In today’s world, there are so many ways to reach consumers it can be confusing and overwhelming. A company can have its ads on television, in magazines, or on the Web. There are POPs, POSs, billboards, etc.—you name it, they have it. Wherever a consumer turns, it seems they are being smacked in the face with an advertisement. If only there was a less “in your face” approach to reach a consumer.
Floor graphics answer that call. Be it a logo on the floor of an airport, ads on the stairs in an office building, or a big piggy bank on the floor of a discount store, advertisers are finding new ways to reach customers. Recent technological advances have made floor graphics less expensive, longer lasting, and easier to clean—factors that are very important in a down economy.
Bringing Floor Graphics HOM
This is an exciting time to be in the floor graphics business, according to Mike Chevalier, new business development manager at Spencer, MA-based FLEXcon. Retailers and brand owners are focusing on shopper experience within the store to support the critical first moment of truth initiatives.
“Advances in floor image base materials and overlaminates are providing retailers and brands the opportunity to connect with customers using various products in a unique way,” said Chevalier. “For example, a brand can use a clear floor graphic advertising material to generate creative graphics, allowing the floor to be part of the image.”
To create a rugged indoor graphic, Dock 86, a furniture store, incorporated Flexcon’s standard floor graphic base product (FLEXmark V 400 F White Opaque A-109 90#) with the company’s FLEXmark OV 2500 Safari overlaminate. The 25-mil Safari film created the outdoor look for an interior graphic. “This floor graphic helped the retail match the store environment and the checkout desk that was branded with FLEXcon films as well,” said Chevalier.
“This was a project different than our normal retail environment,” said Jerry Underwood, executive director of marketing, HOM Furniture Brands, Coon Rapids, MN. HOM Furniture Brands is the parent company of Dock 86. “We wanted to present a low cost, low overhead appearance to the public to set up the expectation that low price was more important than an expensive store build out.” Using floor graphics and counter graphics allowed HOM Furniture Brands to brand the Dock 86 showroom, giving it a more comfortable feeling while having a bit of fun. The results are a casual presentation that has proven to be disarming to the customer.
“The customers have responded very positively, not because they understand the product, but because they can walk over a big piggy bank, or a graphic manhole cover, or on top of a crate,” said Underwood. “The customer definitely understands they are in a different kind of environment.”
Chevalier said carpet graphics is another expanding market. Not many brand owners and retailers are aware of this technology and how it allows them to brand low pile carpeted spaces. The 25-mil Safari overlaminate prevents the denting of the graphic from high heel shoes.
The last and most significant technological advancement, according to Chevalier, has come in the use of a thin gauged film technology to cover large surface areas in-store to create a branded zone or aisle.
“The FLEXmark floorart 6605 and 6600 printable graphic system has been used to cover large spaces (900-1,500 square feet) in-store,” he said. “This system allows the retailer to use his traditional floor wax to seal the graphic to the floor and maintain the same surface coating for the consumer to walk on.”
Chevalier thinks the future is bright for graphic advertising for the indoor floors market, as retailers look to enhance the shopping experience while the consumer shops. “Brand owners and retailers will be working more closely than ever before to create branded zones with unique materials and printing,” he said. “Retailers will also be focusing more on branding themselves and their private brands in the future. This is a great opportunity for the printing world.”