Window displays have been the traditional way in which retailers use creativity to attract customers, especially at Christmas.
This is not a shoe shop, but a Chocolatier demonstrating skill.
And how might a plumber use a shop front to attract business?
You wouldn’t want to wear the boots and jacket in this shop window – they are made from lead, skilfully beaten to shape!
Creativity can also be applied to what is done, (not just what is on display).
When travelling in Scotland, we saw a variety of clothing stores selling items made locally and using local materials. Of these stores, one stood out from the rest. As well as having an excellent range, the staff circulated easily through the shop, offering browsers a cup of coffee or tea, with upbeat music (not ‘muzak’) in the background. The atmosphere was informal and friendly, and the spirit was generous – avoiding any hint of commercial desperation. The customers were having a good time because the staff were, and vice versa. Not an easy trick to pull off, but applying creative thinking was clearly making a difference to their business.
Did you hear the one about the hairdressing salon who had been encouraged to do something really different, just for the sake of it? At noon the next Friday, all the cutters put their scissors down, took one step back, and sang together “Bring Me Sunshine” (of Morecombe & Wise fame)! The following week their phone didn’t stop ringing, with people asking “Is that where you sang ‘Bring Me Sunshine’? Can I book an appointment please?” Not a bad return on ‘advertising’ that had cost nothing.
The key principle is that there’s nothing in any Job Description to say work can’t be fun – and fun unlocks creativity!
Creative thinking really can help business, in more ways than one.