Four Tips to Subliminal Messages the Right Way

We’ve all heard of subliminal messages in advertising, although your impression of this technique may be negative considering some of its past uses. Subliminal messages have been used to slip images of sex, money and other seemingly inappropriate or deceptive graphics into logos and advertisements for some of the world’s biggest brands. Subliminal advertising isn’t always so icky, though, when done correctly and in good taste. A few simple choices can help you achieve maximum results from your advertising and marketing strategies in such a way that consumers aren’t even aware of. All you need to do is follow these four simple steps for ethical subliminal advertising.

  1. Make Your Logo Synonymous with Your Brand
    A good logo can go a long way, and ideally should tell current and potential customers as much as possible about your company, products and overall brand identity. A few simple and strategic choices, such as the placement of lines and white space, can go a long way. See what some of your most successful competitors are doing if you need inspiration; just remember your logo must be completely distinguishable from every other company’s logo.
  2. Use Graphics to Your Advantage
    Bold, simple graphics and lifestyle images can be the most effective when advertising a product or brand, whether you’re designing an in-store display, product packaging, magazine ad or any other visual message. While you may be tempted to fill your in-store displays and external packaging with information about your product, the fact is that most consumers won’t read most of the information associated with the product until after purchasing it, if they read it at all. The images consumers see should tell a story without saying a word.

    Cardboard Display with Printing

  3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Color
    Color choices are just as important as any graphics or images in your logo, displays, advertising and other branded messages that consumers receive. Certain colors can send specific messages without using any words or images, making this technique even more subtle and effective. Yellow often sends a message of optimism, for example, while blue is known for communicating intellect, coolness and loyalty. Red, on the other hand, can signify urgency, defiance or strength, while green and purple are known for being relaxing and/or soothing. So, read up on the best color choices for your brand identity, and choose no more than two bold colors.
  4. Use Real People, and Use Them Wisely
    Real people in commercials, in-store displays, print ads, billboards and other advertising mediums can subliminally tell consumers what your product is “all about”—but only if you choose the right people. This doesn’t mean you have to use supermodels (unless your product promises people access to the level of class or luxury that supermodels often portray). It does, however, mean that you should make sure that their clothes, hair, accessories and posture portray the kind of image you want associated with your brand. All these little touches can help you send the right subliminal messages in advertising without consumers ever knowing it.


How to Make Your Custom Cardboard Displays POP!

In an age where people are busier and more easily distracted than ever, the cardboard POP display design that you use to present and sell your products in stores can make or break your retail success. The multidimensional cardboard displays found in grocery stores, drug stores, big box stores and other retail outlets—often referred to as POP displays—come in many different shapes, sizes, color schemes and designs. Whether shoppers realize it or not, they’re more attracted to certain features in a cardboard display and less attracted to others.

Custom Cardboard POP Display

While it would be impossible to attract every potential customer through one in-store cardboard display, there are certain characteristics that are more likely than others to make your display “pop.” Here are a few of the best tips from retail packaging experts on how to make the most of your cardboard POP display:

Think Clean Over Clutter
As you and your design team consider the display possibilities, you may be tempted to combine as many elements as possible to attract as many shoppers as possible. While it’s true that different people are attracted to different things, very few people are attracted to clutter and an overly complex POP display is more likely to turn people away regardless of their preferences. It’s better to think about the types of people who are more likely to want or need your product, cater to them as much as possible, and when in doubt go for a clean and orderly display that allows a focused shelf of products to stand out.

Consider Color/Shape Combos
Most consumers don’t even realize how much of an impact shapes and color combinations have on their purchasing decisions. It all depends on what kind of message you’re trying to send. If you’re trying to give the impression that an edible product has a fruity, citrusy or sugary flavor, for example, you might use a rainbow of colors. A more serious product, such as an over-the-counter medicine, may be better displayed with a simple combination of two bold colors. You can also use the shape of your display to give an impression of softness or ruggedness, for example, or even remind people of the shape of the product itself.

Trust a Design Expert
If you are planning on using this type of Point of Purchase Display to show off your wares in stores, you may think that you and your in-house team have what it takes to come up with a great design. How hard can it be, after all? The fact is that it can actually be very difficult to create a powerful and commercially effective display that stands the test of time and ultimately contributes to the strength of your brand. If you have a highly experienced designer on board who is dedicated to optimizing your displays and packaging to appeal to your target audience in stores, great! If not, consider investing in a little outside help from Creative Displays Now. A seasoned design professional will know what’s best for your cardboard POP display design.


Top 10 FAQs about Visual Merchandising and Other Packaging

When it comes to visual merchandising, there is no denying the importance of how your products are displayed to ensure the proper customer experience. Visual displays aren’t limited to stores, though. With more and more retailers selling their wares online, the appeal of the boxes and other packaging used for shipping is also more important than ever.

Cardboard POP Display

Buying packaging can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are ten of the most frequently asked questions on this topic, and solutions that should ease the intimidation of making packaging decisions:

  • Are Samples Available?
    If you want to see examples of other custom orders to get ideas for your own product displays, there should be images available online to get you started. This way you can see what the trends are and avoid looking out of touch with current trends. If you need a prototype before placing an order, that can be supplied.
  • How Much Do I Have to Order?
    If you’re buying basic corrugated products you’ll want to purchase in bulk to save time and get the best deal possible. If you’re looking for a custom manufactured packaging order you should never feel obligated to purchase more than you need, but minimum orders of $2,500 are usually required.
  • How Can I Pay for My Order?
    Major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express are standard. Paying with checking and other types of accounts (such as credit terms) may also be arranged; make sure to discuss this prior to completing your order.
  • Does Shipping and Handling Apply?
    Shipping and handling fees will apply, which should be relative to the size and type of order. Shipping carriers are discussed later in this article.
  • How Long Does It Take to Manufacture?
    If you don’t need any custom printing, your order should only take a couple days to complete after you have finished placing your order. Custom printing requiring new tooling may take as many as four days, and full color packaging and displays usually take 7-9 working days.
  • What Type of Carrier Will Ship My Order?
    This will depend on what you have ordered, as well as your own preferences for shipping. FedEx Ground and UPS Parcel should be available when quantity and size allow, but oversized orders and custom carriers can also be arranged. Will call (customer pickup) orders are also common, so the customer can arrange shipment.
  • When Will I Receive My Packaging?
    This will depend on what type of order you have placed, your chosen shipping method, and distance from your location (refer to #5-6).
  • Can I Get My Order Faster?
    If you want your shipment to arrive as quickly as possible you may have to spend a little extra for rush charges and/or overnight shipping.
  • How Will I Know How to Assemble It?
    All packaging and visual merchandising come with easy-to-follow instructions if any assembly is required.
  • How do I Place the Same Order Next Time?
    This will depend on the level of customization required for the order, but if you save your information from the last order it should be much easier to quickly place the same order again. Creative Displays Now keeps your artwork on file, and tooling in stock for 12 months.


Top 5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience with In-Store Displays

There are many ways to improve the retail experience for your customers, but in store displays might just be one of the fastest, easiest, most convenient and affordable ways to make customers happy – and ultimately increase revenue. The layout and design of your store should serve as a salesperson, bringing customers’ attention to the products they likely want and need that can also bring the highest returns. When used successfully, though, customers should never hear this salesperson. Your creative displays and product placements are more like silent salespeople that lead customers to make buying decisions they feel good about. When your customers feel good in your store and happy with their purchases, they’re more likely to spend more and return again and again.

In Store Display - Custom Cardboard Display

Here are five simple ways to use product displays to improve the customer experience in your store:

  1. Attract Attention with Color
    There are several ways that retailers can use color to attract customers’ attention in a positive way. Solid blocks of color will grab the most attention for the products you want customers to focus on, and the brighter the better. Also make sure all of your brightly colored displays are prominently placed in well-lit areas so customers see those colors popping.
  2. Don’t Talk Too Much with Text
    There are inevitably messages you will want to send to your shoppers with your displays, but too many words can actually get in the way and clutter the display, or at the very least they are likely to be ignored. Remember, your displays are like silent salespeople, and too much text can make customers feel as if they’re being yelled at. A good rule of thumb is to see if the entire text of your display can be read before you would naturally stop to blink. If it can’t, it’s too much.
  3. Follow the Foot Traffic
    Chances are that some areas of your store are constantly filled with customers, while others are often deserted. The most highly trafficked areas should, not surprisingly, receive the most attention when it comes to in store displays. Make sure to change displays in these areas every week or so. The result will be happier customers who might even be excited to return to your store and see what’s changed and what’s new.
  4. Think about Themes
    Placement of displays should not be random; they should be grouped together to feature products that go together. Not only does this create a sense of unity, it also draws customers’ attention to products they would naturally add on to other products. All it takes is a little thought about what people buy together and the themes should fall into place.
  5. Use Lighting to Highlight
    In addition to using bright colors, it’s also important to use lighting to draw people’s attention to certain products. If you’re going to take the time to install creative displays and change them every week, it would be a waste to have them hidden in dull lighting. So make sure all your most prominent displays are highlighted with accent lights that improve the overall visual experience.


Five Ways to Boost Sales during Dads & Grads Season

From early reminders to point of purchase advertising, there are many ways to keep customers enticed about the latest and upcoming shopping season. Now that we’re in the midst of high school and university graduations, as well as Father's Day, retailers are busy trying to capture sales from all the customers shopping for dads and grads. While these are two different markets for two different occasions, there are ways to capture both at once. It saves money, time and space and creates visual appeal.

Cardboard Retail Display

As families and friends celebrate this warm and wonderful time of year, consider five excellent ways to capture the markets for dads and grads simultaneously:

  1. Start Early and Stay Present
    Smart retailers have been reminding customers about these upcoming occasions since Mother’s Day passed, and will keep it up until shortly after Father’s Day. This can be accomplished with in-store displays and banners, website promotions, social media channels, email, newspaper ads and other marketing avenues. And it can’t hurt to keep these reminders up until shortly after graduations and Father’s Day have passed, since many people will want to give belated gifts.
  2. Make Helpful Suggestions
    Don’t hesitate to suggest various gift ideas to your customers. Many people will appreciate the advice when they’re having a hard time thinking of a good gift for the dad or grad in their life and are running out of time. Think about things that the typical (and not-so-typical) dad might use on a regular basis, as well as items recent grads might need as they hunt for jobs or set up new homes.
  3. Make Gift Cards an Option
    Some dads and grads are hard to shop for, and some friends and family don’t know what the dad or grad in their life really likes or what they already have at home. Gift cards are an easy solution for any gift giver, and with a decorative box or creative packaging they can be just as beautiful to receive as any other gift.
  4. Offer Gift Wrapping Services
    Who wants to run home and wrap their own gifts when someone else can do it for free? By offering gift wrapping services, you can make the retail experience even more pleasant and convenient for your shoppers. This free service won’t cost you a lot of time, money or resources, and it may just attract some shoppers who would have passed your store by otherwise.
  5. Get Them at the Register
    One of the easiest ways to increase sales and ensure repeat business is with counter displays at the point of purchase. By offering helpful suggestions, last minute ideas and small add-ons right at the register, you can bolster each sale and enhance customer satisfaction. Many customers will appreciate the reminder about small additional items they may have forgotten or overlooked. This is also a great place to promote with coupons, invitations and other advertising activities.

Both of these occasions are about celebrating the people we love for the important things they do. With these simple steps, it’s easy for retailers to help their customers give gifts that do just that as they help themselves boost sales.