Science of Merchandising III

Designing your brand experience through redemption

The environment of your redemption area, and facility as a whole, can make or break your desired customer experience. By paying attention to small details, and hitting it out of the park on big details like customer service, you set yourself apart from your competitors.

A Shopify article says this about brand identity:

“Brand identity is crucial, because that’s what separates you from your competition,” says Adrienne Weiss of Adrienne Weiss Corporation, who is behind brands like Build-A-Bear Workshop, DiGiorno and Baskin Robbins. “Your brand is a story you tell to the world with the hope that it will resonate, and consumers will want to associate themselves with your brand.”

Still need convincing that brand identity and intentional experience creation are critical to your redemption program’s success?

48% of consumers said that the most critical time to gain their loyalty is when they make their first purchase or begin service.

If you’re a community-based location, as opposed to a tourist location, listen up! Repeat business is your lifeblood. Keep in mind, the redemption area is often the last piece of your business that guests interact with and is where you will make or break this customer loyalty generation.

U.S. brands are losing approximately $41 billion each year due to poor customer service.

“$41 billion is a crazy statistic! All the terrific branding and savvy marketing won’t help your business grow if your customer service is subpar.” Exceptional customer service is imperative for both community and tourist locations.

Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.

“This one is the craziest of all statistics and is the reason why it’s important to have a consistent brand color palette.” Your brand experience should be prominent in your game and redemption areas. We’re going to talk about this more in just a second, but the design of your space is a starting point for you. To learn more about our design services, click here.

Okay great. Now you’re convinced. You can achieve all this through your redemption merchandising plans. Ask yourself these questions:

1 | Is the design of your space minimizing navigation time and theft potential?

Whether you have a wall or an entire room, guests should be able to easily navigate through your redemption area. This is accomplished through the layout of your space and then complimented by merchandising techniques.

On a busy Saturday evening, the name of the game is processing redemption “transactions” as quickly as possible. This means guests are able to quickly pick out prizes and efficiently redeemed by a staff member. Both design layout and merchandising are factors here. Take it from DotActiv (a planogram software company):

“Moving merchandise effectively is dependent on several things, with the most critical being product placement — how and where you place certain items. This is where store layouts and merchandising mix. Merchandising, which is the display of merchandise in an appealing manner to encourage customers to make purchases, relies on the store layout to have shoppers walk through more than just one section of a store. Smart store layouts also reduce congestion during peak shopping hours. The two are inseparable, and to maximize profit, retailers need to take both into consideration.”

The design of your redemption area should also deter theft. By placing the point-of-sales system at the exit of your area, you allow your staff to have better control over people coming and going. If the space has aisles, all areas of the space should be visible from the front counter.

2 | What’s your desired brand atmosphere?

When you are designing your space or planning a remodel it’s important to consider the message you want your brand to send through these elements of your business. The design of your redemption area can either compliment your desired brand experience or work against it. If your center has a theme, it’s important the same theme is followed in the redemption area. Like this urban-themed redemption room 👇

If you’re opening a new center, or remodeling, you have the opportunity to brand your game room, too. The game room and redemption rooms can be themed together to accomplish brand standards and create your desired spacial atmosphere. Bowlarama Dieppe went with a candy-themed game room and redemption area, complete with a gumball-filled counter!! 😱

3 | Are you delivering what you promised?

By the time guests reach the redemption area, they’ve already made an investment in your business. The goal is to make the redemption experience the best it can be so they feel return on the money they spent in the game room. This happens through the atmosphere your space provides (which we just covered), your product selection and display, and your customer service.

Merchandising your product in themed sections creates an easy shopping experience. As you can see in the example below, this redemption room’s wall design incorporated dividers throughout the space. This makes it easy to separate different product themes when merchandising the physical product.

If you don’t have a full room you can still apply this best practice through your merchandising plan. The wall below doesn’t have physically divided sections, but it is still easy to navigate because of how the items are arranged — similar items being grouped together.

It’s important to utilize your space’s design to your advantage when creating your merchandise plan. By incorporating experiential pieces into your display you increase the likelihood of enjoyable experiences. For example, the plush dump bins below are not only eye-catching but also allows guests to see the plush fall down as pieces are redeemed.

For more on this: here are 5 tips to maximizing your perceived value in the redemption area. If you want to take it even a step further, try out our Merchandising 101 eCourse.

Are you overwhelmed yet?

The design of your redemption and game room areas is a lot to think about. Maybe you’re not in the market to remodel right now or your hands are tied with what you can do with your space. That’s OK! We can help optimize your current setup through our merchandising services.

If you are in the position to remodel, or you’re opening a new space, not all designers are created equally… You can learn more about our design services here. As always you’re welcome to contact our Value Architects to learn more about what’s possible for your space.

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Make your guide to your success. If you missed the first and second editions of the Science of Merchandising series, read them here!

Our proprietary Storyboards are a series of pre-designed merchandising layouts, backed by analytics. They’re created with a specific theme or category in mind to engage your guests and make finding the perfect prize a piece of cake.