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Lisa Malin, Marketing Manager

We might be living in a time when shopping is made easy, but it’s not all about one-click purchases and buying direct through mobile apps.

Part of the draw of the retail is tangible customer experiences and interactions with sales staff.

Heading into a beautifully laid out store, with eye-catching point of sales (POS) displays and smiling staff is the whole point of retail. Picking up items, testing them out or trying them on; as consumers, nothing can beat that ‘hands-on’ shopping experience.

And that’s why experiential retail design is so attractive and is increasingly being referred to as ‘retailtainment’.

With customer service becoming ever more important – especially at a time when we’re more reluctant to spend – luxury and budget brands alike need to come up with new and creative ways to showcase their products.

Understanding experiential displays

Experiential marketing is all about offering consumers a unique experience and creating a buzz around the brand.

For example, our Nike Running Lab project allowed visitors to trial the new Nike+ Running app by running on a treadmill. Similarly, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy was filled with hands-on elements to educate and engage consumers.

Retailers can go as big and bold as they want or opt for something more subtle, but the key is to get all the elements just right. Whether looking to launch a product with a bang or just shout about a brand, these are our designers’ top tips:

1. Innovative design

In retail, looks matter if brands want to stand out and increase footfall – and ultimately, sales.

Everywhere from shopping centres to exhibitions, these are busy places and retailers only have a few seconds to capture customers’ attention. They need a vibrant and experiential display that stand that is alluring, exciting and enticing.

At Green Room, we’re the experts in innovative experiential design. We can help these brands create a stunning retail environment that will leave a lasting impression on their customers. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of our previous projects to see for yourself.

2. Retailtainment

Once retailers have lured customers over to their displays, they need to cement their interest with a killer product or experience.

For established brands, it is important to reinforce recognised values and remind customers of why they have strong brand advocacy. For newer companies; showcasing what makes them different is imperative.

While we can’t help brands out on the product side of things, we can offer some insider tips for making the most of experiential displays:

  • If you’re promoting a food product, offer consumers a sample. Nothing attracts people like a freebie, and nothing will sell it better than the all-important taste test. You could even offer your customers a whole host of recipe solutions or run your version of the Pepsi Challenge.
  • For technology and consumer electrical companies, run demonstrations to highlight your product. Set up stations where customers can try the products out for themselves and show them how it can fit into their lives.
  • Beauty and fashion brands should also opt for the ‘try before you buy’ method. Give customers make-overs, run a mini catwalk and changing room, and offer consultations.

These elements all add up to the customer experience and help brands stay fresh in consumers minds.

3. Customer Service

A key part of experimental marketing and retail design is offering a memorable experience to consumers, and the staff at retail events can make all the difference to their success.

Selecting the right staff to man a display is essential; a smiling, knowledgeable face can do so much more for a brand than someone who looks disinterested. Choose the staff that know the product (and the brand) inside and out, and can carry out comprehensive demonstrations. A recent report by Red Ant and Imperial College found that 37% of consumers found a lack of staff knowledge a bug-bear.


Experiential displays can take any form – pop-ups, exhibition stands, display booths and much more – and can be an excellent way to command attention in a retail space. At Green Room, we’ve worked on a whole host of projects of this kind, take a look at them here.

*This blog was originally published in September 2013, we have updated the content slightly to keep it relevant with latest retail design trends.*