How to Get the Most Out of Your Window Display

As a retail store, window displays are one of the most indispensable weapons you have in your marketing arsenal. They can turn the heads of those walking by and get them interested in your brand, converting them from mere passers-by into customers that will visit your store time and time again.

UO window display

photo credit: Louise Eliares / Flickr

First-rate window displays tell everyone exactly what your brand is all about and enable its personality to shine through on the high street. The most eye-catching and unique window displays can even capture the imagination of the wider public by encouraging passers-by to share content about the display on social media, creating widespread attention around your brand.

If you’re at a loss about how you could design such impressive window displays yourself, fear not. Our guide to getting the most out of your window display will tell you everything you need to know to creating head turning storefronts of your own.

1. Use lighting to your advantage

Whilst lighting can sometimes be an afterthought when it comes to window displays, it is crucial. The right lighting can highlight different products, set the right mood, and create a dramatic feel that directs all the attention to your store.

In order to get the lighting of your own display right, there are few things you need to consider. Firstly, be wary of using lights from above. They can create harsh, unappealing shadows, so you might instead want lighting from the sides or the front in order to highlight focal points of your display. Another potentially great addition is bold coloured lighting, as this can help your window display stand out. However, make sure the colours you use complement the products in the window. Additionally, be wary of overcrowding your display with too many lights and products, as this could create a cluttered effect that might drive people away.

A brand that expertly uses lighting to its advantage is Liberty. Take its Giant Letters window display as a (literally) shining example of this. Designed in collaboration with design agency FormRoom, the window display was solely lit by giant letters spelling out the words ‘New & Exclusive’, with each letter housing a row of lightbulbs. These words ran across the whole front of the shop window to promote a range of clothing, which mannequins wore in the display. The unique lighting focused almost entirely on the mannequins, making the products they wore the focal point of the display. The unorthodox nature of the lighting worked to capture the attention of passers-by.

2. Bring through your brand’s identity imaginatively

Your display simply must incorporate your brand identity. Bringing through your brand identity whenever possible will differentiate you from everyone else, increase brand awareness and foster brand loyalty. And what better way to do this than with the face of your stores? In order to do this effectively, your window display should be as imaginative as possible, as this will guarantee that your brand sticks in passers-by’s minds.

Take Fortnum and Mason’s iconic Alice in Wonderland inspired Mad Hatter’s Tea Party window display as an outstanding example of this. Featuring elaborate oversized elements from the film, including teacups, looking glasses, a giant swinging pendulum and even Alice herself, the window display both intrigued passers-by (which in turn led to much social media and media coverage) and tied in perfectly to the brand. With Fortnum and Mason renowned for its close relationship with tea, the display could’ve merely used teacups or images of them to bring through the brand identity. Yet, by incorporating the iconic Alice in Wonderland tea party scene, the brand image was shown in a unique and memorable way that created intrigue around the brand.

3. Tell a compelling story

People love stories. Humankind has been communicating in stories for over 20,000 years—they’re a vital form of connection and trigger a strong neurological response in us. Strategic storytelling when coming up with ideas for your window display is therefore a great way to appeal to the public and get them interacting with your brand.

LibertyLondon window display

photo credit:

So, if it’s the holiday season, don’t just grab every red and green decoration and some fairy lights. Instead, when conceptualising your window display, begin with a story based on a theme. A great example again comes from Liberty, this time with their 2017 ‘The Night Before Christmas’ window display. Encapsulating the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve, the display featured snow-covered tiled roofs and a silhouetted skyline lit up by the moon. This not only told a well-know yet captivating story, but showcased the brand’s products in unique ways, with moving components like a pulley rope exhibiting their various handbags, high heels, and holiday season clothing. Telling enthralling stories like this with your window displays will help you get the most out of them.

By using lighting to your advantage, imaginatively bringing through your brand’s identity, and telling a compelling story, you can get the most out of your window displays and bolster your brand immensely.


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