How to Spread Awareness Through Merchandising
Whether we talk about our favorite shades of blue or gravitate towards certain movies because they have an aesthetic that appeals to us, it’s no secret that human beings are visual creatures. And whether we’re aware of it or not, we communicate messages to each other through clothing, body language, and demeanor. In short, we make our brands known to others in a matter of seconds.
According to one study, the human brain only has an attention span of eight seconds. Let’s say that that’s an infallible fact- your brand’s visuals have to tell your potential customer exactly what you’re selling in eight seconds or less. How do you subconsciously convert the potential customer into a loyal one?
The simple answer- through masterful merchandising.
What is Merchandising?
While the term “merch” is used by Baby Boomers and Gen Z’ers alike, few of them may think about what merchandising entails. Simply put, merchandising is the promotion of goods and/or services that are available for retail. Merchandising can be physical, such as a tee-shirt advertising a pop singer, or it can be digital, such as a high-quality post on Instagram advertising a New York Restaurant. Now that we have a solid understanding of merchandising, let’s see what tricks can be implemented into it to spread brand awareness.
Tip #1: Give Potential Customers Something To Hold Onto
If customers are going to choose your product or service over your competitor’s, they have to feel as though they have a personal connection with your brand. When you plan out merchandising for your brand, try to remember the rule of reciprocation: people often feel they need to reciprocate a purchase when they’re given something to hold on to. If there’s any way you can give your audience something they could use, such as a free sample or a magnet, they will likely feel inclined to repay the favor with a purchase.
Tip #2: Tell Your Brand’s Story Through Design
Once you’ve got the business logistics of your brand down, think about what story you want your brand to tell and what emotions you want it to evoke. There should be intentionality behind every bit of typography, every color scheme, and every logo placement. For that intentionality to resonate with your audience and convert them into customers, each little piece of your visual should form a cohesive brand identity. To execute this successfully, you may want to look into hiring a freelance graphic designer, social media manager, or copywriter.
Tip #3: Analyze What Works And What Doesn’t
While the appropriate research can tell you a lot about what you might need to spread brand awareness and what merchandising will help you do it, sometimes it takes trial and error to get a feel for what performs well. Using programs like Google Analytics can help you monitor web traffic and web clicks, and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth and feedback can give you a clear assessment of what needs improvements. Whenever you ask for evaluations, keep an open mind and a thick skin. After all, negativity should only act as fuel for an upward trajectory!
Merchandising is a direct and effective way to communicate brand identity with an audience and, when done well, can have the power to turn them into consumers. Through giving your audience little pieces of your brand, implementing curated design strategies, and learning from past mistakes, the right amount of merchandise will not only get buyers in your door but keep them coming back. Now think: you’ve only got a moment to communicate your brand to strangers. What message do you want them to take away?