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Show, Don’t Tell: How to Set Your Brick and Mortar Apart

​​Let's face it, one of the biggest challenges of having a brick and mortar is attracting your dream customers or clients to walk into your store – especially with e-commerce growing and fighting for their attention.

So, how do you get your target audience to choose you over the competition in such a crowded space?

For starters, your brick and mortar needs to STAND OUT visually. Whether your store is located on a busy main street or set back behind parking, it must be attractive enough to capture (and keep) the attention of a passerby who may not know anything about your business.

That's why investing in intentional design inside and out is even more essential today than ever before. From your branding, signage, window display, and lighting to your store's interior layout, including wayfinding, display fixtures and amenities, there’s no shortage of ways to improve the overall look and feel of your brick and mortar.

But in today’s competitive market, it's not enough to just stand out visually. It’s also essential to BE MEMORABLE. And one of the best ways to differentiate yourself in a competitive market is to create unforgettable experiences that activate all five senses…think sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.

An excellent example of a business that does this well in Duluth, MN, is Ursa Minor Brewing. They capture your sense of taste and smell by offering a selection of delicious craft beers and wood-fired pizzas. Furthermore, they create a sense of warmth and comfort inside with wood tones and warm lighting and a translucent canopy with infrared heaters and fire pits that welcomes customers and their pups to enjoy patio season (and the stars) all year long.

Another example of a business that offers a unique experience for its customers is Little Neetchers, a bright and welcoming one-stop shop for baby and kid's gear with a café (hello latte fix) and indoor play space for parents with little ones to enjoy.

To create a memorable experience at your store, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it obvious what my business sells by viewing the storefront in seconds? Is there an image or visual that could relay this quickly without words?

  2. Can customers view what we do on the inside? A crowd attracts a crowd, and transparency fuels curiosity and connection.

  3. How will my customers feel welcomed when they walk through the door?

  4. Does my store feel open, inviting, and accessible to all? Is there enough room to navigate the space? Are displays set up to be interacted with? Is the lighting warm and golden or bright and blue?

  5. Do my brand colors, music, and smells create a positive environment that people want to be a part of? And does it stimulate all five senses?

  6. Do I offer a distraction for the kiddos and a place to sit for the tag-along adults to keep my customers engaged and shopping longer?

  7. Is there something to talk about when they leave? Did their experience provoke novelty, joy, or curiosity?

Lastly, if you want to set your brick and mortar business apart, you need to PASSION FORWARD. That means you need to stand for something bigger. Use your passion to push the creative boundaries of your in-store experience while sharing your story with your customers along the way. After all, passion is contagious. And if you're willing to passion forward, your customers will likely feel it and follow suit.

For more tips to set your brick and mortar apart, get in touch to schedule your complimentary discovery consultation with us today!



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