We always hear the phrase, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” But if we’re going to be 100% honest, what we see on the outside matters too. Just think about receiving a gift. If you see that the person took time to neatly wrap it up in pretty paper and top it off with a matching, flouncy bow, doesn’t that make you feel great, and excited to open it up? But what if that present was just handed to you in the same plastic sack from the store in was bought in? Then the anticipation fizzles out a bit, right?
The truth is that we all determine an item’s value almost immediately once we see the packaging of it. This same concept is applied to product packaging as well as the exterior design of retail stores. If the outside of the store looks questionable, how likely are you to step inside and see what they have to offer?
For a while now, I have been applying this concept to Sears stores. Once an American shopping staple, now when you pass by a Sears it is easy to miss because there’s nothing that makes you stop and take notice. Or, in some of the worst cases, the things you notice do nothing to entice shoppers to come into the store. As the corporation aged over the last century, the Sears brand stores have started to fade from view, being overshadowed by so many other bright, shiny retailers.
After my latest trip into our own local Sears store, it became very apparent to me that one important step the brand needs to take in order to bring itself back to life is to focus more attention on the wrapping. The inside of the store was as warm and welcoming as one could hope, but you had to get past the run-down look of the exterior before you could really appreciate what the store inside had to offer.
Filthy lighting, ragged awnings, and handmade signs do nothing to make up a pleasant package. They give no sign that when you walk in you will receive great service and quality brands. For this reason, so many consumers are choosing to shop with other brands, because they just don’t see the potential of the gift waiting inside when the outside looks like the giver put no effort into presenting it to you.
Packaging is an important marketing tool, and this should apply not just to the goods you sell but to the wrapping that you put on your entire operation. You want to present yourself in the best possible way, look as inviting and enticing as possible so that people are eager to get inside and see what gifts await them.
If the Sears brand wants to restore itself and become a retail icon once again, then it is time to invest more in the exterior of its stores, dressing up the outside and making it look presentable once again. Today’s consumer is ready to welcome back the Sears and Roebuck brand if they can make the effort to shine themselves up and put on the fancy wrapping. For a retailer that has lasted more than a century, it still has a lot to offer in the marketplace.
The wrapping on the package matters. The better it looks, the more time it looks like you have invested in presenting it to people, the more eager they will be to come inside and see what you have for them. Once the shoppers start coming into the stores again, then perhaps it will be time to reintroduce the wonderful tradition of the Sears and Roebuck Holiday Catalog to the next generation of consumers!