How to Convey a Brand's Message Through Merchandising

November 21, 2018
Visual merchandising is a critical skill within your business and it's possible you’re overlooking it, did you know that the atmosphere your store conveys is one of the biggest techniques to drawing in a new customer and making them fall in love with a new brand? Let’s consider some well recognized brands: think about the simplicity of an Everlane item, or the colors and prints of Reformation.

How can you leverage not only a brand but also your own store persona to attract more customers by telling a visual story? Here at Kanekta, we truly believe that the future of retail is moving towards sourcing responsibly made goods, therefore it is important for a brand to maintain their conveyed message throughout all platforms of design. Here are a few examples to get you started on how to convey a brand's message through the use of visual merchandising.

Let’s begin!

Creating a clear picture to consumers about the vision of the brand should be your first step. It doesn’t matter if you are a fashion designer or a retail buyer, visual merchandising is key in creating a unique shopping experience for your customers. Whether you are starting an e-commerce site or building a physical store, it is important to maintain a consistent theme across brands you carry that can land comfortably on all platforms.

Find the designer in you!

Consider a simple question: what will attract customers from the other side of a store to visually pick out a brand? This is important to a retail visual merchandiser as you may choose to highlight specific styles or brands within your store depending on your business needs. Creating ambiance within your space can be achieved through the use of props, plants, lighting, fixtures, or even mannequins. How does your store feel to an outsider and what is drawing them in?

When creating an online shopping experience, the questions to consider are similar. How user friendly is your website? What atmosphere does the colour story provide? Have you utilized the product knowledge resources provided by brands to help educate your sales team? By incorporating these details, your shop can convey a brand's message and seamlessly offer your customers a desired shopping experience.


Let’s look at an example. . .

All of this can be achieved by focusing on the use visual aids like props, colours and of-course each brand’s personal unique style.

For example, your shop’s focus for the week is a cozy night in, this could take the form of organic cotton pajamas and fuzzy wool socks displayed next to a beautiful artisan quilt. To complete the look, you have warm candles within the space and add succulents to bring life into the scene.

Use your visuals to create a story in the customers mind and let your creativity shine through. Not only does visual merchandising enhance the overall aesthetic and appeal of the brand but it can communicate a deeper message to the consumer about the mission behind the products. In this specific example, the visuals may be reminding the customer that winter is here and it is time to get cozy, what better way to do so than by bundling up in an artisan made quilt. 

As a brand. . .

You’re a brand who sells wholesale ready collections and are wondering: How do I convey my brands message in the hands of a buyer? Of course, an element of trust has to be applied if you are wholesaling to retailers internationally but that doesn't mean you can't give them suggestions on how to merchandise your products. By providing product knowledge kits and examples of your brand’s existing merchandising techniques, you can guide them with suggestions on their creative journey.

This should be clearly executed by providing that buyer the ideal customer shopping experience for your brand. It is also likely that the stories you chose to share about your brand is what attracted the buyer to you in the first place. As creatives, we all want to supply an aid to the customer. Whether that is by offering a product or an experience, it is important to remember to work as a team when translating a message to make the merchandise process more enjoyable for independent retailers. 


Who is doing it now?

As a creative, go ahead and ask yourself a few initial questions. For example, what is the ideal experience you want your customers to have? This question should always be at the forefront of your designing process and be translated into the aesthetic you carry throughout. Listed below are three different Kanekta brands we have chosen to highlight because of their successful use of visual merchandising throughout various online and physical platforms.

Elvis and Kresse
A British luxury accessories brand who is centered around sustainability. They supply their customers with significant information as to what is being purchased while also providing factual evidence as to why their brand is focused on tackling the global problem of leather waste.

31 Bits
Created by three inspiring women, their mission is to provide job opportunities to artisans worldwide while crafting products that are both thoughtful and ethical by design. While posting product imagery and telling stories within their space, the visuals and the merchandising techniques they choose to consistently use offer opportunity to educate new and old customers about this vision of the brand.

No Nasties
With fair trade being a focal point for this fashion brand, their imagery, story telling, colour palette and more give clear evidence to the customer why they want you to feel good about your purchases. By placing their values at the forefront of their branding online and in their own physical store, the message conveyed is held clear to the viewer.

In conclusion. . .        

Visual merchandising is your friend and a creative avenue of opportunity. Whether you’re a buyer or designer, visual tools and techniques offer assistance in helping convey your desired message. As you move forward on your creative adventures, ask yourself this: how do you want the customer to remember you? 

It is an exciting time to be in retail as we work together to make conscious design the desired norm. We challenge you to look into your current visual message and ask yourself this question: does the visual design across all mediums of my brand provide uniqueness and insight into my vision? 

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Photo courtesy of unsplash.