Thursday, September 27, 2012


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Planning Layout and Color Scheme in a Retail Store


Merchandising displays have been around for quite a while and business managers and owners have benefited immensely from it. In the broad sense, merchandising can be defined as the practice through which products in stores are made available to consumers and clients by stocking and displaying them in shelves. Merchandise displays therefore are those special presentations of a store’s products to the prospective customers-buying public. As a marketing technique, this strategy emphasizes the need for a clear layout and image.
Basis of merchandising displays
While merchandising displays vary from one industry to another , it is done on basic principles which are designed to enhance or increase product sales. As an integral part of merchandising concept, it seeks to boost product sales. This is because, as a marketing technique it’s inclusive of all including coordinating, advertising and sales to ensure business success. There are basically three forms:
  1. Storefront displays – This type of signage usually opens up to the streets or shopping mall. It is basically intended to attract passers who may not enter the store if otherwise.
  2. Showcase displays – Usually important to the manager or owner if he or she has products deemed too expensive for storefront display set-up. Such merchandising displays are usually located along high traffic areas.
  3. Found space displays – Refers to those product presentations which utilize small but usable areas the store.
With the different forms available, having knowledge on how to choose the color scheme and layout for your store is relatively important.
Merchandising displays- choosing the best color scheme and store layout
In a nutshell, choosing the best color scheme and layout for your store helps accentuate your signage. Good retailing for any venture is based on good layout and planning. To a creative designer, business owner and professional in the sign industry, effectively planning the layout and color scheme of a store is imperative. He or she is able to create an irresistible visual merchandising displays which ultimately leads to success in such retail stores. While there are lots of rules on which color scheme to use, it is vital to note that the type of color to use is dependent upon the type of retail organization or store one has. When used properly, color is one of the cheapest and most effective ways through which one can enhance business image to create a successful customer’s vintage point.
What is a good color scheme and layout design to enhance display?
For one to create a successful customer’s vantage point using merchandising displays, he or she needs to conduct a basic research in order to discover which colors customers tend to associate with. More importantly, the choice should be informed by your store’s niche or brand. Some of the key aspects of successful merchandising displays are:
  • Economical – It utilizes the only space, materials and products readily available.
  • Versatile – To create an impressive and effective signage, the displays should fit with much ease, exhibit several merchandise and convey diverse messages.
  • Effective – Successful customer’s vantage point is readily visible to any passer-by to enhance faster reaction to the later.
Merchandising displays are an impeccable way to enhance business sales. To increase the effectiveness of this marketing strategy there is need to allocate available space appropriately bearing in mind the customer demographics, be sure to retain originality, maintain the neatness and cleanliness of your displays and do not overcrowd a display. More so, it is imperative to combine products that are used together the signage. Finally, pay attention to detail when it comes to arranging and arranging the backgrounds of your display.



5 Ways to Get More Facebook Likes


You have to be everywhere your customers are, including Facebook. Here are some easy ways to rack up those "likes."
If you don't already know by now, I'm a big believer that social media can help grow a business. But I often still get some pushback from people and customers who are hesitant to jump in.

Here are two of my favorite excuses.
"I'm afraid I'm going to overexpose my business to my customers. Won't that happen?"Here's how I answer that:
  • If you communicate with your customers through email marketing, 20% to 30% of your email recipients will open your message--if you're lucky.
  • Probably only a few percent of your customers have liked your Facebook page.
  • If your "likers" have a lot of friends or are following a lot of Facebook pages, your message in their news feed may have passed them by.
My point? It's not overexposure. You have to be everywhere your customers are as much as you can!
"Getting people to 'like' me sounds pathetic."In reality, it's not that much different from asking people to give you their email address or asking for their business card. And the more people that you've got exposed to your message where they want to see it, the better.
Why do you want more Facebook likes?
  • When someone likes your business, that action will show up in his or her news feed.
  • When you post something, it could show up in your liker's news feed (depending on how engaging your content is and how they have their feed set up).
  • It could show up in the ad to your liker's friends when you use Facebook ads.
How do you get more Facebook likes? Here are a few ideas:
1. Facebook AdsIt's pretty simple to walk through and doesn't cost much at all. Even better, you control how much you want to spend.

2. "Like-gate" With a CouponSend an email campaign offering a link to a killer coupon with a "like-gate." What's a like-gate? It's when the customers click on the link to the coupon and they're brought to a screen on Facebook that simply asks them to "like us" to get the coupon. (I recommend using VerticalResponse Social or Sprout Social for this.)

3. Like-gate With a ContestDo the same as above, but with a contest for customers to win something they'll really value. (I recommend using North Social or Wildfire by Google for this.)

4. EmailSend an email message to your email list asking them to like your page.

5. Message Your Personal Facebook FriendsSend a Facebook message to your Facebook friends (within Facebook) asking them to like your page (be strategic, because you can only send one request).

Getting more likes for your Facebook page should just be a part of your overall social media marketing mix!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Preston Bailey's Event Ideas: Lampshade Inspired Centerpieces

lampshade centerpiece, preston bailey event ideas
lampshade centerpiece, preston bailey event ideas
lampshade centerpiece, preston bailey event ideas
lampshade centerpiece, preston bailey event ideas
lampshade centerpiece, preston bailey event ideas

Coming Up Roses: Posh post-Emmy dinner bash to be in the red
The Emmy Governors Ball table setting at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
The Emmy Governors Ball dessert at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
A display of Marich premium chocolates at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
A display of Marich premium chocolates at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
The Red Hots perform at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.
The Red Hots perform at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball preview at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on August 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, California.

"Wedding Chicks" Bouquet Recipe


Janie Medley of The Bride’s Cafe and JM Flora Design shared two loose and lovely wedding bouquet recipes to add to our collection. Purchasing 8 bundles of flowers, 10 stems per pack at her local floral mart to show you how to create two totally different looks. In each bouquet she used the craspedia (billy balls), fever few and stock (white in one and peach in the other).

The first bouquet has a spring/summer look and feel. Overflowing with fever few, craspedia, snow on the mountain, queens anne’s lace and white stock (which smells amazing) . Wrapped in a Vera Bradley sash that not only is a striking handle for the bouquet, but it can also double as a gift for your bridesmaids. They are going to think about you and your wedding each time they wear it. Photographed by Suzy Clement.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Visual Merchandising Tips from Helen Taffet

Helen Taffet, owner of Sensational Baskets, Inc., is contibuting a post today about the importance of visual merchandising. Helen will be presenting at the Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market℠ and The Atlanta Gourmet Market®. At her seminar, Market Your Shop, you’ll learn how to market your store to your target market and in your community. Helen will teach you way to use social media, as well as in-store promotions and parties that will leave you with the tools you will need to boost sales and drive business.
Visual merchandising is nothing more, and nothing less, than the in-store presentation of your products and services to your potential customers in such a way as to make them eager to buy. In other words, it’s your in-store marketing effort.
Once you understand the concept that visual merchandising is a marketing function, the next step is to embrace a key marketing concept in your visual merchandising and make “The Big Switch.” When you make “The Big Switch,” all your business decisions suddenly revolve around what’s best for your customers, not what’s most fun for you. Your visual merchandising decisions become focused on the customer and what they need and want from your store environment.
So what DO your customers need and want from you? Well, when it comes to visual merchandising, your customer wants visual cues to answer three basic questions:
  1. Does this store have the products I want to buy, and are they easy to find? (material needs)
  2. Can I easily and comfortably move around in this store? (physical needs)
  3. Is it fun to shop in this store? Or, substitute words like entertaining, inspiring, exciting or interesting for fun depending on the type of store you have. (emotional needs)
If your visual merchandising can help your potential customers quickly and easily answer these three questions, you’re doing a great job with your in-store marketing. If the answer to each of the three questions is “yes,” your potential customer will be eager to buy! If you answered “no” or even “I’m not sure” to any of these questions, try creating a paper survey using these three questions and a 1 to 5 scale with a comments section. Ask a few of your friends or family members to shop your store with the survey in hand. Then use the results to create a customer-focused, in-store experience. – Helen Taffet


Monday, September 17, 2012


Facebook And Small Business: What Makes A Great Facebook Small Business Page?

There’s no doubt about it; a Facebook well done Facebook page can help grow your business….. but what are the keys to success for your business Facebook page? Read on….

There is no escaping it…… and many have tried; if you want to maximize customer and prospect engagement for your business, you need a great Facebook page. That naturally begs the question: What makes a great Facebook small business page, anyway?”

Beyond our own experience working with small businesses to maximize their online exposure, there are several resources that point to common traits of effective small business Facebook pages. I’ll get to exactly what those are in a minute.

While you don’t need a grasp of how to use Facebook that would put Bob Marley’s grip on his favorite smoking appliance to shame, knowing the common threads that effective pages share is a great starting point.

1. Great Header Graphics – They’re the first thing that your visitor sees, emblazoned at the top, as they are with Facebook’s new design. Use that to your advantage, to let visitors know where the heck they are. Your brand, or something very significant to it, should be prominently displayed there. Branding is key to your business and Facebook gives you a great opportunity to grab some more high profile exposure, and boost your brand image.

2. Visitor Engagement – That’s what you’re after, so go for it! Give fans not only plenty of opportunity to engage, but compelling reasons to want to. Update these frequently to keep them involved and coming back. Answer your posts promptly, as on your blog, but even more so with Facebook, it’s one of the best ways to engage your fans.

3. Frequent Updates – Post relevant info frequently, not only does that help you improve your page, it gives people reasons to return. As with almost everything that you do to breed success, it adds value. In fact, in many cases relevant info that people are looking for adds the most value.
As with many things in life, and especially in business timing is everything, so posting your content at the most advantageous moment can give you a significant boost. How do you when exactly that is? Excellent question, that. Thankfully minds greater than mine have heard your cries, and created tools to help you know when that is.

Edgerank is one such tool. They check a variety of metrics that will help you get a handle on when to post what. It will help boost your visitor engagement and get your page more likes.

You can also port your blog to your Facebook page. T hat will not only put more great content on your Facebook page more often, it will help publicize your blog.

4. Use Apps – Most of the best Facebook pages make great use of apps, and with good reason, it adds value for the visitor, and in the end, that’s what your business is all about, adding value. There’s no reason that shouldn’t hold true on your Facebook page as well. Using an app service is a great idea. Unless your business is to the point where you can have a dedicated social media staffer or two, it makes things much easier and more efficient.

5. Ask for Likes – Never forget the strong call to action! It’s the way to get the sale in your business, and it’s also the way to get more likes on Facebook. Of course if your content sucks…. but in any case, give them every reason to like your page, then come right out and ask them to do it. Put a prominent “Like Us On Facebook” button on your website to make it falling-off-a-log simple for fans to both like and find your company’s business page. Remember, make easy that behavior which you want to encourage.

6. Use Powerful Images Throughout – Yes, not everyone is visual, but it is still one of the best ways to create a memorable Facebook experience. Add new ones frequently, so there is always more to love and more reasons to return. Great images are also an excellent way to get the coveted “like” from your visitors.

7. Add video – Why stop at static images? Videos are proven to increase engagement and shareability, so use them. Embed YuoTube or Vimeo images on your page. You can make great video shorts using online apps such as Animoto for dirt cheap. Yo can also create your own using affordable software. We use Pinnacle Studio 16 for video creation and editiing. They are the leaders in this and the software is affordable, powerful and easy to use. Try Camtasia Studio from Techsmith for screen capture videos, such as those you make from powerpoint presentations. It is th most used software for this kind of application, and with good reason. You can get a free trial here.

8. Favorite Pages – Use the “Favorite Pages” option that Facebook offers. Yes, it is a link off your page to others’ pages, but if you’re strategic about ho you do this, it can be mutually beneficial. If there are other businesses you work with, such as suppliers, distributors, or subcontractors, link to their pages. In return, have them reciprocate. You’ll share beneficial traffic and expand your brand footprint. You may have to ask the other business to add you as well, but they should be happy to do so.

9. Specifically Oriented Pages – Create brand or product line pages. Yes, most small businesses will be too small to take advantage of this, but not always, and you may well be growing from a small to a medium sized business. On of the main keys to success here is to make sure you target your key demographics.

Facebook gives you the ability to do this, so grab it by the horns and run with it! You often pay big money for this kind of targeted marketing, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by. For example, if you run a camera store, have different pages for still and video. If you are a small clothing company, with lines aimed at different demographics, that screams for different pages, so build them.

A great resource is to check out Social Media Examiners’ Facebook Business Page content winners here. You can see in action some of the elements I’ve discussed.

So….. Building a strong Facebook business page is a proven way to bring in new customers and increase engagement with existing ones. Does your business have a Facebook page? If you do, submit it using the contact form and tell us why you think it’s worthy. We’ll choose one business to feature each month on our site from the entries we receive

Friday, September 7, 2012