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Creating an effective window display

Owners of Cult Vision, Panos (pictured) and Marianne Nicolaou, share their learnings from creating relevant and effective window displays

07 Dec 2018 by Emily McCormick

Window displays are important for independent practices because they are able to tell the customer who you are and what you do in an instant. They are the first impression of the store that a customer gets before entering and provides opticians with the opportunity to capture the attention of passers-by, promote their brand and sell their ethos.

Our window displays at Cult Vision take around two months from conception to fruition and we change it roughly once every three to four months. This gives the customer time to notice and respond to it.

Since opening in May 2017, our window displays have each been created in collaboration with local people, businesses and artists. Our collaborations are always something that feature our identity prominently, but is a mutually beneficial partnership between ourselves and the collaborator. Our latest collaboration, for example, is with a local textile designer called Amelia Graham who has created six bespoke giclée prints, which feature subtle Cult Vision references. She is a well-known artist in the Barbican close-by and we can direct people to her website with business cards in-store.

“When it comes to concepts, we have found displays that are clean and neat and not overwhelming to be the most effective”

Collaborations are a way of creating something that is both relevant to the area in which we are based in that highlights our product and brand too.

Collaborations are cross-promotional and therefore mutually beneficial. Our collaborations – six to date – have all been different, but have each been effective in raising awareness of our brand, what we do and the products we sell and we have found that using local people enables us to connect with our customers better.

Cost considerations
There is a perception that window displays can be costly and time-consuming to create, but this does not have to be the case. If you use your budget wisely and collaborate locally, you will be surprised at how far a budget can go. Our displays rarely cost us more than what a quarter page advert in a local paper may cost. Collaborating to create something mutually beneficial enables this.

While printing and creating bespoke displays is important for us as a practice, those who don’t think they have the time or resources should not forget about the assets that they already have available to them through their frame suppliers which they could edit, personalise and reprint.

“When creating a window display, I would advise practices to stick to their local area, focus on what they love and think outside of the box”

Creatively delegating

Creating a window display can bring something different to your everyday routine. However, concepting, building and delivering a window display is not of interest to everyone and that’s okay. If you are not creative yourself, there could be someone on the team who is. Therefore, delegating this task is important.

When it comes to concepts, we have found displays that are clean and neat and not overwhelming to be the most effective. Our displays are about the eyewear that we have in store, but also promote the business and our brand. Give the eyewear room, don’t overcrowd it.

When creating a window display, I would advise practices to stick to their local area, focus on what they love and think outside of the box. When you look back on the window displays that you have created throughout the year, they should tell a story of what you did and who you are.

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