Visual merchandising is a marketing strategy that retailers adopt in order to increase sales or brand awareness, or simply to gain a plus when it comes to aesthetics. Visual merchandising is a profitable strategy because it gives the retailer the opportunity to increase sales by using little budget, compared to advertising. It is, after all, a type of advertising that is undergone on the spot and, with a bit of creativity and imagination, everyone can master the art of visual merchandising and use it in creating displays.
As it has been stated before, the entire process of crafting the ideas we have about visual merchandising is perceived now as a true form of art. Retailers understand nowadays that a simple exposure of mannequins wearing the best of the collection in store is no longer a solution. The intention must be focused now on the principles that can be applied to a certain collection of clothes, jewelry and so on, in order to make it visible from outside the store, even by not knowing absolutely anything about the brand. The so-called brand awareness can be built within the store and by its employers.
We’re talking about a form of art when it comes to visual merchandising for the simple reason that every endeavor needs to be creative and original. Otherwise, how else could we constantly secure people’s interest in our brand?
But being new doesn’t necessary imply a total self-sufficiency! As the postmodern mentality teaches us, the act of creativity doesn’t need to be a novelty. There can be adopted and adapted forms of expression from various sources, from imitative arts, music and so on. At the same time, new forms of expression must be taken into consideration because they can really catch the eye. One of them is the building up of an installation.
An installation is a relatively new form of art, with roots in the ready-made practices. Its main principle is to organize a space in which it is set according to other, unusual rules. An installation doesn’t necessary use the space in which it appears as a mere conjuncture, but as a more determinant one. The background in which the installation is set is used as an element of the installation itself. With other words, if a choose a setting for my installation, I will also be taking into consideration the specific of that place, its elements and the way in which they can be combined in order to produce meaning along with the things I bring in. An installation is meant to produce a show and it also has (or it should have) the ability to bring the viewer in the middle of creating meaning. It is all about crafting an artistic display that reorganizes and reevaluates the entire meaning, function and purpose.
This new form of expression represents the perfect solution for those who no longer trust the traditional ones. Using such kind of principles for displays can bring many advantages because an installation can be set everywhere, in the store or outside.
Some might say that there is a close resemblance between an artistic installation and a display in an apparel store. This situation is given by the fact that, very often, a display can use a lot of elements that are not particularly connected if we take them individually. Put together they can create a totally different thing. The distinction, however, is connected with the fact that a true installation is set in a background that isn’t necessary a store. Putting it into an apparel store it would seem appropriate, but elsewhere would stir and dazzle. What is important is to find places initially created for other purposes and use their potential to create something different that can enhance our brand awareness and visibility.
Some of the best places that can be used in such purposes are mostly public places: gardens, parks, commercial spaces, malls, supermarkets, and particular spots could be decorative assemblies for example. Some partnerships can be established and thus the advertising is created by both sides. What needs to be paid attention is that the more “foreign” to our intention the place is, the more imaginative we must be. We can bring in the original setting mannequins wearing our best articles of clothing, logos of our brand and other items that we consider necessary. The best would be action and flexible mannequins, because they can be molded according to the place we intent to place them.
This is one of the many ways in which visual merchandising can be improved. Creating an installation not only that increases brand awareness, but it can also provide a close-to-customer aspect.