The aim of this essay to to explore the the seven Ps of Marketing, in particular, how the chosen P, physical environment, influences promotion, and how the latter is dependent on this. Both of these are heavily dependant upon human phycology, as our interaction with our physical environment, is a conversation with our subconscious. I will be explore various apsects of visual merchandising, and the physical space as a promotion technique but also as a form of art. As well as how important temporary pop ups stores play a role in creating hype around a product, and interactive and attractive environments promote high sales. Physical evidence is important for how well a product will succeed in the store.
The physical environment is “the space by which you are surrounded when you consume the service. The physical environment is made up from its ambient conditions; spatial layout and functionality; and signs, symbols, and artefacts. The Brand's logos and packaging can also be part of this.” (Zeithaml 2000). In more simple terms, it is “the environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of the service” (Oxford College of Marketing, 2016). It is getting the right product in the right place at the right time; with the aim of gaining competitive advantage over other brands by attracting more customers, in turn contributing to profitability, but also meeting the customer needs and wants. As humans we consume so many different stimuli from the outside when it comes to physical space, these influence which ones we decide to consume, and which we may simply react to, or be a customer within. The whole process of promotion when it comes to physical space is dependant on human emotions and phycology. Creating differentiation between brands, by growing and attracting new customers.
The reason place plays an important role in promotion is because it determines the distribution channels of a brand's product. It supports the brand's image as well as helping the success retail strategy. Customers also play an important role of shaping a brand throughout its life. Therefore researching and understanding the customer is central, and creating a physical space which will keep those customers consuming the product and attracting further audience by promising superior value. “Most retails chains have a proven set format they choose when opening stores” according to Morgan (Window and in store display for merchandising, 2011). This is typical for the branding of a store, as customers become familiar with the layout and aesthetic of a store. Something too avant guard may be to adventurous, and by breaking their ‘mould' , this would unnerve their loyal following.
A brief history of visual merchandising
“It is the department store, with its huge array of merchandise and vast amount of window space, that is the pioneer of the window display” (Tory Morgan, 2011). Stores collaborating with designers to produce eye-catching schemes where the merchandise comes artwork is one way to sell your product. This a concept used by Doverstreet Market, turning a store into a fashion museum. Although a retail space at its core purpose, Rei Kuwakubo of Comme des Garcons, is almost an art installation for street wear and high end fashion brands, for customers as they make their way around the grade II listed building in Haymarket. The concept deemed so successful, that since 2006, stores have opened in Tokyo, New York, Singapore and Beijing, attracting both customers, consumers and art lovers alike.
“The best visual merchandisers can turn their shop's window space into an intriguing art installation, or strategically arrange a shelf to maximize the chances of its contents selling. Effective visual merchandising can stimulate public awareness, draw shoppers into a store and provide a huge boost to sales figures.” (Drapers, 2013)
Communication between store front and the pavement, in a sense inviting customer into the store and persuading them into the store in order to sell their products. Zara is a good example of this, by creating a connection between brand and the consumer, a
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