On the high street, the shop front is the face of the brand, the first thing customers will see. A well-designed window, good signage, and a clean entrance will help attract customers to take a look inside. But, the opposite is also true – signage with peeling paint, dusty displays and cluttered windows will make someone walk on by – and maybe straight to a competitor.
Especially now, the focus on a strong brand and digital presence is incredibly valuable, even for businesses that have retail premises. A brand whose online and physical marketing look neglected can only harm how potential customers see you.
Instead of windows and signage, the marketing alternatives could include:
Social media profiles
These days every business should have some form of social media presence. While not all platforms might be suited for your type of business, having at least one will help customers when deciding to use your service or products. I know I personally tend to look a company up on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn first to find out a little more about them. But I find there is nothing worse than seeing a company page that hasn’t been updated for months or even years. Seeing photos that are pixelated, messy or hard to read.
Having multiple social media platforms is like having a chain of shops – they all need to look the same and be consistent. You would never find one McDonalds with the Golden Arches and another with the Pink Arches! If you are creating your own content or employee of your business, one easy trap to fall into is not having this consistency across the board. By using a graphic designer like myself, you have a look and feel designed for all social media platforms to help keep your brand looking professional. Design for online and social media is one of the graphic design services I love to provide. Take a look at some examples here.
Creating and sending email marketing your customers or attracting new ones. Unlike social media platforms, you can have more control over your audience. People can spend all their effort growing a large Facebook or Instagram following, only to see reach decrease when new changes or algorithms are introduced. Having a solid email list means no matter what changes happen to social media, you will still have these contacts to email.
Creating email marketing may be easier these days thanks to platforms like MailChimp and MailerLite but there still needs to be brand considerations when designing these. Just like social media, your emails should have the look and feel, be easy to read and shouldn’t bombard the reader with too much info. A good email campaign is part of the journey rather than the destination. If your destinations are your website or event etc, the email should have enough info there to make them click through, but not so much that they get bored halfway through reading.
Is print dead? I for one certainly hope not. My passion for graphic design is based on a love for a well-crafted piece of print design. Whether it’s a simple flyer, or a full corporate brochure or catalogue, any piece of marketing should follow the same branding principles as all other marketing. Having easy access to design software means more business owners are taking this task on themselves or to a staff member. But knowing software and knowing key graphic design and branding principles are two very different things. When hiring a professional graphic designer, you are not only getting a person with software knowledge, you are hiring someone who has honed their skills and talent to create a high standard of graphic design. Need some print marketing designed- take a look at my case studies.
All these elements should work together to help reinforce your brand and values. If your competitors have their branding aligned, then you could be missing out on new business.
If you need advice on getting your ‘shop front’ up-to-date, get in touch!