Picture the scene: Your company has an exciting new product about to launch and you’ve been asked to develop an in-store retail promotion. Sounds good in theory, but you’re uninspired. Your well of creativity has run dry and you don’t know where to begin. It’s a common issue for marketers and creatives – but it happens to everyone now and again. To help you get back on course, here are our top seven tips for getting those juices going again.

1. Zero in on your objective

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: knowing and understanding the aims of your in-store marketing activity is key to success. In an ideal world you’ll be briefed well in advance and given a clear understanding of what to aim for. But this isn’t always the case.

Take some time to think about whether you want to generate conversation, awareness, leads or something else. What approach could you take that would drive your desired response? Could you highlight a key benefit? Use an intriguing headline? Or an exclusive discount? How could that be communicated in a display?

2. Identify Customer Wants & Needs

Your potential customers are equally important when searching for inspiration. Again, when you’re being briefed, you should be provided with a persona for the ideal customer.

What do you want them to think or feel when they see your promotion? Excitement? Intrigue? Desire?

What’s likely to trigger that reaction? An aspirational image? A low price? 


Investigate the books, magazines and websites they are likely to look at. Are there any trends in the visuals or the copy? What about the colours and visuals? Do these spark any ideas in your mind?

3. Format Matters

If the format of your in-store displays is undefined, consider all of the options available. The opportunity to try something new may trigger something in your brain. 

For instance, could you create a bespoke free-standing display unit (FSDU)? Or shelf-talkers that catch the eye? Could you add embossing to the finish? Or foil? 

There’s nothing too outlandish – trust us! We’ve made six-foot ice-creams for one of our clients!

4. Location, location, location

Of course, your options could be limited by the end user. 

But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

After all, there’s a reason that the phrase ‘necessity is the mother of all invention’ has become an idiom.

Consider how you could use restrictions to your advantage. 

For instance, if low light is an issue, could you use LED lights to draw attention? Or a glow-in-the-dark finish? If countertop space is limited could you supply something unusual for cashiers to wear, like a branded face shield to catch customer attention.

Write it all down before dismissing anything!

5. Keep a note

Take photos of what you see when you’re out and about. 

Maybe it’s an exciting billboard for a brand in a completely different industry. Maybe a competitor’s display has a clever feature that gives you a moment’s pause. Or maybe you spot an exhibit or artwork in your local museum and you just like the way it looks. 

Read more: How much does a point-of-purchase display cost?

Keep a file that you can revisit on your computer or phone when you’re feeling uninspired. 

Need something now? Sign up to Pinterest. Use it as a visual search engine to find examples of other eye-catching signs and displays. Drill down into what you like and what you don’t and whether or not your customers will like it. 

6. Follow design trends

Taking point 5 a step further, it’s always worth keeping an eye on current graphic design trends. What are the modern aesthetics? Is there a trend for smooth lines or sharp edges? What typography is trending? How can these be applied to your brand or product?

As we write this, for instance, there’s a shift away from images of groups of people in advertising and marketing, as Covid-19 continues to affect the way we live and socialise. If you couldn’t use groups of people in your promotions, what could you use instead?

7. Speak to a professional

If you’re stuck or short on time, professional advice is invaluable. With years of experience designing and producing displays, they’ll bring fresh knowledge and skills to your campaign, helping you achieve your goals.

At BDH Tullford, our talented creative team has worked with both national and international brands, helping them to make the most of their marketing campaigns, achieving a strong in-store presence. 

Want to discuss your next retail promotion?

Drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to help you achieve in-store success with high-impact displays and signage.