life by making it appear more welcoming and exciting, they also attract, educate, engage and convert customers. POS displays are so effective in generating and increasing revenue that the POS market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% over the next 4 years (Fortune Business Insights).
Designing a uniquely creative and effective retail and point of sale display is going to be critical for success in the years ahead. This activity will allow you to position your brand and key messages as well as allow your priority products to stand out and be noticed in the cluttered retail environment.
DisplayWise General Manager – Marketing, Lisa Cachia says: “Point of sale displays offer brands and marketers a fantastic opportunity to provide visual exposure to one specific product line or campaign. Whether the goal is to entice a sale, cross-sell or to upsell every customer with an item they never knew they needed, we can build custom displays that create a memorable experience and ultimately boost sales and brand loyalty”.
Here are 5 tips for designing and executing a revenue-increasing point of sale display in your retail space:
1. Get their attention
Bespoke permanent point of sale displays are an effective way for retailers to encourage their customers to discover new categories or product lines. Introducing a customised point of sale display to your retail space will allow you to stand out from competitors, express your brand, capture new potential customers’ attention and increase revenue.
Having worked with many of Australia’s leading retail brands, we have the skills and local manufacturing capability to develop and refine ideas and develop a cohesive solution that will enhance your brand.
2. Location, location, location
The main power of a POS display is its location. You can be certain that your customers will discover your campaign or product as they shop. Using clever designs and an understanding of your shoppers’ journey in-store, your POS display can lead to increased brand exposure and product discovery which ultimately results in more purchases, higher purchase totals and an overall increase in retail revenue.
Situating displays at high-traffic areas such as the counter is an easy way to achieve this as customers here have already decided to make a purchase and are therefore more likely to add an additional item to their cart. Whether you’re implementing these displays at the entrance, the point of sale, or sporadically throughout the store, the display must attract and engage the shopper.
3. Samples & Demos
Consider creating a journey for the customer, drawing them towards the display with an interactive opportunity to learn more or try the products. Allowing customers to test your product before they purchase is a fantastic way to engage with potential customers, influence their buying decisions and grow revenue for the business. 35% of customers who try a sample will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip (Arbitron and Edison Media Research).
Whilst sampling is a successful method for achieving new sales targets, it is important to not offer too many options. Keep it simple and focus on just one or two products. This will also help drive the design and planning for your POS display.
4. Know Your Target Audience
POS marketing is a hyper-targeted marketing activity where brands can hone in on one particular product, feature or customer. It is important to understand your audience and your buyer when planning your POS display. Attract a specific audience or your customer segment with a unique, targeted design that speaks to their wants and needs. This is the perfect opportunity to educate them about your brand and products. With a carefully designed POS display, you can effectively upsell and cross-sell products to your key target markets.
5. Keep It Consistent
Launching a new campaign or brand-activated promotion this season? Tie in the promoted products and messaging into your permanent point of sale display. Keeping your customers focused on the one campaign message or key product will be key to success. Having this consistency makes your brand feel more reliable and dependable for consumers.
Make an impact on the shop floor with a premium and well-designed point of purchase display. DisplayWise offers retailers on-demand, locally produced point of sale solutions, ideal for when your product range calls for a bespoke design. Manufactured locally and available without the lengthy delays associated with imported options, DisplayWise can meet your time and budget requirements. We can also create custom packaging if required and deliver your point of sale units to locations nationwide.
If you’re interested in spruiking up your retail space with fresh, effective POS displays, talk to our team of experts today.
Storytelling has always been a powerful tool used in marketing to portray your branding in the best possible light, just the way you’ve planned it. Every brand has a story or a theme they follow. This can be conveyed through your brand’s tone of voice, design, service offering, and brand activations. Experiential marketing has become the way of the future for storytelling – because what better way is there to tell your story than to show it?
Storytelling provides an avenue to connect to consumers unlike any other. Brands are empowered to share and sell their values and personality in a form that feels less like advertising and more like a concerted effort to strengthen relationships with customers. Stories shape how people see you, acting as a tool of power and a point of persuasion to move people to action. In fact, over two thirds (69%) of surveyed respondents said they go out of their way to engage with brands that align with their own values*, while 34% said they’ve stopped supporting the ones that don’t* (Toluna Consumer Insights, 2021).
Our job (and philosophy) is simple. We design to create stories. Our highly skilled Industrial Design team will take the time to understand your brand and brief and help you tell your story. We’ll work with you to develop and refine ideas until they are signed off and ready to go.
Our services on offer include exhibition stands, brand activations, retail and POS, and event displays. How do we tell your story through these? We thought you’d never ask…
From the brief to concept design to installation, we can help you tell your brand or campaign’s story. Our Custom Design Stands put your brand on show and provide a platform for you to connect with your customers. Making your brand stand out with an exhibition is a perfect way to connect and engage with customers. We aim to deliver brand-centric stands that tell stories with innovation on the show floor.
Brand activations provide a platform for creating meaningful interactions with customers, building loyalty and generating engagement whilst giving the brand an opportunity to convey itself in a more personal manner. From roadshows to sponsorship activations, pop up booths to retail displays, we work with you to develop a great space for your next campaign. The story you tell is completely up to you – you make the plans, we’ll make it happen.
Retail & POS
If there’s ever a tale to be told, it’s in the retail space (can we call it re-tale?). Retail fit-outs should always aim to tell a story that’s in line with the brand holistically. From a semi-permanent pop up shop, to a showroom design or store-in-store fit out, we can create a great space for your brand to gain exposure, interact with customers and generate sales. This is also an essential aspect for you to discover what works well with your story and our customer.
Bringing people together, and creating buzz and excitement are the foundations of a great event and an even better story for your brand. You can create a unique space with custom-made elements to make your story the most memorable one. By helping you to create bespoke display pieces, we help you to bring your event to life and tell your story the right way.
Don’t believe us? Here’s how we have told some great stories:
Nutra Organics engaged DisplayWise to design a custom display for the 2021 Naturally Good exhibition, held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney. The brief described how Nutra Organics wanted to display a variety of products within their range in a simulated ‘real-life’ setting, where consumers would be using some of these products in their everyday routines. So, we were given our brief with the brand’s campaign story. It was time to get to work…
DisplayWise offered the client alternative materials and finishes throughout the design, helping the client achieve their vision of resembling a premium and sophisticated look in a cost-effective manner. We had to tell their story the right way, so for the kitchen and pantry wall, the shelving was made from a wood matt laminate material that had a woodgrain texture, resembling a timber look, and featured LED underlighting. The white subway tiles and the soft peach V–Groove tiles from the vanity were made from an alternate material to regular ceramic tiles and were painted so that they were an almost exact replica of traditional tiles. The bright whites of the lights complemented the warm woods and soft peach painted V–Groove tiles.
The 2022 Naturally Good Exhibition is coming up again very soon for 2022. To see the result of this case study, click here.
Havas Sports & Entertainment reached out to DisplayWise to design and fabricate an authentic style pop up barber for their client King C. Gillette at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. The story being told here required a complete fit-out for it to emulate the proposed objectives and creative vision. The request to DisplayWise was that their brand book is translated into every element of the build – essentially requiring the design team to morph a 2D concept into 3D form.
The build concept was designed to bring the King C. Gillette brand book to life, with a curated inclusion of exposed brick graphics, walnut countertops and a collection of Chesterfield style furniture featured throughout. Both the interior and exterior of the site were transformed by the indulgent use of the Gillette colour palette, providing a seamless storytelling experience for the customer.
Australian Defence Apparel
ADA (Australian Defence Apparel) approached DisplayWise to custom build an exhibition stand for the 2021 Land Forces International Land Defence Exhibition held in June at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. As the largest primary manufacturer of Australian Military apparel, ADA’s brief required a design that could showcase a variety of new and innovative apparel designs.
This required the DisplayWise team to tell a story that would demonstrate the military theme. The use of shipping container-styled structures was positioned around the perimeters of the stand. Inspiration was taken from true military-style cases and the DisplayWise Industrial Design team replicated these by designing and constructing the shipping containers using CNC routed detailing and cut-out pieces such as the hinges and corner capping pieces. To further the effect, the design team used powder coated corrugated sheeting panels for the exterior of the containers and styled the ends with galvanised steel shipping container locks. Not only did the DisplayWise team deliver an uncanny replica of a shipping container, but this also allowed for ample storage space, a meeting room to interact with clients, and a place for ADA to display their apparel as they would in a retail precinct.
Experiential marketing, activations and retail & POS settings are all effective tools in which to tell your brand’s story. We design to create stories and bring the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive the transformation to tell your story the right way.
Want to get in touch? Contact us today.
After another challenging year for the events industry, we are thrilled to see the return of exhibitions in 2022. Exhibitions are global events where brands educate, share, promote and connect with customers and other businesses.
There are 3 main benefits that an expo offers a brand:
- Promote your brand and products – exhibitions are a great way to get directly in front of your target audience, increase brand awareness and support the launch of new products.
- Networking – whether it’s other like-minded businesses owners, decision-makers or customers, expos are great for meeting people and getting connected.
- Learning – from seminars to panels to round tables, expos offer fantastic settings for business owners to understand their competitive landscape, learn from others and better themselves in their industry.
As experts in this field, we want to share with you all the things you need to know about exhibitions – from an industry point of view.
Meet Anne Evers, our very knowledgeable General Manager of Sales, who shares her insights on how brands can prepare for the return of expos in 2022.
What does the current events and exhibition landscape look like and what do brands need to know?
There has been a shift in the events and exhibitions industry since the rise of the global pandemic. From an industry that was renowned for operating with flexibility, agility and speed whilst also having the manpower and production facilities, many businesses today struggle to be responsive to short project deadlines which seem to be a ‘reactive’ trend we’re seeing, as businesses slowly navigate their way out of the rift of the pandemic. This turn has shown us the importance of timing, staff retention and planning. What COVID has done to the industry has made business less fluid and flexible. It is known that up to half of contractors in the installation market have left the industry due to the forced closure of the events and exhibitions industry and the uncertainty of the return of business – so staffing is scarce.
“At DisplayWise, the culture is strong. Having retained our staff throughout the two years of the pandemic has, fortunately, put the business at the forefront of the shift that our industry has presented. We’ve preserved all our industry expertise and knowledge from within the skillset of our staff. We have retained our strong relationships with our national contract installation partners, by making sure we are in conversations with them and building strong partnerships so that now coming into 2022, where the industry is leaner, we are able to deliver on projects, as a result, the support and friendship extended to our contractors through this challenging time. Where everyone was hurting, we ensured that contractors were paid on time and that we extended as much work as we could fostering a two-way partnership so that our industry partners are in a strong position ready for 2022.”
What should brands consider when looking to exhibit in 2022
Meeting face-to-face with customers and suppliers is still imperative for brands to consider as part of their marketing strategies. When businesses invest in an exhibition stand and in-person events, those employees working the stands and involved in the process show passion and pride for the brands they are representing. As a business, it is important at all levels of the corporate hierarchy to not only invest in exhibiting at events and tradeshows, but it is also imperative that we excite and reignite employees and start to rebuild relationships through human connections. The return of exhibitions is so important for those brands looking to reconnect with consumers. Exhibitions will give brands the platform and space to implement this.
“Throughout the pandemic brands have worked tirelessly and readjusted their strategies. For some industries this time has been of growth and thoughtful leadership with rapid product development, rebranding, and most of all strategic planning involving new ways of doing business. Trade shows allow us to be at our best, brands have new things to tell in person which we haven’t been able to do for the past two years.”
At DisplayWise, our craft is to create engaging connections through our stand designs whether they are bespoke displays or stand hire packages. Every approach to our designs involves designing displays that put your brand on show and provide a platform for you to connect with your customers.
When should brands start planning for an exhibition?
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” – Alexander Graham Bell.
Most importantly, secure your stands. Brands should leave themselves at least 6 – 9 months to start planning internally, to then start having conversations with us 6-months out, with key considerations being budget, stand size and exhibition type. Being prepared and doing the due diligence to get project briefs in early will help ensure the stand display provider you work with is the right fit.
“Once briefed on your objectives, DisplayWise can help with the strategy from concept to creation.”
What advice can you give to brands looking to exhibit with regards to event and stand type?
Have your brief ready. For every business or brand, the definition of success varies. If DisplayWise understands YOUR measurement of ‘success’ and the overall business objective whether this is brand awareness or new product introductions or simply a platform to re-engage suppliers/wholesalers, these details will instantly help our team interpret the brief and propose the best exhibition display solution.
“Forget complexity, the key thing to remember is that stands don’t have to be complex in size or design. A stand may be minimal in design and staging elements yet it can speak a thousand words through effective branding and graphics – we can work with you to create an engaging space. For our industry, this is an exciting time for us with retail opening and events returning – we are as prepared as we can be ready for a successful 2022.”
There’s a lot to consider when planning for any exposition. As one of Australia’s leading Exhibition Stand companies, we’ve got the experience, knowledge and insights to turn your great ideas into reality. If you have an expo or two on the calendar and haven’t begun planning yet, talk to our team of industry experts today.
As events and shows begin to fill our calendars again, there is a growing trend towards micro-events in 2022. These smaller, more intimate events allow brands to engage consumers on a more personal level, influence and ultimately shape perceptions of their business and or products.
For brands, big and small, there are immense benefits to taking part in or hosting a micro event. Providing a highly personalised experience, consumers can familiarise themselves with a brand and people whilst trialling or learning more about its products and services. So while the size of the event may be smaller, the experience and results can be great.
Here are 5 ways your brand can benefit from micro-events:
1. Show Your Authenticity: Do things differently
Post-pandemic, brands need to be more authentic with their audiences and understand that their business model is no longer B2C or B2B, it’s H2H – human to human. Given the intimate nature of micro-events, businesses can truly bear all and allow their audiences to meet and connect with their people and mission. For some brands, this could be in the form of a morning tea or a Q&A, while for others it could be a series of events each with a targeted message to various audience segments.
2. Macro to Micro: Events within an event
If your brand is participating in a larger exhibition or show this year, take the opportunity to develop a variety of mini activations such as workshops, side games and networking opportunities at your display or brand space. Incorporating this micro format provides a powerful opportunity to directly connect with your niche and specific audience.
Bringing interactive activities and entertainment into your micro event is a fantastic way to excite and engage your audience. There are plenty of ways to provide a unique experience that entices an audience to interact with your brand and people, from live entertainment and cocktail hours to augmented reality and gift bags.
3. Best of Both: On and offline
Meeting the needs of your target audience is essential, and in a post-covid world, that means inviting guests to participate in your in-person event or delivering an experience to their home or workplace.
Face-to-face events are fantastic for leveraging all 5 senses – ensure your event is thrilling to look at, listen to and entices visitors to touch, feel, smell and trial. In the digital space, it is equally as important to provide high-quality and engaging content for the audience to consume. This may take the form of a workshop, a webinar, creating polls on social media for the audience to interact with during the event, or even a virtual music festival, which is one of the more popular mediums for micro-events.
4. Budget-Friendly: Say yes to smart spending
The last two years have been challenging for us all. For some, the 2022 events budget may be a little less than we’re used to. Fortunately, one of the advantages of micro-events is that given the reduced size and scope of the production, the costs are considerably less than typical or larger events and activations.
As micro events are small-scale and cost-effective, it gives organisers the room to put their money towards other features that could boost the return on investment (ROI). A recent study conducted by Enterprise Event Marketing outlined that implementing technology into your micro-event can increase attendance by 20%, increase productivity by 27%, and reduce related costs by up to 30%.
Keep the production expenses to a minimum by partnering with a full-service supplier that handles everything. DisplayWise offers a complete in-house turnkey solution for clients including start to finish project management, industrial design, printing & graphics, production, logistics, warehousing and operations.
5. Trial Run: Test and learn
With organisers and attendees potentially still hesitant about attending a large-scale event, the micro event model provides the perfect opportunity for both to test the waters and regain their confidence in the industry. For brands, conducting a micro event can act as a trial run whereby they test and learn how the audience responds to and engages with their products or service. If successful at this level, they may decide to grow this event into a larger scale or potentially role out to host more events that span over multiple locations or dates.
Micro events will be a popular choice in the years for brands looking to launch a new product or campaign. We foresee there will likely be hundreds, if not thousands, filling our calendars in the year ahead.
If you’re looking to excite, engage and WOW your customers at your next event, contact us today.
Now that lockdown is over and we are in the middle of summer, everyone is out and about ready to experience everything they can. As the city begins to make its way back to normalcy, the usual boom in outdoor shopping precincts, beaches and other communal areas will be the perfect setting to strengthen relationships with your customers, get your brand recognised and create that ripple effect of leads to customers that every brand manager is after.
The current outdoor landscape
Outdoor events have changed a lot over the last two years. Open-air environments have been one of the key ways a brand can connect and interact with their consumers.
Whilst large events are continuing to recover, there is an even greater opportunity for brands to incorporate outdoor experiences into their marketing activations for 2022.
This year, we can expect to see a rise in localised events and experiences. For businesses who know their audience is still feeling a little hesitant about travel, it’s time to take the activation to them. Local partnerships and collaborations with the community are going to drive success for your brand – plus give you a lot of credibility in the local market.
DisplayWise Business Development Manager – Sales, Rory Burton says, “There are many benefits of brand activations and they are noticeable as soon as the process is in full effect. Being able to obtain user feedback in real-time is one of the most important benefits of a brand activation as it can lead to better performance once the feedback is used in a productive way, which can then lead your brand to reach new audiences that have yet to engage with your brand and its message.”
Tips and tricks
There’s a misconception in the world of brand marketing that activations and experiential campaigns are expensive or not worth the hassle. This is entirely not true. Pop ups and transformations don’t need to be a huge line item in the budget. A little creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way. Ultimately, people love experiences – they can change their perception of a brand and alter their purchasing decisions.
At DisplayWise, we work with brands to provide their customers with a unique and shareable experience. We can help you brainstorm campaign ideas, discuss trends and advise how to get the best results. Delivering these experiences will generate conversations, traffic, engagement, and when executed effectively, the sales come through.
“Our top tip would be to focus on creating connections that are meaningful enough to build long-term relationships with your clients. Gaining an understanding of the purpose that a client has will allow you to build and develop content that is relevant to them, which eventually will help them build trust in you,” Rory Burton said.
Now, the next mission – your brand needs to stand out. It’s best to work with the natural surroundings of your environment, with the product or service you’re offering, and marry them together. Here are some of the most successful outdoor brand activations that we have worked on:
Activated on a beach, ‘Sprite’ constructed a fully-branded large outdoor shower for beach-goers to cool off after a swim or day in the sun. Imitating the refreshing nature of a Sprite on a hot summer’s day, the brand was able to leave a lasting impression on their consumers’ minds.
The Volkswagen Golf is a well-recognised vehicle already. Our challenge was to take it to the next level. Whilst many potential customers would drive past one every day, we needed to develop brand recall. This is where brand activations play an important role in your marketing strategy. Humour goes a long way too. Volkswagen played on the ‘Golf’ range with a brand activated putt-putt golf mini-course promoting the very well-known hatchback.
The takeaway… Outdoor activations post lockdown are all about connections and experiences. Consumers want to reconnect in real-time with brands in a safe way, so brands need to create spaces that are inviting, safe and memorable.
Never underestimate the power of human touch and immersive experiences. Our in-house team can help bring your vision to life, be it big or small.
‘Physical environments offer instant gratification and conversion’: Scentre Group’s Brandspace Head of Sales Chris Bolling on how to maximise brand experiences for customers It’s an exciting time for brands and retailers. In-store shopping is back, Christmas is around the corner and retail spending is up post-lockdown 2.0 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021).
As we ramp up our conversations and projects with clients looking to activate their brands in-centre through innovative retail displays and exciting pop up kiosks, we thought there’s no better time to catch up with the Scentre Group BrandSpace team to hear their first-hand insights and recommendations.
This week, we sat down with Chris Bolling, Head of Sales at Scentre Group BrandSpace, to discuss how retailers can capitalise on the return of in-centre shopping and how to maximise their brand experience as they welcome more of their customers back to physical stores.
Here’s what Chris had to say…
The return of in-store shopping
‘Non-essential’ in-store shopping came to a halt during NSW and Victoria’s latest lockdown. Despite this, Chris was positive, stating that “while Westfield centres remained open and customers temporarily shifted toward essential-only shopping, it is exciting to see them returning with great passion to the broad range of experiences that our living destinations offer. Having recently received results from the latest customer sentiment study via Westfield iQ, Westfield’s online customer panel, Chris learnt that “63% [of shoppers] consider Westfield Living Centres as essential to their community”. He tells us how “great” it is to welcome more customers back and feel the energy and buzz again. “Customers are finally able to try things on, touch and trial products before they buy and are no longer having to deal with the lengthy delivery delays. When asked about how they feel about getting back to in-store shopping, receiving real-time support and assistance from retail staff was a popular response.
Changing expectations of the consumer
COVID-19 safety is a priority for both businesses and consumers. “92% of customers feel safe in our environment,” says Chris. As well as this, “customers appreciate ease, which is why we invested in more customer service team members in our centres, offering in-centre navigation and pop up valet parking”. In the last year, there was a meteoric rise in customers opting for ‘click and collect’ services, especially at Christmas when shoppers were given a Covid-Safe option for picking up their goods. Click and Collect is a key driver of online success. Chris says that the new Westfield Direct platform “presented a significant growth opportunity for our SME retail partners with no online presence, with Westfield handling the end-to-end experience, including order fulfilment, logistics, last-mile delivery and customer service.” While online sales increased during lockdown periods and we’ve seen this dip slightly since the return to physical destinations.
In a series of recent interviews conducted by Scentre Group BrandSpace, customers at Westfield Parramatta discussed how they felt about the return of in-store shopping. An overwhelmingly positive response was felt from all respondents, expressing that they were ‘happy to be back’. “I miss interacting with people. I miss being able to talk to someone behind the desk, rather than having packages just thrown at your door. It’s nice to be able to chat to people,” commented one shopper.
Providing a new and improved experience for consumers
The easing restrictions couldn’t have come at a better time for consumers as it is the most important and competitive moment on the retail calendar – the lead up to Christmas. Chris explains that “it will be critical to invest in brand building and awareness, as well as path-to-purchase advertising, to take advantage of the increased audiences in-centre and drive effective reach.”
“Personalisation is a popular trend that we will continue to see from brands this season”, Chris explains “retailers can offer customers the opportunity to elevate their gift giving with personalised purchases for loved ones”. Allowing the opportunity to gift something truly unique drives desirability, shareability and increased purchase conversion.
Create the perfect retail space
DisplayWise are experienced and passionate about conceptualising and delivering exciting solutions to amplify brands and their products or services. Our team of in-house experts work with clients from beginning to end and has 20+ years of experience in this area. From pop up stores to experiential displays, premium point of sale to store-in-store fit outs, we can work with you to create an engaging retail space or a perfect activation.
About BrandSpace and Scentre Group
BrandSpace is the in-house media provider at Scentre Group and the only way brands can access the Westfield environment. If you are interested in finding out about media, retail, sponsorship or partnership opportunities, contact your BrandSpace representative today or enquire here.
Scentre Group operates Australia and New Zealand’s largest Westfield Living Centre portfolio of 42 high-quality centres with over 12,000 retailers, receiving more than 450 million customer visits in 2020. Approximately 20 million people live within close proximity to a Westfield Living Centre. The aspiration is to be essential to our customers’ lives – their ‘third place’ outside of home and work for social interactions and experiences.
Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year when it comes to the world of retail and shopping. As we prepare for the festive season, and physical shopping experiences coming back, we have looked back on past projects and pulled together our top tips for brands activating over the Christmas period.
Number 1. Be experiential
Physical retail and brand presence is more important than ever. In fact, millennials have said that around 52% of their holiday spending would be on in-person experience-related purchases (KPMG, 2019).
Experiential retail displays are all about creating meaningful connections that result in long-standing relationships with customers. If your business is looking to launch a new product this Christmas, increase brand awareness or change an already established consumer perception, then delivering an immersive brand experience is the way to go. It’s called ‘retailtainment’. And as we come out of another long lockdown, it couldn’t be more necessary!
Number 2. Everyone wants to try before they buy
Product sampling is one of the most engaging ways to get your brands’ name out in the open and to have potential consumers try your products. Now more than ever before, customers want to see, touch and feel products prior, after so many months of online shopping during recent lockdowns. Giving away free products can help consumers build a love for your brand as they see first-hand the benefits it can provide.
Product sampling is an engaging way to activate your retail space this holiday season as it gets consumers involved with the brand hands-on, literally. Customers can instantly become interested and further converse about different aspects of the product, ultimately increasing their chances of purchasing.
It’s an underrated marketing tactic!
Number 3. Know your audience
Knowing who your customers are is an essential part of planning how to activate your brand in a retail environment. What do they already know about your brand and products, what is their path-to-purchase and how do you expect they will interact with your retail space?
Consider these questions as you prepare a design brief for your display. “Demographically speaking, we see the majority of millennials interacting with our more technologically-savvy retail displays with immersive point of sale. On the other hand, the more mature customers take the time to stop by for product sampling, and they’re usually interested in talking about the product or brand then and there” says DisplayWise Business Development Manager, Cameron Ferguson.
Number 4. Consider how to best use your space
Christmas this year is looking very different to the ones we remember a few years back, and we know many businesses in the retail industry have had a challenging run this year… again. Our team can work within your current retail space or explore pop-up and trade-out opportunities to extend your retail footprint. Whether you want to introduce a new product, encourage sampling or boost your holiday sales, we can help you create an engaging and memorable campaign space that will stop Christmas shoppers.
Ready to talk Christmas retail displays? So are we. To find out more about our retail capability, click here.