Malls are a really attractive place to market your brand – full of people hanging out and leisurely shopping, looking for interesting things to stop and look at. They’re mostly inside venues, so perfect for the winter and you’re pretty much guaranteed some high foot traffic numbers!
Many of the shopping centres are able to provide profiles of their shoppers so you can get a greater understanding of their foot traffic to better target your audience. And obviously, if you’re going for a younger market then you can target them during the school holidays!
At Brandstand, we’ve been helping brands to get the most out of their mall displays and stands for over 16 years. So, we thought it was high time we shared with you our top 10 tips.
Tip #1 | Goal
Know your goal, and what you want to get out of this activation. Is it brand awareness? Sales? Product Trial? Be brave too – just pick one and then we can be sure to deliver on it. The whole design of your mall stand should differ based on what you select because each option requires a different motivation and a different focus.
Tip #2 | Know the Rules
Beware the rules – malls have a lot of rules and regulations many of which are OSH related and others which relate to being fair to all the retailers that lease space in the mall. Your brand and this activation will be the most important thing to us, but understand that it might not be to the mall and to the other retailers. Luckily, we’ve built up some really strong relationships with all the mall owners across NZ.
We know you want your stand to be the biggest, the tallest and the best, and it will be, trust us, but within the guidelines – those height restrictions are to keep things safe, and also because customers should be able to see other retailers’ shop signage as they look around the mall!
Tip #3 | Be Different
You need to engage with your audience and be a little different, a little creative; our customers tell us that’s why they come to us – for our creativity and a can-do attitude! Your brand is suddenly competing for attention amongst hundreds of shops, their amazing shop windows and that next pair of shoes! The kids are bored, the husband hates shopping, so what’s going to make them stop at your stand? Is it because they can win something? Is it because your stand is intriguing? Is it offering them something different or new? Shoppers today don’t give their time easily and there must be something in it for them; to be honest it’s unlikely that a small taster of your product is enough. If you’re spending a decent amount of money on a sampling activation, be generous with your product!
Tip #4 | Take OSH Seriously
Work with people who understand the regulations around OSH and are accredited to work in a mall. During your stand’s installation and removal be sure that those doing the work understand the law, and trust that they will be courteous to shoppers. As soon as your brand can be seen, then those around it acting in an official capacity are naturally associated with your brand.
Tip #5 | Design is Key
Design is really important when it comes to malls – work with people that understand 3d design because it’s very different from 2d design. Designers must consider the location of the stand, demonstrate an understanding of the mall itself, consider shopper flow patterns and then create good flow around your stand. Simply by changing the flow, different messages can be given greater importance and relevance.
Tip #6 | Get your Staffing Right
The people you have working on your stand are really important. Think about your brand’s target market and then ensure that the people you have working the stand are credible and believable. Will a 40-year-old housewife believe what a 20-year-old guy has to say about the latest new washing powder? Sometimes, you may want to use your own in-house staff, but are you sure they’ll be motivated on a Saturday to turn up and then work hard all day long? For more on staffing, take a look here.
Tip #7 | Fabric Stands make life Simpler
Stand materials have changed a hell of a lot over the last 5 years. Fabric displays are now the way to go. The printing process has improved so you now get amazing colour saturation and vibrancy. We all know there’s nothing worse than a grubby looking stand, but with these fabric displays simply chuck it all in the wash and it will look brand new the next time you go to use it. If you’re planning more than one activation across NZ, then also consider the importance of portability and ease of set up in your stand production. For more info on fabrics, take a look here.
Tip #8 | Don't Stress the Logistics
I’m sure we’ve all had nightmares with logistics companies, so why have the stress? Leave it to your display company to sort – they often have great relationships with a logistics partner who will rarely let them down. And when things go wrong, and sometimes they do, then they can pull strings to get a fix sorted! We love working with Bullet Freight and have done for many years because they seem to understand our business.
Tip #9 | Work with People you Trust
Work with trusted partners; there’s enough stress in your life so outsource projects like these to manage end-to-end. Often it’s easier and simpler to have one company sort the complete solution, so pick a company with proven expertise, proven experience and ask to see their previous work and client list. Take a look at ours, right here in our online shop.
At Brandstand, we always provide our clients with a single project manager that stays with you throughout the project, overseeing the brief, design, artwork, production, logistics, and financials. Of course, there’s a multitude of people that help deliver your project, but they’re in the background – it's just less confusing that way!
Tip #10 | Capture the Moment
Capture the moment – have a good photographer come down to your activation and save those smiles onto the camera. Video footage and stills make great content for your social media, for your PR department, for your sales teams and of course for your boss! At Brandstand we can provide this too – it’s all part of the service, and one less thing for you to think about!