Key factors for planning sales and display centres
Having spent some time talking about the key role that any sales and display centres has in the sales path of a project and how these centres can enhance the buyer’s experience I am going to turn to some of the mechanics involved.
The sales centre is the key point of impact with buyers. The project’s shop front. It’s one of the essential touch points where we seek to cement the buyer’s engagement with the project. It’s the point that our most productive conversation usually starts.
The centre may not be the only reason for the success or otherwise of a project, but it is a big issue, a central factor and apart from the actual location and actual product itself it is the most compelling element in project marketing mix and experience.
Having discussed this point and having already pinpointed the costs involved is it still possible to spend too much money?
Is it possible to make the display too expensive and complex so that consumers do not engage the facility as a constructive part the sales path?
To be marked a success a display needs to add clarity to the sales path, reinforce the brand, improve any buyers understanding of the project and the project’s key features. There also needs to engender the reassurance of quality and commitment, and wherever possible include an authentic track record.
However even against these criteria displays can be overdone. This is somewhat surprising when you consider how much good work has been done in this area and the quality involved. Money can be wasted if the core reasons, as outlined, for the display are not kept central. We are not creating an art gallery or a technology showstopper – the centre is a sales tool! It needs to be a relevant.
The starting point will be the target market and the brand values that are most appropriate for the individual project that will best reach-out to that market. And the work to understand the market demographics should have already been done before the design gets down to any sort of exacting detail.
Early feedback that involves the entire project team is always productive. Comments from the potential members of the sales team is just one example and should be appreciated.
Perhaps the first rule, the essential rule is that the project’s brand and the brand lock-up (that is all of the key features being communicated) will need to be well presented and expressed, but going too far beyond these values may not be a good investment.
Ticking-off content and operation:
The content of a display centre will need to tick-off all of the varied elements required to manage the sales path and to clearly and easily communicate the project to the consumer. While it is good to be different we still comeback to the importance of clear messages and the importance of content.
The content like the sales path itself is now a sophisticated area and again refers back to many of the elements found in a modern retail experience. Display content is highly evolved and continues to offer a wide choice of options and materials. These range from fixed display boards to interactive digital based material and now augmented reality is on the horizon.
However from experience the function of a centre will always need to contain some core elements. To fully engage consumers the content must meet some basic parameters, like being very easy to read and view. The content of the display will always need to include some key items, and this includes the use for example of fundamentals such as aerial photographs and easy to read plans at eye height.
Clearly there will also be a need to include material that relates to the lifestyle of a project. It’s an area where colour and dazzle can be added, but the foundation items that support the sales path must be present.
Large aerials or location maps should be a core item and are important to even people who might already know the area. And it is now possible to have on display large scale interactive aerials so that the impact is of a great location can be even more impressive.
It is not uncommon in my experience, to encounter some potential buyers who are surprised by the features of an area. This reinforces the need for relevance of material, and not taking for granted that people ‘will already know the area’. After all potential buyers do not usually explore an area in details unless they have a reason to do so.
Generally across Australia the standard of display material presentation is good and there is agreement that content is very important. Material content is usually presented in a logical and easy to understand way, where the project/product remains the hero.
The aim is for potential buyers to be taken along a logical sales path that gives them the best impression and understanding of the project.
It is worth keeping in mind that this should not be overdone, made too complex. The potential buyer will always have a need to be able to secure all of the core details that they require as well as enjoying the experience.
Still there needs to be a balance between the physical decoration and appeal of the space, how well it presents and functions in balance with how the end user, the potential buyer, reads the space.
It is also possible to start this process in the wider context of the site, as some of the following images demonstrate, where even a take-way coffee becomes a marketing tool…