The Front Window Wow-Factor

It's one of the givens in real estate: be noticed. And a cost-effective place to start, says VitrineMedia Australia’s Managing Director Mike Toweel, is your shopfront window. Here he shares tips on how to give your shop windows a spring lift and get those listings noticed.

I remember years ago first coming across the marketing maxim that ‘doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark… you know what you’re doing, but nobody else does’.

It rang true then and is as valid today, particularly with the shopfronts of businesses offering a great advertising medium that, when used correctly and creatively, will go a long way towards making you stand out from the crowd.

Much of what’s happening in windows these days is being driven by the vendors, who are moving away from wanting their properties displayed on a television loop – where their frequency could be limited to 30 seconds every seven minutes – and towards static backlit LED displays, where their properties are on show, all the time.

The good news is that, regardless of the building you’re in, the windows you have or whether you’re in the city or the country, there’s an LED solution out there to maximise and flaunt what you’ve got.

What works for a great big ground floor window looking out onto a busy footpath and main road seldom cuts it for an upstairs office, one within a shopping mall or one located in a heritage building.

It’s all about marrying the display with the architecture or ambience of the buildings, as well as their settings – and that’s why our approach starts with a visit to the premises, where we photograph and measure the shopfront before selecting the number and sizes of the displays we think best suit the site and feeding all the information into our CAD systems to ensure it fits.

The design process, from raw information to superimposed photography and on to installation

The information then goes to our design team, who superimpose the to-scale design onto the customer’s window photograph to provide them with a highly accurate digital version of the real thing in situ.

Let’s consider the various scenarios.
Buildings with big, generous windows offer great flexibility in terms of display sizes and layout, with city locations generally benefitting from a ‘less is more’ approach where branding is key. Country locations – which tend to have many rental and sale properties on their books – profit from a ‘more is more is more…’ tactic.

Chrome and glass buildings and façades in new neighbourhoods where there’s a younger demographic generally cry out for a stylish, modern, open and even minimalistic ambience with a distinctively arty feel, created perhaps by having large LED display screens – maybe A2 or A3 – exhibited at various angles.

Angled displays following the curvature of the window deliver an eye-catching result.

More difficult challenges are posed by upstairs offices given their visibility from the street, which makes a few big format A1 or even A0 window displays the best way to be noticed and lure the prospect into the premises, where smaller wall-mounted interior A3 and A4 displays can then carry the bulk of the agency’s listings.

It’s a similar scenario for real estate agencies housed in heritage buildings, as there’s a strong chance that heritage regulations will restrict what they can do to their windows or other external surfaces. Again, they’re best served by a big, bold corporate branding display in the window, with modern and creative wall-mounted screens juxtaposing the old with the new.

The same solutions work best for buildings with small windows – and so long as they’re wider than about 750mm, they can comfortably and stylishly take a single A1 or a couple of A2s, with the rest displayed internally.

LED display screens exhibited at various angles create a contemporary feel compatible with modern glass and chrome buildings.

Curved windows, far from posing challenges, are rich with potential and opportunity. Yes, our screens are flat and we can’t curve them to follow the lines of the window, but we can create that effect. We start by drawing a curved line about 10 cm back from and parallel to the curved window and then cut our rails to fit almost perfectly along our line that follows the curvature of the glass. Each screen is then placed at a slightly greater angle from the one preceding it to create a spectacular look.

So switch on the lights, figuratively speaking, and start winking!

For more information on VitrineMedia’s LED shopfront display solutions, visit vitrinemedia.com.au.

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Mike Toweel

Managing Director Mike Toweel was appointed to establish French-based parent company VitrineMedia’s Australasian operation in 2013 and build the brand across the region. For more information visit vitrinemedia.com.au