2014 GlobalShop Review Part 2 – Displays

While at GlobalShop I did find time to go through and look at the various displays that were entered into the POPAI OMA award showcase. As a designer I am particularly interested in seeing what the latest and greatest displays look like, and how they merchandise products. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye, and why I like them.

 

-Chris Weigand

President, Chris Weigand Design

Chris Weigand Design is a retail design consultancy focused on helping retailers and product brands connect with guests. Our blog provides insight into the world of retail trends, design and our company. The contents of the blog are our opinion and perspective and should not be construed as an endorsement of any product, service or company. Visit us at www.chrisweiganddesign.com to find out more about our company and how we can help you with your next retail project.

2014 GlobalShop Recap Part 1 – Notable Retail Suppliers

Okay, I just got back from Vegas where Globalshop 2014 was held at Mandalay Bay. It was a good show and a decent crowd. Going out for just a day or two essentially, was not enough time. I spent most of Wednesday meeting with retailers, talking about their business and providing my retail design thoughts and ideas.

I did sneak in some time to view all the displays up for “awards” at the show, as well as walked the show floor. I’ll cover my thoughts on the awards displays in another post. For this post though let me touch and a handful of suppliers that I found interesting enough to stop and talk to. I’m not formally endorsing these companies, and certainly not being paid by them (although if they want to pay me, who am I to argue…just kidding. Everything you read here is strictly my opinion and not an endorsement). As a designer, I will keep them in mind the next time we’re working on a project that could benefit from their goods and services.

RichliteSolid Surface – I was high tailing it through the show, with only an hour left to see everything before the end of the day, but I just had to stop at the Richlite booth. I was attracted by what looked like a solid surface material, which it is but it’s made out of paper! When we were building our house I did a lot of research into solid surfacing materials, and ultimately landed on quartz. I’m not sure I would have changed my mind had I known, but the paper based material intrigues me no less. I could definitely see using it for commercial or retail areas, especially in a desk area. I love that you can get up to three inches thick, creating really stunning scale and proportion. The mottled color palette is sweet earthy goodness too. There are even core options, to get a stripe or bamboo look. And the material’s environmental sustainability qualities are wonderful too. The material can be machined with regular woodworking equipment and is FSC & GREENGUARD certified. Check out their informative website to learn more.

photo from Richlite.com website.

photo from Richlite.com website.

Secto Design Lighting – These simple Scandinavian lights caught my eye as was rushing to get lunch. The were well worth the trek back towards the end of the show when I actually had time to stop. The lattice like shades are made from slats of wood, in Finland and can use energy saving bulbs.

Photo by Chris Weigand

Photo by Chris Weigand

B+N Industries, Inc.Wall System“System 1224”, so named because the panels are 12″ x 24″, is pretty cool. Like most modular systems it’s fairly simple to spec and execute at retail. You have simple 8′ rails that you mount to the wall, 24″ on center, then plug-in your choice of panels. The end result is a contemporary slat wall system with a seemingly infinite array of accessories including shelves and drawers. You can spec the panels in a variety of finishes including powder coat, printed images, to even light boxes and leather! I can’t wait to get my hands on a project where we can try out the system. The creative possibilities are endless.

Photo from BNIND.com

Photo from BNIND.com

Toppan Fortina Printed Metal Extrusion – The B+N rep also took a second to show me Fortina printed aluminum extrusion. The come in a myriad of profiles and wood finishes. They are a nice, stable and recyclable alternative to real wood architectural trim; perfect for adding visual warmth to contemporary retail spaces. The profiles can be used to great effect vertically, horizontally, in a line or staggered, among other ways.

image from toppan-cosmo.jp/fortina/english/

image from toppan-cosmo.jp/fortina/english/

Visual MagneticsMagnetic Paint & Substrates – I think I had seen their ad somewhere and made a point of stopping by their booth. Visual Magnetics make paint infused iron so that magnets adhere to the paint. The idea being that you can then put a sign anywhere without messing up the wall. And installation is as simple as putting your old jeans on and grabbing a roller. They even sell magnetic material that your printer can print your graphics onto. As a retail designer, I love, love, love the flexibility this gives retailers. It’s a great idea for pop-up stores.

GLV CompanyDecorative Slatwall – Slatwall is the bane of every retail designer. Merchants and bean counters love it because it’s a flexible and economical way to merchandise product. The problem is nothing screams “cheap” or “I need a makeover” like a store filled with slatwall. Well I couldn’t help but stop when I saw the slatwall GLV Company had on display. The solid MDF panels are machined and painted to look like brick, metal or other finishes that are decidedly not traditional slatwall looking. In fact I really like the corrugated metal version because I couldn’t really see the slats anymore. The also manufacture some nice accessories as well. If you must use slatwall, please consider using something other than the usual 3″ on center almond stuff that your grandfather spec’d.

image from glvco.com

image from glvco.com

WAC LightingLighting – I get a lot of questions on lighting so I made sure I stopped by a few lighting booths before the show closed on Wednesday. One of them was WAD Lighting out of Port Washington, NY. They offer a variety of nice lighting fixtures for all kinds of applications, including some very nice down lights. As with most lighting suppliers, LED’s have become prevalent. When specifying lighting for your store, make sure you’re using LED’s whenever possible to save money and electricity in the long run.

photo from waclighting.com

photo from waclighting.com

Amerlux, LLC Lighting – Next door I scampered over to the Amerilux lighting booth as well. They too offer a variety of LED lighting solutions for your retail store. As with any reputable lighting supplier, the folks over at Amerlux will be able to work directly with your retail designer, architect and you to specify and supply a lighting package that is perfect for your store.

image from amerlux.com

image from amerlux.com

SupplyOne Retail Store ServicesStore Operations Supplies – A home town shout-out to these guys and gals who were manning the booth adjacent to where I was giving design consolations. Based in nearby Cleveland, Ohio, SupplyOne provided packaging, cleaning supplies and even displays for retailers. They’re about as nice of people as you’ll meet and they can make running a retail business easier for you.

Superior DisplayCustom Caseware – These wood and glass jewelry, and display cases are hand-made by craftsmen in Bend, Oregon. They can make cases to your specifications and ship out fully assembled. Their catalog includes over a hundred standard items as well. When you’re ready to outfit your new store, check them out.

image from superiordisplay.com

image from superiordisplay.com

Alright, that’s my review of some of the suppliers I had the pleasure of talking to at GlobalShop this year. I’ll cover some of the other things I saw in subsequent posts so stay tuned.

Did you goto GlobalShop and see any exhibitors that you’d like to give a shout-out to? Do so in the comments below.  Happy retailing peeps!

-Chris Weigand

President, Chris Weigand Design, LLC

We are a retail design consultancy specializing in helping independent retailers and product brands create really awesome retail experiences that make people smile, and excited to be shopping. We also focus on environmentally sustainable solutions, as well as stay on top of the latest retail and design trends. Visit us at www.chrisweiganddesign.com to learn more and contact us today.  Thanks.

Design For Independent Retailers

photo via Corbisimages.com

photo via Corbisimages.com

In honor of Global Shop next week we thought we’d would share with you our thoughts on how independent retailers can benefit from engaging the services of a retail design consultancy. Regardless of whether run a “pop-up”, one store or a dozen stores it’s worth considering enlisting some outside help if you want and need it to give your retail experience a shot in the arm.

A Design Team Works Within Your Budget

You are the expert when it comes to your business. We’ll say that time and time again. You built it from the ground up. There’s no denying your knowledge and dedication. Why would you need or want a design consultant?

Well, sometimes it’s good to get a fresh set of eyes looking at something. They can provide experienced and professional insight. And it may be worth getting some help so you can step back to concentrate on other aspects of the business that need your attention more. A consultant costs as much, or as little as you have budgeted for your project. And they can help immensely.

As a retail design consultancy we start by meeting with you to review your business; learn from you the opportunities you face and assess areas where we can add value. A retail design services can run from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the scope and complexity of the project. The services you’ll receive are outlined in a proposal ahead of time, and each phase can be agreed upon to suit your time and budgetary needs. Truly, no project is too big or small.

Retail Designers Offer A Variety Of Services

Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been in the business for ages, it is critical that you connect to customers and your brand speaks with one voice. There are a variety of ways a design team can help. Here are some examples that would be of benefit to independent retailers:

Graphic Design – this includes branding, such as creating a logo or style guide for your store. Also graphic design covers in store signage and way-finding. The designers can use art, illustration, typography and photography to create inspiring graphics that hit your guests sense of style and emotion, putting them in the frame of mind to fall in love with your brand. Related to graphics is packaging design – so if you have a need to actually brand product, say juice bottles, soap or salon products – the design team can design those solutions as well to give a cohesive brand message to guests.

Interior Design – this is retail experience on a macro level. Everything on the inside of your store, from flooring to walls to lighting and ceiling influences how guests feel while they are shopping. Also space planning which is important, so that your store has good traffic flow. It can be as simple as rearranging and curating what you already have, to a complete extreme store makeover.

Visual Merchandising & Display Design – in concert with graphics, the design of the displays and fixtures that your products go on can make a impact on the experience. Your designer can select stock displays or design custom ones that can be made within your budget. Displays make sure your product is the star and is delightful to shop. Visual Merchandising attracts and helps tell your story.

Project Management & Sourcing – the design team can manage the project from kickoff, to design brief, through design and specification, ultimately to retail implementation. Designers are experts at managing multiple programs and assuring they are completed to specification, on time and on budget. Especially if you are trying something out for the first time, having sourcing help can come in handy.

Research, Trends, and Sustainability Consulting – design firms are a great resource for the latest trends, or areas where you may not be as knowledgable such as environmental sustainability. Plus if you need someone to research the market, your competition or your customers, a consultancy can provide those services. This can help your business beyond just how your store looks and functions.

A Retail Design Team Works With You

As I said, you’re the expert when it comes to your brand. Meet with your designers and assess your unique business and brand situation. Then the design team will make recommendations and provide design solutions as necessary. Equally important they’ll tell you what you don’t need. It certainly is not a one person dance; the design team you’ve hired is your partner. They’ll bring fresh perspective and interesting ideas, and be able to work seamlessly with your in-house resources. In the end your brand story will attract and connect with guests at every touch point. And you will save yourself from the frustration, not to mention time and money, of trying to do everything yourself.

You may not need an outside design firm to help you out. I’ve been in plenty of independent retailers that are doing an awesome job all by themselves. But at least be aware that these services are out there. They add value to the most critical part of your business: telling your brand story to guests. Take advantage of the professional perspective, creativity and talent that a retail design team can bring to your store.

The brand you built deserves it.

In what ways do you think you could benefit from engaging a retail designer?

If you don’t use a designer, why not?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Happy retailing merchant peeps!

Chris Weigand has been designing innovative retail solutions for over 15 years. The results of his work can be found in over 30,000 retail doors, enhancing the shopper experience and improving sales. If you are an independent retailer who would like to find out how Chris Weigand Design can help your brand connect with guests, visit our website at www.chrisweiganddesign.com We are actively looking for great new clients to partner with, creating awesome retail experiences.

2014 CLE Auto Show

While the Cleveland Auto Show doesn’t get any national press, and rarely does it get a new car introduction, we still think it’s a gem of an event right in our back yard. The show is, or was at one time, the largest auto show after Detroit, New York City, Chicago and L.A. The main advantage of the show here in CLE is that parking is plentiful and free, and you can essentially sit in every car – the show is canted towards real people, who buy real cars. There’s even an area to ride along in a new Jeep or test drive other cars in the parking lot.

And with the uptick in the economy the show has recently been benefiting from fancy human models (male and female) touting the new car features, as well as many of the same exhibit displays you’d see in the larger markets. At the low point of the recession, the show was basically cars on carpet with no one around. The one thing we didn’t see too many of this year were concept cars. It seems the industry is focused on putting near production models on the turn tables instead of blue sky dream cars. We’re not sure if this is universal at many of the shows, but it’s a trend snippet worth delving into more….

When we went the show was incredibly crowded so getting photos was a tad difficult due to the sheer number of people all over the place. Here are a few photos we did snap as we walked the show floor.  Enjoy.

Want Insight Into Your Designer Before You Hire? Try Pinterest.

Chris Weigand Design on Pinterest

Chris Weigand Design on Pinterest

Picking a designer, architect or agency can be daunting. You ask around for references, check out a few websites, review some of their past projects and interview them in person. All of this will likely give you a good feel for how they operate and their approach to your project.

When it comes to their aesthetic sensibilities or design philosophy that may not always be clear as day. While it is good to see how they creatively solved design problems for other clients, there is value in getting a feel for what inspires and drives your potential design team. As I was crafting our company’s Pinterest page, I started thinking: Pinterest is an awesome way to see how we think as designers. It affords a random stranger or potential client to see what we are inspired by, like and appreciate, as professional designers.

Pinterest is an all-encompassing inspiration board for our design team. When working on a project we almost always generate inspiration boards as part of our design research. While these internal boards are specific to the project, they often pull images from Pinterest (and other resources) that reflect who we are as designers; how we aesthetically and functionally will solve the problem at hand.

Here’s why I think a designer or agency’s Pinterest page is a good place to check out when trying to get a sense of their style and design aesthetic / philosophy.

Categorized – When creating boards in Pinterest I try to cover all ways design is inspired. There are categories for retail (our specialty), product, graphic and interior design. Architecture is well represented with its own category as well as home related design and decor. Fashion lives in separate categories for women and men. Rounding out the core boards is one for “Color”, “Nature” and world travel. I also like to include the occasional specialty board like “Global Spice” that is a combination of all of the above, with a focus on eclectic, cultural design. Lastly there are boards for quotes, celebrity / historic photos and “Fun” to give potential clients a feel for how we think beyond design.

Curated – The selection of pins on their Pinterest board usually is a curated. Each pin is there for a reason. Over time the boards and pins will be refined. Personally I browse the internet, other Pinterest boards, and even my own photos. Anything that stands out gets pinned immediately. Then I’ll come back and add or subtract. I’ll also look at the captions and re-word them to state why we like the pin. Curated boards are alive – like a living species that is evolving over time.

Trends – It goes without saying Pinterest is a great source for trends. I don’t know if anyone has studied the site to see if it actually influences or creates trends, but my guess is at the very least some trends start to see the light of day there. Most trend setters – individuals and companies – have a page on the site so it gives us access to a vast array of design trends that we can browse. If I’m seeing the same types of things over and over again, I’ll create a board on our page or for internal purposes.

Design Network – The company your designer keeps is another good indicator of their design approach. Take a look at who your design professional follows, and who follows their boards. I just started our company boards (I’ve had my own personal Pinterest page for a year or two) and we already have a few followers. I’m always excited to see people and companies following our boards, who we hold in high aesthetic esteem. It’s also a great way to discover “pinners” who have a great sense of style that aren’t household names…yet.

Inspiration – Likely the most important point here, you get to see what inspires a design team. What images, quotes, ideas do they gravitate towards. Keep in mind, any design pro worth their consulting fee will arrive at a solution that is appropriate to you and the situation regardless of their personal taste. But I feel as a client you should be interested in what inspires the person or team that you’re entrusting your project to. Seeing that philosophy manifested in a fascinating series of image boards is an awesome reassurance.

With all of this in mind, spend some time exploring your design professional’s Pinterest site. I think you’ll find that you will get a good feel for their design sense. Design is subjective and there are a variety of ways to arrive at really great solutions. If all designers were the same the world would be a very boring place. Pinterest is a great tool to use during your design professional search. Do yourself a favor and go exploring.

Have you used Pinterest when evaluating companies and professionals? 

What else, beyond what I mentioned, do you like about Pinterest?

Share you thoughts in the comments below.

-Chris Weigand, President – Chris Weigand Design, LLC

chris@chrisweiganddesign.com

Chris Weigand Design is a retail design consultancy specializing in helping product brands and independent retailers connect with guests at retail. We create visual merchandising, display, graphic and interior retail design solutions. We also can provide space planning, project management and sourcing services if needed. Check out our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/cweiganddesign/ to get a sense of our style and the latest trends we’re seeing. Contact us today if you’d like to discuss your project. We’d love to work with you.

Brand Meaning Is Evolving

Find your brand niche in the business ecosystem. RF photo via Corbis.com

Find your brand niche in the business ecosystem.
RF photo via Corbis.com

“Brand” must have more meaning now more than ever.

The word “brand” is ubiquitous these days. There are probably more articles on the topic on any given day than there are actual brands. Our consultancy throws the word around quite a bit too. I never did a count on our website or other media outlets but I’m sure the word is there dozens if not a hundred times. But what does it really mean?

While reading Nicolas Bordas’s insightful article I started thinking. What does it mean to have a brand in this day and age? To be a brand? In the “old-days” a brand was a cool logo, some advertising, and maybe a tag line that was subject to change. The branding work was handled by guys with fancy suits over martini lunches. It was likely the realm of larger companies; you didn’t worry about branding until you needed to worry about branding so to speak.

The reality was smaller companies, such as independent retailers and widget makers, were working on branding all along, but probably not consciously. It was just how they did business. What big-business spent big bucks on, came naturally for the mom-and-pop operations. Ironically while the larger companies paid to craft perceived authenticity, the little guys often oozed authenticity. If you wanted to know what a big brand stood for, you ate whatever their marketing team fed you. As for the small guy you went up and talked to them; saw first hand what they stood for. Although they probably couldn’t tell you what their “brand” was if you paid them. Sort of an ironic “authenticity gap” between perception and reality. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Also I’m sure somewhere in the middle there were brands that were probably best described as having “made-up” authenticity – woodsy sounding product companies located in someone warehouse downtown for example.

The point is over the course of the last few decades, with the advent of mass communication, peer review and access to information, the meaning of brand has evolved incredibly. The playing field is being leveled in many regards. You simply need a brand now more than ever.

And the meaning of your brand can’t be left to chance, or hidden behind smoke and mirrors.

Branding is no longer the luxury of large companies or the boutique cuteness of little ones. Everyone, big and small, is (or should be) scrambling to craft a brand message and communicate it to the world, or at least the audience that might buy what you’re selling. Your brand needs to be more than just a clever logo and flashy product design. Even Apple will tell you that.  It needs to be purposeful and comprehensive; permeating  throughout your organization in a real, tangible, meaningful manner. In fact the authenticity gap that was easily covered up in the “old days” is suddenly front and center. Every organization had better wrap its head around what their brand is and be able to communicate to customers why that brand exists, quickly and simply.

To do that successfully, the meaning of “brand” to your organization has to evolve. Figure out what your niche is; where you fit into the business ecosystem. Why do you exist? Delve into what your brand stands for socially, environmentally and from a business perspective.

And don’t try to fake any part of that message. Consumers are savvy, they’ll know if you’re trying to fool them. They’ll shut you down quicker than you can say “fourth quarter earnings”. Every organization has to be authentic to succeed. This is the new brand meaning.

When you come to a fork in the road, your well established brand philosophy is your roadmap.

Ingrain that authentic message into everything you do, internally and externally; every touch point. Build your business around that. Communicate with one voice. Nurture your brand and your customers. Establish feedback loops and evolve as necessary. If you do that then business life becomes simpler. You’re no longer solely focused on competition, you’re now focused on customers and your brand. The idea isn’t to take over the world. Concentrate on who you are and the rest will take care of itself. When you come to a fork in the road, your well established brand philosophy is your roadmap. It will answer every business question you have from what kind of soap is in the bathroom to how you’re going to rollout your next product successfully. Brand self-awareness trumps the latest business thinking du jour every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

You can argue that I over simplify things, but on the other hand maybe we spend too much time (and countless dollars) making things overly complicated. Evolving what brand means to your organization could be the secret to your success in this day and age.

What does “brand” mean to your organization? Share in the comments below.

Chris Weigand

President – Chris Weigand Design, LLC

Chris Weigand Design is a retail design consultancy that can help your brand message resonate with consumers in the physical retail space. From graphics, to displays to holistic interior designs, we create experiences for your guests that delight them and have them telling their friends how awesome you are. Contact us today so we can start working with you.

 

A Retail Design Roadmap For Product Brands

Make your product the star.  RF image via Corbis.com

Make your product the star.
RF image via Corbis.com

It’s all about the product silly

You’ve got a product.

Your team has been working on it for months, maybe years. Focus groups love it. Everything is perfect. You may even be selling it online and sales have been awesome. Retailers are clamoring for it and you are ready to make the jump to physically selling your product in a store.

If your brand is new to retail (e.g. a small company, or just starting out) you may not be sure what to do next. Not surprisingly we highly recommend you speak with a retail design consultancy who will be able to access your situation, provide a recommendation as well as design and other services if necessary. Obviously partnering with you is where they make their money, but an initial conversation shouldn’t cost much, if anything, and it’ll be a huge help. Full disclosure: this is what we do for a living so if you need someone…wink, wink. Seriously though, even if you don’t hire us, these guidelines are fairly universal as far as we’re concerned. We not convinced that going straight to a manufacture is always the best route, as they are primarily interested in making things that you may or may not need, that may or may not be in sync with your product and brand. Ask a lot of questions if you’re just starting out.

“…your product needs to be the star of the show.”

First and foremost, you may be able to simply ship your product into the retailer and they’ll take it from there. This will save you a lot of time and money (and hassle). The primary down side is that you may not control how your product is merchandised.  The retailer will do whatever they please, or whatever you can work out with them. On the plus side they want to sell your product too. Cross your fingers. If this is the case, spend extra time working on your packaging design and packaging graphics. Your product packaging is going to have to do all of the heavy lifting at retail to shout your brand and attract guests who hopefully convert to customers who will buy your product. In fact regardless of the situation at retail, spend time (and money) on your packaging design, especially the graphics. Regardless of whatever else you do, your product needs to be the star of the show. One quick note: make sure you’re branding is in good order too – great packaging and graphic design won’t cover up an incoherent brand message.

Suppose you have a little more leeway – you’ve got the budget, the retailer asks or allows you to provide display or graphics, whatever the case may be. Your brand shouts loud and clear through your exquisitely designed packaging. Now you want to amp up your retail experience. Here are a few ways you can do this.

Graphics / Signage – These will give you the most bang for your buck, and flexibility. Signs generally are inexpensive and require little or no tooling. These are good qualities for agile product brands looking to make an impact at retail. Signs can fit into stock or custom holders. The store may even already have graphic holders in place. The possibilities are endless for size and location: small shell callouts, headers that assist with way finding, aisle signs, overhead…there are a lot of options. Start with attracting and informing guests – put them in the right mindset to buy your product, and go from there. Your retail design consultancy will develop attention-getting graphics that make guests swoon when they catch sight of your product at retail. Art files in hand you can use your favorite printer or a good consultancy can handle the sourcing and project management portion to assure signs are produced to spec, on budget and delivered to each retail door on time.

Temporary Display – These are any displays that are meant to be recycled once your product sells out. Occasionally you may restock these display but not usually. They’re typically made from corrugated board, and designed to last around six months at retail give or take 3-6 months. We really love temp displays for a few reasons. In this day and age they can look really nice, with litho labels and exotic finishes. Or if you want to go the opposite route, direct-printing has gotten so refined that you probably don’t need anything more than that. Retailers are mixed on how well they like temp displays, so work it out with them first. Temp displays can be as simple as a PDQ (pretty “damn” quick) that is simply a box that is shipped, opened up and put on a shelf, to elaborate display environments that showcase your brand. Your design consultancy will be able to leverage their expertise and creativity to develop an awesome solution for your product, and once again help if necessary throughout the process to get both your product and display out to retail.

Permanent Displays – Permanent means that they are meant to last up to seven years or so at retail, give or take a few years. They are often made from wood, plastic or metal and the product is restocked whenever it runs out. Depending on how they are designed, costs can rise quickly because tooling for jigs, fixtures, dies and molds may be involved; costing anywhere from a thousand to tens of thousand of dollars. That being said, a good designer will be review / manage expectations and design to a budget. You need to determine to what extent the display is the star of the show. Too often we’ve seen brands and retailers try to make up for middling product by creating overwrought displays. Have an open conversation with the retail design team that you’ve hired. As I’ve said, we like to have the product and the brand experience be the focus for guests, displays are a means to that end. Another thing to consider is modularity. If you have a family of products or retailers that your product is going into, a modular system can help lower cost and increase flexibility. Once the design phase is complete, your consultancy can either hand you the final specs or help see the entire project through to retail execution.

Ultimately everything needs to work in concert. The above are just three simplified examples….tools designers use to market your product and brand at retail. And really the best way to find out is to talk with a design consultant about your project. It’s like building a house, you can pick a plan out of a book, rely on your general contractor to handle the design and build, or hire an architect. The first two might be okay for your product or brand situation. But if you don’t want to leave things to chance, if your brand is more than a commodity, just as your home is more than just a building, you should consider hiring a retail design consultancy. Like an architect, the consultancy works with you from start to finish to imagine, design and specify a solution that is perfect for your brand, product and retail situation. And they are a valuable voice for your brand throughout the process when dealing with vendors and retailers as well.

“Of all the things you could get for free, why would your brand  gamble with seemingly free design?”

No, design isn’t free. But it is the most important money you will spend and it is a fraction of the cost of your overall retail program. Design decisions influence so much downstream, one hiccup during the design phase can translate into death at retail. If you think you’re getting “free” design, there is no such thing; it’s likely bundled into the price of something else down stream. Your brand isn’t a commodity, it shouldn’t be treated as such; left to chance with the lowest bidder. You know this, after all you designed your product in-house or paid someone to design it. Of all the things you could get for free, why would your brand gamble with seemingly free design?

A retail design consultancy will provide awesome solutions and help guide you throughout the process, eliminating  many of the pitfalls that you would face if you went at it alone.

Does your organization pay for design? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Chris Weigand

President, Chris Weigand Design, LLC

Chris Weigand Design, LLC is professional retail design consultancy based in northeast Ohio. We strongly believe that a design consultancy is your best bet for assuring your product is merchandised at retail properly and guests fall in love with your brand. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with expert graphic, display and interior design services. Beyond design, if you need help managing the production of your solutions, we know how to make that happen also. Visit us at www.chrisweiganddesign.com