Looking for more attention or more foot traffic?  Would you like to get more people talking and posting about your business?  Try something unexpected. Yes, unexpected. Visual Merchandising is often about creating something unexpected that can get a busy or focused shopper to suddenly pay attention. Something clever and creative can stop a potential shopper mid-text and suddenly they have their Instagram app open and are taking a selfie with your delightfully unexpected creation. Check out 3 tips from visual merchandising expert Joe Baer from ZenGenius, Inc in this guest blog post!

1. Be resourceful.

Take a look around and see what opportunities are there.  What do you have that you can use in a new way? What do you have a large supply of that you can turn into something beautiful or unusual or interesting?  What inexpensive materials can you obtain? Books are often a great resource for creating inspiring and unexpected visuals, textures or props. Add an unexpected costume head, mask, or cool treatment to your mannequin. Partner with a local artist or craftsmen to make something custom.  Seek interns or host a workshop to create something large and exciting as a group. It’s a great way to connect with your local community, some of your most loyal shoppers and create a great experience together.

2. Be clever.

Sometimes, in order to be clever, you just need to change your perspective. Look at something in a new way. Get down on the floor and look around for inspiration. Climb a ladder and observe from above to see what you might discover. When the idea hits you and your cleverness kicks in, you’ll know it because you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. People love cleverness. When you make it happen you’ll hear it…” Isn’t that clever?” Success! Try turning your mannequin upside down or mount one to the ceiling. Turn something on its side and mount it to a wall. Flip it. Dip it in color. Suspend it in the air. Allow a prop to break right through your store window. Delight shoppers. Treat them to a new perspective. Show them something they have never seen before. Give them something to laugh about. Humor is often better than outrage or anger which can backfire and detract from sales.  But cleverness, wonder, and delight can often lead to new customers and commands a new level of respect and appreciation for the shopping experience.

3. Be ingenious.

Being ingenious is more than just being clever. It combines cleverness with inventiveness and resourcefulness. It’s an original idea that feels inspired or it’s a solution that seems so simple it’s impossible. Perhaps there’s a little magic in there too. Often an accident leads to an ingenious idea or a breakthrough to a new way of thinking. Besides… being ingenious makes you look smart. Smart shoppers like smart brands and smart stores.

So, if you’re tired of driving sales through direct marketing campaigns or your other tried and true methods, try something fun and unexpected. Shoppers love to be delighted!  Delight them and watch how they support and celebrate your ingenious, clever and resourceful store.

To help your store truly deliver an unexpected experience, attend the upcoming ASD Market Week in Las Vegas where you will discover thousands of items at the best prices for your retail success! Discover more here

Written by Joe Baer. Joe is the CEO and Founder of ZenGenius, Inc., a visual merchandising, special events and creative direction company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Joe's experiences and love for all things visual have allowed him to travel the world teaching and inspiring others on the power of visual merchandising. Find out more about ZenGenius and Joe's upcoming speaking engagements by visiting their website and social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn