Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Seven tips from an expert to make visual marketing art

Within the narrow space of the windows, how do they attract attention and make the products look the most attractive? Is visual marketing real art? This is what the expert Ronny de Vylder talked about in the last edition of Modefabriek. During his presentation, Vylder provided retailers with tips on how to improve the appearance of their stores and lead customers to a better shopping experience. It all comes down to the art of looking.

De Vylder works as a Creative Consultant and has 40 years of experience in styling, merchandising and visual storytelling in window displays for clients such as De Bijenkorf, G-star, Tommy Hilfiger, Rijksmuseum and Modefabriek. FashionUnited was on hand for their presentation and below is a list of top visual merchandising tips that independent retailers should keep in mind.

Aygin Kolaei at FashionUnited

Think “outside the box” and visit museums

One thing is clear, according to Vylder: “It will never be what it was before.” Creating an inspiring in-store experience is very important today, and with competition from social media and online shopping, retailers are increasingly having to think “outside the box.” This is seen in pop-hyperphysical stores, which are more and more interactive; in the much-heralded collaborations between popular brands such as Adidas and Gucci and in the use of oversized items as “visual merchandising tools”. De Vylder gives as an example a large sculpture in the shape of the Disney character Cruella de Vil in Donatchy’s stores, and also an image of the XL necklace in the window of Marc Jacobs.

The consultant says he finds inspiration everywhere and advises retailers to do the same. He is greatly inspired by the world of art, since “character and art are friends”. JW Anderson cites a collection in which models wear sweaters with a Rembrandt self-portrait, as an example, and also mentions the painter Dimitri Tsykalov, who uses packaging materials to create pieces of art. According to Vylder, this shows how retailers can make a big impact with something as simple as stacking boxes on top of each other, for example.

Photo: Selfridges x Christian Louboutin
Photo: Courtesy of Schiaparelli

One of the latest stores in Bijenkorf stores, which is dedicated to sustainability, is also a good example for retailers, according to Vylder. The simple construction of the compressed garment seems to form a compact trunk, hinting at the growing mountain of textiles. The message is directly conveyed by making the window invite passers-by to take a longer look.

Other main sources of inspiration for De Vylder are: Instagram, magazines, festivals, proms, exhibitions, shows, and even creative food displayed in the market. This is attached to it as an example of “authentic visual marketing”, as it has been used in other times. According to Vylder, all the inspiration can be incorporated into the style of the menu, giving retailers a clearer idea of ​​what they want to visually generate with the storefront.

Jacquemus pop-up inspired by automated stores with vending machines. Photo: Yoann and Marco (via Jacquemus)

Attention is a rare commodity

According to Vylder, people will typically spend 27 seconds looking at a piece of art in a museum, compared to only 3 seconds in a window shop. Therefore, retailers must do everything they can to capture and maintain the interest of customers. “Just because people are looking at the shop window doesn’t mean they’re going to come in,” he says.

So how do you arouse curiosity? “Focusing on one product and making it stand out,” says Vylder. “Using the right glasses is also very important. You need to know what you see in the reflection of the mirror. It is less important to shine on the side of your forces,” he said. The multi-family Dover Street Market puts a bow on the importance of its stores in an interesting way through an “online store” according to Vylder. Here, in the “new spaces”, they highlight the brand. This way customers see everything available and are subtly invited to try everything in their physical store.

Photo: ‘Le Bleu’ pop-up by Jacquemus. Photo: Courtesy Jacquemus
Courtesy James

“Don’t miss the moment of good lighting, either,” stresses Vylder. “Even a creative window display in the world won’t cut it if it’s not lit well.” In addition, retailers can think creatively about the placement of their products. “You can try the so-called cascading construction, in which the windows seem to slide down in a wavy motion, as in the gallery and the windows at the Spiegelkwartier in the Arts and Antiques weekend seem ancient.”

Finally, according to Vylder, “stackables” offer many results: “Be creative and stack materials, boxes or other materials on top of each other in which to present the product.” This can extend to working with photography, collage or other “positioned” images.

Therefore, visual merchandising can be effective and become a real art, if the sellers are creative, paying attention to the key trends and open to various forms of inspiration. “Creative knowledge will provide the necessary to create a compelling idea and turn something into something special.” And this, according to Vylder, is exactly what you should do as a seller.

This article was first published by FashionUnited.nl and later translated and edited by Cynthia Ijelman in Spanish.

Nation World News Desk
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