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By Joe Holley – Frank Mayer and Associates

Glued to your television during the big college basketball tournament?

FrankMayerBasketballI am always impressed by the skill and professionalism these young athletes exhibit; however, it’s their practice, planning and dedication that lead them to this incredible showcase.

Whenever you are under pressure or about to start something new, it can seem as if the goal will never be within reach. Try to imagine the first time a player sets up to hit a three-point shot. Most likely, they missed. But with the time spent learning proper ball handling skills and the basics of the game, they confidently attempt game winning threes.

Now, try to consider your next display project the way these athletes look at the big tournament. When your display launches in-store, you’ve made it to the championship, and with the right preparation, you will be as confident as these athletes.

In no specific order, we have compiled eight concepts to use as starting blocks when preparing your next in-store display program.

Budget: What is the budget for the display project?

  • The budget is the foundation of a project. Resources, time and design can be streamlined to fit your project needs and achieve the best outcome when the budget is presented upfront.
  • Keep in mind economy of scale. The cost of each display will be affected by the quantities needed for in-store rollout.

Timeline: When does the display launch in-store and for how long?

  • The date your display project will be set in-store determines the entire production timeline – affecting everything down to shipping methods. While there are opportunities to expedite some processes, your timeline should consider there are many factors that can affect production lengths, i.e.: domestic vs. overseas manufacturing, electronics, and certification testing.
  • Remember the timeline does not end with store rollout. You should define how long a display will be in-store as this affects the length of the service agreement, planning for spare parts and the materials used.

SKUs: What will this display hold?

  • Clearly define what you plan to merchandise and the quantity of the product.
  • Consider developing a planogram that stipulates which products will be displayed and the size of the product boxes.

Size: How big is the display footprint?

  • The specific dimensions and whether it will be inline, an end cap, or free-standing are necessary for the design to be accurate and the display to fit in the environment.
  • When you consider the size, do not only think of basic length, width and height restrictions of the display and your merchandised product, but also the weight so that the product is accurately supported and display is safely shoppable.

Brand Identity: What are you trying to convey and to whom?

  • Develop a clear understanding for the objective of the display so that your expectations can streamline the overall design.
  • A large part of a display is the content that delivers your brand messaging and you will want to develop that content, such as messaging, photography and video, in advance.

Updatability: Will the display need to be updatable during its lifespan?

  • Plan for the display to be modular if you will be changing products, product quantities or graphics while it is in-store.

Interactive: Will the display be a static merchandiser or have an interactive piece?

  • Determine the product sample that will be showcased early on so the display is designed to the product.
  • If the interactive piece is a short video clip or program, be sure to develop the content in advance. For instance, if your display is a kiosk running a software program, the design of the display will be determined by the hardware and electrical components required. You will need to fully vet your program and understand what is required of it before designing the display.

Electrical Components: What, if any, powered components will be utilized?

  • If you are considering a display that contains a working sample, lighting, a video player, PC and monitor, or tablet, you will require power to these elements. Know the store layout in advance and if there is access to an electrical outlet or if the display will require another means of power.
  • Some displays and kiosks require an internet connection to run a program or update content. Connectivity affects the design of a display and you will need to know in advance if you will be using Wi-Fi, a hardwired Ethernet cable or a cellular wireless connection.

We hope this helps you prepare for your next display project.

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