5 Tips for A Creative Retail Branding and Design Strategy

Quality retail branding is meant to connect businesses with customers in a way that builds trust and desire in the consumer for the brand and their product. Branding has been around since ancient times (from Roman columns to Chinese stamps), but modern commercial branding is a new phenomenon. People are more involved with brands than ever, locally and globally, to the point where two golden arches are immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world, without any words in the picture.

In the complex world of retail, which is composed of multiple elements and disciplines, a consumer can see connections, or a lack of connections, between all the different aspects of retail at a glance. And that is where design comes in. Retail branding and design aims to create a harmonious and holistic schema out of all of the elements of retail, from personnel to product presentation. Design is not just about looks, but about function. Without a good branding and design strategy, retail stores are a mishmash of unrelated ideas that can confuse and put off potential customers.

Design your layout based on traffic flow:

When customers enter the store, where do they look? Which way do they go? Position your best products in areas where customers are more likely to notice them. Pedestrian traffic is often influenced by vehicular traffic. That is, in areas where people drive on the right side of the road, in-store traffic patterns tend to move in a clockwise pattern. Use these patterns to your advantage.

Create a focal point in your visual displays:

Don’t just bring attention to anything and everything in the store, but draw customers in by featuring one item prominent, whether that’s in a window display or in the middle of your store. Strategically position lights and other items to point to your featured product and avoid distracting customers by putting equal weight on too many items at once.

Make window effects:

Windows make small spaces look larger and more inviting. Creating windows in the walls separating two rooms can give the entire building a more airy ambience, or creating visual illusions of windows such as white panels or drapes around mirrors, can also create a window effect, increasing the feeling of light and movement, especially if you are in a small space.

Avoid clutter:

Clutter feels noisy and uncomfortable for customers. Don’t overload your customer’s visual circuits with signs and patterns and displays galore. Instead, use neutral colors for larger items and accent the space with smaller items with brighter colors, and do not place your merchandise too closely together.

Use lighting to your advantage:

Lighting is important in any shop, and especially so in small corners. Make sure that your store is well lit, or else you will not be making good use of your space – customers don’t usually prefer to wander into dark, shadowy areas, so any merchandise displayed there will not receive a fair consideration. Use a combination of different lights to keep the space illuminated and to add variety and interest to the space.

Market Research Companies – An Overview

Most large to big businesses have their own market research teams. These teams not only conduct research themselves, but most often outsource the requests to specialised companies. In the UK alone there are well over 250 market research companies, some operating in small niche markets. This article focusses on some of the most well known market research companies that operate across the globe.

ACNielsen

is a global marketing research firm and part of The Nielsen Company. One of ACNielsen’s best known creations is the Nielsen ratings, which measure television, radio and newspaper audiences in their respective media markets. Another market research tool is Homescan where sample members track and report all grocery and retail purchases, allowing purchasing patterns to be related to household demographics.

One of the most common used products is Retail Measurement, a tool that provides continuous tracking of product sales to consumers, based on information gathered at the retail point-of-sale (EPOS data)

Other well known ACN Businesses are BASES, Nielsen Consumer, Nielsen Business Media and Nielsen Online.

Forrester Research is an independent technology and market research company that provides its clients with advice about technology’s impact on business and consumers. It offers a variety of services including syndicated research on technology, quantitative market research on consumer technology adoption and business IT spending, research-based consulting and advisory services. On its website you can find a wide range of free research, options to be alerted on new conducted research as well as of the shelf surveys.

GfK SE is a worldwide market research organisation providing services in five business divisions: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media and Healthcare. The Custom Research sector supplies information and consulting services for operational and strategic marketing decisions. Retailer POS data is the source for the Retail and Technology sector. The sector supplies clients with information and consulting services based on retail data from continuous surveys and analyses of sales of technical consumer goods and services in the retail sector. The Media Sector delivers information services on range, intensity and nature of media usage and acceptance. The data source for the Media sector stems from the media (point of media).

Ipsos MORI is the second largest survey research organisation in the UK. The organisation has a freely available archive of opinion polls and public attitude research from 1970 onwards, including trends on its UK website. Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute works extensively for UK government and public services, looking at public attitudes to key public services which formed a key part of the UK Government’s domestic agenda in 1997-2005. Social policy, and issues such as identity, social cohesion, physical capital and the impact of place on attitudes are all key themes of the Institute’s work. The company also specialises in Media, Loyalty and Marketing and Advertising Research.

Mintel International Group Ltd is a privately owned, London-based market research firm. Mintel databases, analysis, and forecasts are accessible only to subscribing clients and to students in participating university libraries. Some of its products are: Mintel Beauty Innovation (monitors mass media beauty introductions), Mintel Comperemedia (tracks direct mail and print advertising), Mintel Food & Drink (combines 5 products to deliver actionable market intelligence) and Mintel Menu Insights (tracks items on US restaurant menus). Mintel is mostly known for its reports, which are published online and contain consumer research and analysis.

SymphonyIRI Group (formerly Information Resources, Inc.) is a market research company which provides clients with consumer, shopper, and retail market intelligence and analysis focused on the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. They offer services in the following areas: Market Content (Retail tracking data, convenience store tracking data and consumer panel-based data), Predictive Analytics (Decomposition of the drivers of current business trends and simulation of the effects of changes on future brand plans), Enterprise Performance Management Software (Tools to support faster analysis of market content) and Professional Services / Consulting.

WPP is is the world’s largest communications services group in terms of revenue. Kantar, based in London, was founded in 1993 as the Market Research, Information and Consultancy Division of WPP. It is a network of 13 specialist companies, including:

Research International specialises in qualitative and quantitative custom market research. It has experience in most major sectors, particularly consumer packaged goods, retail, new media, financial services, energy and utilities, technology, the postal sector and telecommunications.

Millward Brown provides qualitative, quantitative and consulting services with respect to brands, marketing communications, media and marketing effectiveness. Millward Brown works across a range of industries and categories, including brand strategy and experience, creative development and campaign evaluation, consumer needs and values, media planning and strategy, return on investment (ROI) and forecasting, and investment management, brand valuation and analytics through its MB Optimor unit. In the UK, Millward Brown currently compiles the Music and Video Charts on behalf of The Official Charts Company.

Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) is a leading market research and market information group with focus on the areas Automotive, Consumer, Finance, Political and Social, and Technology.

Cheap Nintendo Wii Accessories

One can maximize the use of Nintendo Wii with a few more must-have accessories. These Nintendo Wii accessories add to the fun and experience of Wii gaming. They can even be perfect gifts for someone who already owns Nintendo Wii.

There are many sites listing the must have Nintendo Wii accessories. There are many online forums as well, that discuss them in detail. You will find many sharing their incredible experience while some may point out the faults. Do read them for knowledge as they also give you an idea as to what should be expected. Most of these sites have their own set of top accessories for Nintendo Wii, though a few common and the popular ones are the extra controllers, rechargeable batteries, game cube controllers, game cube memory cards, Wii points, SD card and the component video adapter .

The extra controller facilitates one to play head to head Wii sports games such as tennis or boxing. The extra controllers are the Wiimote and the Nunchuck. The combined cost of both of them would be around sixty dollars. The Wii supports four, but even one extra controller is just as much fun. Rechargeable batteries are a must for the avid gamers. If Nunchuck is left attached to the consoles, the battery drains out at a lightening speed. The rechargeable battery is one of the practical and cost saving Nintendo Wii accessories. Other attractive Wii games and accessories include the Nintendo wave bird. It is priced at only thirty five dollars and you can go wireless too. Game cube controller is also a well-liked accessory that works with the "virtual console". One does not need to buy the classic controller in this case. This is also nominally priced at twenty five dollars only.

There are some more bought after cheap Nintendo Wii accessories as well. A dollar twenty five game cube memory card will help you to save your games. If your Wii's memory is almost full with the virtual games do not worry. Just buy a SD card and expand your memory. These moderately spacious cards are available for thirty dollars.

All of the above accessories for the Nintendo Wii are readily available on console's online store. One may even get them on certain online retail outlets or in a console store near you.

The future-game freaks who love the Wii by now exactly know where to invest for added fun and excitement. The young, I am sure, will use the pocket money to buy these accessories while the adults can save for the astonishing Nintendo Wii accessories.

4 Ways to Target Mobile Micro-Moments and Boost Your Sales

The goal of every brand is to create a strong bond with customers whenever they need them. Keeping your brand visible before your potential customers during various micro-moments is crucial for your brand success.

Micro-moments refer to a short term of attention any potential customer uses on a mobile device in order to buy, search or watch something.

Mobile is no longer just a tendency and micro-moments are here to stay. Here are some effective ways to target mobile micro-moments and boost your sales:

1- Identify the Right Micro-Moments For Your Brand

As per Cassandra Wesch, Founder of the digital media agency, Upward Ecommerce, “Identifying opportunities to share relevant micro moments with your customer make it easier, faster, and more fun to connect with your brand”.

For a hotel owner, it would be great if the customers are able to check in immediately without having to wait in the queue.

From the customer point of view, the micro-moment happen when they are traveling and wanting to get into a hotel room without having to wait in line to check-in.

Well, you can do just that with the help of Starwood app. The customers are able to check-in right on the app.

As soon as the customers enter the hotel, the beacons recognize that the customer is there. Verification is done with the help of a fingerprint (if you’re on an iPhone), the app provides a room number, and then you simply hold your phone up to the entranceway and can go right into your room. That’s an amazing way for a brand to help the customers in a micro-moment.

2- Your Brand Should Be Seen Whenever the Potential Customer Needs You

As a brand, being present in all phases of consumer journey, not just when someone is ready to buy, is where the biggest opportunities exist. Google has defined four micro- moments that represent the full user needs.

I want to know moments – The consumer is exploring and researching but not yet in the purchase mindset. They are looking for useful information, education resources or an inspiration.

I want to go moments – Consumer is searching for a local business or considering buying a product at a local store.

I want to buy moments – The all important buy moments are when shoppers are ready to make a purchase and may need help determine what, how, or where to buy.

I want to do moments – These refer to moments when shoppers are looking for help getting something done or learning something new.

3- Mobile is the New Shopping Assistant – Your E-Store Must Understand This

Americans are shopping online, allocating their shopping budgets to browsing, expanding a regularly of five hours per week purchasing online.

The telecommunication company sprint discovered that one in four people who click on their mobile search ads actually end up being physically present in a sprint retail store.

As a business, you need to get your website mobile friendly and have an app that will help you to connect with your customers in real time.

It is essential to find out the different mobile search queries that the potential customers are using while locating your brand and further optimize your business presence in order to reap in more sales.

4- Deliver Relevant Messaging and Tap Into the Power of SMS Marketing

In this age of mobile connectivity, it is important to leverage the power of SMS marketing to improve your business visibility and increase sales.

8.6 Trillion text messages are sent every year on average and such messages are read within 5 seconds. This is a tremendous opportunity to explore where people are able to read your message within seconds of receiving it.

Tools like TextMagic are excellent in automating the SMS efficiency and reach. You can easily build one to one dialogue with your customer using dynamic inbound SMS messages.

While sending messages, it is recommended to follow the below tips:

Segment your audience and send the right message to the right customer.

Send messages that have time bound deals which are set of expire soon. This will drive instant actions.

Send triggered messages based on the action of the user. For example, if the customer has placed some items in the shopping cart and didn’t ordered them then you can send a triggered message with a special discount in order to persuade the customer to make an order.

Mobile is no longer in its teens. Your brand must understand the real power of mobile micro-moments and must ensure to be present at all times depending on the needs of the customer.