Retail strategy store development: In-store graphics

Toolbox Revisited
Within a succesfull branding process, a clear basic idea and the uniqueness of the products offered are not enough. The result should also be attractive in its elaboration. The quality of the translation of the basic principles into the store image is therefore an extremely important succes factor. In order to carry out this process in the best and most complete way possible
Jos de Vries The Retail Company has developed a practical toolbox.This toolbox contains all the tools to create a complete and distinctive store concept. Using this toolbox, you will avoid making random decisions about the store´s image. They will always be rooted in the basis principles of the formula.
The various parts included in the toolbox are:

Tool 1. Store lay-out
Tool 2: Store design
Tool 3: In-store graphics
Tool 4: Visual Merchandising
Tool 5: Shop front Design
Tool 3: In-store graphics

In-store communication includes all the graphic expressions that adress the customer in a direct manner: You can divide the general class of in-store signs into the following levels of communication:

Brand signs
Who are you and what do you stand for?
What is your message?
Images, atmospheric photography
Determine identity

Theme signs
Spring, Christmas etc.

Price cards
Fixed prices
Special offers and promotions
Roll back and reductions

Info and signposting
Product information
Store information
Product range information

Carrier bags

When you create the overall in-store graphics package, you should choose a style and implementation enabling the customer automatically to subdivide the various signposting elements into the right group, with the appropriate communicative function. Together with the overall corporate identity of the store concept, this strategy will ensure that – eventually – the overall store formula will be used as a communications tool on the way to the realisation of the store brand. Thanks to these levels of in-store communication, the consumer is given a clear, accessible and – especially – recognisable store image. This communicative structure will also give you the most certainty that the customer has not only bought something before leaving the store, but will also take the information and identity of the store concept with him.

This is necessary in order to establish the overall store brand. The basis principle is that you adjust the entire in-store communication package to the overall communications strategy of the store concept. Brochures, ads, possibly radio and television commercials, websites and so on, not only serve to enhance the same identity but also to convey the same message content. Decisions regarding the style and content of in-store signposting elements should always be made in context of this overall communications strategy. Besides, when making decisions about in-store communication, you should always check which of the five levels of communication the expression belongs to. The style should also be adjusted to this framework.

Development in the fields of in-store communications.
The growing importance is attached to in-store graphics is a clearly noticeable trend. The reason for this is that the overall quality of tools-related store concept components has greatly improved in the recent past. Almost every chain store has raised the quality of its store layout, lighting and product presentation to a very high level in collaboration with store concept agencies and professional shop fitters.

These developments also show that this is the very reason why achieving the primary objective of this development – creating distinctiveness and thus keeping ahead of the competition – is no longer a simple matter. So in the future new ways will have to be found to distinguish your store from those of the competition. In-store graphics offer new and often highly effective possibilities. In addition, in-store graphics have the significant benefit that they can be interchanged and replaced quickly often at relatively low cost. Thanks to this, the store image and its communicative expression can be adjusted quickly to the ever faster-changing wishes and behaviours of consumers. The store image acquires more dynamics by making in-store graphics play a greater role. Due to the increased competition and uniformity within store concepts, it is becoming increasingly important to convey the emotional components of the store formula to the consumer. Because of the direct communication that in-store graphics offer, interest in this tool is increasing.
This chapter is part of the Book "Let me tell you a store"
Please contact Jos de Vries The Retail Company or for further information.

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