What can shops do to better present themselves to potential customers?

One of the most important places to make an impact and probably one of the most overlooked is the visual display of your business, which includes retail windows, displays in your store, and even how you present your products in a meeting with customers.

One of the first connections you make with anyone is a visual one. Your window displays or product displays are your first opportunity to get someone interested and curious enough to come inside or to ask questions.

Window displays do not need to be complicated or expensive to be effective. Instead, streamline and simplify. Pick one theme, one story to tell. Think about the next holiday, one category of items, or even different products in one color palette. Put a golf bag and two golf shirts together, for example.

Your display must tell the intended story in an instant. It is always better to show fewer items than to stuff the area and overcrowd it. People know there’s more than what’s in your window. Tease their brain and ignite their curiosity.

A background for your window display creates focus, generates curiosity, and defines the story you are telling. It can be as simple as a tension rod with a drape of fabric on it or a painted partition wall.

Choose props to enhance your theme or story. Wrap some larger sturdy boxes of different sizes in solid red wrapping paper, add wide white ribbons, and they’re holiday packages. Change small details, and you’re ready for Valentine’s Day.

Having an effective window display does not require a fortune. Invest in quality props you can use and repurpose over and over. The display is your store’s resumé and where you need to look good.

What if you are going out on sales calls and making presentations in a meeting? The same thinking applies. The visual impression you create when you first meet new customers is one of the strongest ones they keep of you. Invest in some garment bags in a color that represents you and your business. Use the color of your logo or select a “signature” color. Show a specific product in “your color” and with your logo first. Wear a product in that color on your sales calls. Work that message.

If you work from home, think about how you can incorporate the business color into the space that your customers see.

Look around your business, right now, as if through the eyes of a new potential customer. Are they telling your brand story? Use the opportunities available to you to further your brand awareness. It may seem subtle, but it works. Brand stories are built, remembered, and shared visually. How does your business look?

—National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP)

jennifer cox

Jennifer Cox

Jennifer Cox is one of the founders and serves as president of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), an organization that supports embroidery and apparel decoration professionals with programs and services designed to increase profitability and production.

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Charlie Fox

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