How Creative Visualization Helps Problem Solving

Want to know just how powerful creative visualization can be? Imagine, for a moment, that you have an instant hotline to the future. With this hotline, you can answer any question that you have: Should you go for that new promotion, or stay in your current role for a bit longer? Should you give your ex another chance? Is it time to put a down payment on a new home?

When it comes to problem solving, most people would love to have this kind of revealing access in the face of the toughest problems in your life. From careers to relationships – and everything in between – how many of us would take the advice of a psychic if they were correct on 9 out of 10 predictions?

Well, guess what: you do have that kind of uncanny access to solving even the toughest dilemmas – and it is called creative visualization.

Manifesting Your Solutions

Creative visualization is exactly how it sounds: it is a type of visualization method that unlocks your hidden potential to “see” by tapping into the subconscious powers of your mind. Everyone knows how to visualize objects, places, people, etc., by conjuring up that image into the brain. But visualization does not involve conjuring up memories or information that is stored in our consciousness; instead, you visualize your ultimate goals in order to manifest these thoughts into reality.

If you have heard of the law of attraction before, then you know just how powerful visualization can be. After all, the world is composed entirely of energy – and by focusing the energy of your thoughts onto your goals and dreams, you can deliberately create your perfect future. Visualization is the ultimate means of focusing your mind of that perfect future. By picturing what it is that you want from life, your thoughts will soon become instant action.

So how can this help with problem solving? Simple: creative visualization can also help you to manifest solutions to any of your problems – no matter how tough they may be.

How to Visualize Your Problem into Solutions

Ever heard of the expression “go to sleep on it”?

Think about the last time you have had an argument or faced a tough issue at work. Your brain may be churning away with thoughts of obstacles, and frustrated at a lack of viable solutions. But then after a good night’s sleep, you wake up with a clear, calm mind and a picture-perfect idea of what to do about that problem. This sense of peace and assurance does not come from sleep itself: it is because your subconscious mind was busy visualizing solutions to your problems.

You do not have to wait for sleep to take advantage of visualization. The next time you face a dilemma – be it personal or professional – take some time out to sit in silence and think about your problem. Do not get overwhelmed with thoughts of “I cannot” or “It is too hard”; instead, picture your problem as an obstacle that is easy to leap over or side-step. Replace all negative thoughts with statements like “How do I…”, “How can I…” and “I can do…”. Practice these techniques, and your answers will soon come to you.

Remember, creative visualization can only begin when you are willing to let go of negative thoughts and instead embrace the possibility of a solution!

Visual Merchandising

ABSTRACT

Visual merchandising is a comparatively new career field in which has sprung up with the growing popularity of window and floor displays. Visual merchandisers main area of work is to create impossible window displays. They can find employment with fashion boutiques, shopping malls, euphoria etc. They are also engaged as shop floor mangers. They can also do freelancing on contract basis for windows displays in exhibitions, fares, and other places. Other career options under this head are production coordinator, quality control supervisor, fashion retailer, export manger etc. This paper discusses importance and potential for visual merchandising professionals.

Contents

INTRODUCTION

CRITICAL ISSUES OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

ROLE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

SCOPE FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION

Selling a product (convenient/shopping/specialty) is incomplete without communicating its image. To build long term brand loyalty, in addition to the quality of the product, right image is very much needed. To attain this, many companies invest huge money the promotions. But many businesses neglect the retail front which is the face of the brands. In other words, the way the products are displayed at the retail shelves, the way the sales people communicate to the consumer etc. are the some of the issues, which if not handles well can be a great threat to the brands image. Visual merchandising is the art of presentation, which puts the merchandiser in focus. It educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process. This is an area where the Indian business people lack adequate knowledge and expertise. This inadequacy is best reflected in poor presentation/display and communication the various national and international exhibitions with phasing out of quantitative restrictions after the year 2004, the textile industry will have to compete purely on the competitive edge of the products and visual merchandising will be helpful for the projecting the uniqueness of the products and thereby increasing the market access and sales. It is high time that the Indian textile and clothing industry should understand and adopts the scientific and professional system of visual merchandising rather than the traditional practices of display of products and communication.

CRITICAL ISSUES OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Retailing them itself has transformed the way business is done and the so called merchandisers of disposition of store inventory. There are many ways and standard procedures to ignite sales, increase profits and maximize the net worth of the business. Visual merchandising helps in this respect. This calls for a concerted industry efforts to approximately value the importance of quality retail coverage such as self-integrity in store advertising, price verification, stock rotations, new item-cut and other related activities. To make effective the retail business one has to focus on the following critical issues of visual merchandising.

a) Graphics and signage: attention grabbing yet clear graphics by way to visually communicate the brand and these graphics when compiled with the right signage become the stalls complete instruction manual.

b) Trends and moot boards: This is misunderstood by many as mere decorations for the stall. The brand sources and moot boards convey the source, in fact the mere need of the product for the consumer to the buyer. A good trend story board display can exhibit a thought process nursing for the inspirations (research, to swatch development of the final usage of the product.

c) Space management: Most displays concentrate on the floor management of space. In order to create a complete desired ambience the ceiling space should also be given enough attention. Walls are not elastic space should be allocated to the available products as per the expectation of the customers to deliver best results. The major issues of space management are:

1. How do we want our ranges to look?

2. Hanging/stocked/customers etc.

3. What stock density do you want to achieve?

Generally, the more options/units you can hold for a given amount of space, the higher the potential returns. Space landing systems can be split into two types

Numeric and visuals: Numeric planning system simply allow users to account of space available and to calculate the ratios like returns on space. Visual systems allow users to create three dimensional walk through models of the stores and to preview the look of a store once ranging decisions have been made.

d) Dresiforms and mannequins: The dresiforms communicate the 3 dimensional form of the product. Along with the fit a good mannequin can also be customized to communicate a character, for example, special kids wear mannequins with caricatured faces convey the playful mood of the collections.

e) Synergy among the different stalls: A stall look should compliment the mood the whole fair too. So some visual elements from the fair, be it a color scheme or some material used should also be incorporated in the stall.

f) Out of the box thinking: With so many stalls around, it sometimes focus some stock value to grab the attention of the buyers. Innovative ideas in displaying the mannequins, swatches etc can invite many more people to the stall.

g) Merchandise planning: The first function of merchandising planning is making a strategic plan, which is normally for a five years or more and is used to set the critical success factors for merchandising in terms of sales, margins and stocks. Next in a channel sales budget to take into account the effect of the new channels, new stores, closures, and refits. In simple words merchandising planning is a systematic approach and aiming at maximizing return on investment, through planning sales and inventory in order to increase profitability. It does think by maximization sales potential and minimizing losses from marked down and stock cuts.

h) Range planning: Begin with assortment plan. In assortment plan, the goal of merchandise plan are divided into specific lines and such a way that the division results in the increase of overall marginal mix. Then a distributions planning in done. The link between available physical space and ranging done here is a key determinant of merchandising performance.

ROLE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Visual merchandising is an artistic method to ensure that retailers merchandise moves off the shelves faster. It’s a tool to appeal to the visual sensory elements of the customer. Visual merchandising is an unknown skill which is fastly becoming popular nowadays with the introduction of self service in retail stores in recent years and the number of changes taking place in super market merchandising methods, there has been increased emphasis on the kind of store layout, store building, fixtures, and equipment, color displays, silent communication tools, window display and finally opinion building through in store displays which has taken the art of retailing the higher applications frames.

Customer expects to spend less time for shopping and prefers one step multi brand retail formats and hence significance of visual merchandising is on increase. As per the opinion of Hemendra Mathur, senior consultant of KSA technopark based on the third annual consumer outlook study that the consumer is getting time saved and the time spent on shoppin (both grocery and non grocery) has come down. Further the study reveals that are increase in the impulse and unplanned purchases in the certain categories. Visual merchandising helps in the increase of impulse buying.

The practice of a visual merchandising is negligible in durables and home textiles and in the apparel and foot wear it is 20%. Many people experience in organized retailing are of the opinion that innovative application for effective retail presents and brand buildings are being used aggressively by companies in retail merchandising. Brands like Reebok spent 25% of their advertising spent on point of sale merchandising. The brand managers of Reebok feel that 80% of the buyers are influenced by the 3 feet experience i.e, point of sales material and visual merchandising are more effective than outdoor displays and advertising.

Market analysis feel that most companies are unfortunately not spending as much time and money as they should on POS (point of sales) visual merchandising as a strategic tool for brand building, indiscriminately “displaying everything rather than displaying selectively and effectively to assist consumer in taking decisions.

Visual merchandising helps in:

a) Establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3 D environment, with which a long lasting impact and recall value.

b) Combining the creative, technical, and operational aspects of a product and the business.

c) Educating the customers about the product/services in an effective and creative or innovative manners.

d) Drawing the attention of the customer to enable him to purchase decisions in the short space of time and this augmenting the selling process.

SCOPE FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Retail business analysts feel that the average spending on POS and merchandising displays is RS. 1000 per square foot in the organized retailing whole size is Rs. 14,000 crores of the total (both organized and unorganized is Rs. 11,00,000 crore. Further analysis reveal that the multi brand retail formats (hypermarket) are storing 35% growth rate per annum which is the storing indicator for the bright and huge scope. For the visual merchandising professionals who have experience in designing effective store layouts, color displays, the use of creative silent communication skill tools, creative window display, and in store displays. The curriculum of visual merchandising includes generally the following fields:

a). Creative art.

b). Specific application to retail.

c). Techno commercial planning and execution.

Students of management looking for employment can find opportunities in departmental stores, super markets, malls, and hyper markets as visual merchandiser. Further those who have entrepreneurial streak can look for event managers or interior designers professionals.

Visual Merchandising Is the Key to Increase the Sales

With the retail business booming, visual merchandising has suddenly assumed a prodigious importance. Retail giants have started considering this methodology seriously as it attracts customers and increases the sale impressively. Retail merchandising today has become an integral part of retail business and act as a silent salesperson by actuating customers to purchase.

Shopping today is all about feeling a good and satisfactory experience. This experience is created by window dressing professionals whose goal is to attract customers and motivate them to buy. Visual merchandisers ensure that the right ambiance for shopping is created for consumers. For you it might sound simple, but there are various perspectives that need to be considered like mannequins, store layout, windows display, lighting and more. Visual merchandisers have knowledge of architectural principles, psychology, designing, fashion, psychology and inventory. The visual merchandiser have in-depth understanding about fashion marketing and also what the customer wants.

In this process, windows designing plays a vital and effective role in attracting traffic. Professionals cannot ignore this fact and have to use their creativity while designing the store. They need to think the store as an entire unit and prepare effective strategies that can convert onlookers to customers.

Interior designing also plays a prominent role in converting the customer to buyer. The professionals in the business often consider POG (planogram) which is a document specifying how and where the merchandiser will display things in the retail space. A planogram carries the details about merchandise, dimensions, sizes of shelf and store square footage.

Visual merchandising is all about blending the insight of the functionality and comprehensive look. It should be expressive and capable of communicating to customers about the contemporary styles, fresh products, discounted products and such. Customers should be able to have a clear picturesque of the products displayed and should not feel that they are amidst hodge-podge. For retail businesses, visual exhibition is the most effective and important and so retailers do not want to leave any stone unturned.

Visual merchandising also typifies displaying techniques so that it entices the customers into the store and induces them to purchase products. It also envelops training sales personnel of the store on how to create captivating displays.

Many time it happens that special focus is given to particular sections to motivate customers for more spending. The merchandiser changes the color and theme of the window displays along with the changing season and month.

There are numerous firms who offer world-class and effective services at pocket friendly prices to its customers. These professionals know every trick of the trade. Having realized the importance of such services, more and more retailers are diverting their size able amounts from marketing budgets to visual merchandising and retail design.

Summary:  Retailers are now diverting significant amounts in retail designing and visual merchandising to attract consumers and give a boost to the sales.