Chevalier believes graphic advertising for indoor floors will match other graphic themes and visual images, just like the Dock 86 store. “The indoor floor graphic will not only stand alone, but also be part of an integrated message in-store; the branded zone,” he said. “The standard 2x3-foot static graphic at your feet will always be with us; however the sizes, images, and materials will continue to evolve to meet the unique needs of the individual retailer and brand owner.”
Floor Graphics Take Flight
Recent technology has been a boon for the floor graphics market. For starters, the cost of producing floor graphics has decreased dramatically due to technological advancements, according to Janet S. Featherston, president, Sign-Ups and Banners Corporation, Houston, TX. “We can use solvent and eco-solvent inkjet printers to develop cost effective floor graphics that are highly customizable,” she said. “There have also been many improvements in the actual application of the floor graphics, preventing scuff marks or other damage to the floor.”
As for trends in the industry, Featherston is seeing more colorful lifestyle graphics being used. “This type of floor graphic really presents one more way to place your product literally in front of your customers,” she explained. “We recommend using sturdy, slip-resistant materials for the floor graphics to ensure your promotion’s longevity and customer safety.”
Sign-Ups and Banners recently had the opportunity to develop floor graphics for Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in celebration of 40 years in flight. The company created very bright, colorful graphics that ranged in size from 4x4 feet to 8x8 feet, and were implemented throughout the airport. “These graphics really stand out and definitely capture a sense of celebration,” said Featherston.
Featherston expects more businesses to use floor graphics in high traffic areas to influence customer purchases. “There is a measurable increase in consumer responses when floor graphics are implemented,” she said. “Plus, we can create floor graphics in any size, shape, and color.”
Adhesion is the Key
Dave Peterson, director of sales and trade development, Vomela Specialty Company, St. Paul, MN, believes the greatest technological advances in the floor graphics market would fall into the adhesives category.
“Within the visual merchandising realm, cost is always a critical factor,” said Peterson. “Our ability to print long-lasting graphics for indoor applications, which are easily applied and removed without the need for professional installers and without damage to original surfaces and at a reasonable cost, has been critical to the resurgence in interest in floor graphics.”
Peterson feels the availability of cost effective, easily applied and removed floor graphics has many retailers looking to their suppliers to provide co-op dollars to fund various floor media campaigns.
“Using the floor to augment other in-store messaging, and even tying in floor graphic messaging with traffic flow, can provide for sound payback as measured by off the shelf, through the register movements,” said Peterson. “These days, more and more consumers are looking at their feet...iPhone or Blackberry in hand...wherever they go...why not try to catch their attention with eye-popping graphics on the floor?”
A current Vomela client operates more than 250 stores and leverages co-op dollars from key product suppliers to arrange up to 30 34x34-inch floor graphics for each store. These graphic sets are designed to last in the retail environment for six months, but generally are rotated out every three to four months. The opportunity was awarded to Vomela due to its ability to fabricate a high-resolution graphic that “popped” visually, and which could be installed by store personnel.
“The client was concerned about durability through all types of weather and floor cleaning operations, while ensuring the product’s ability to resist cracking or peeling during its time in store,” said Peterson. “A hassle free, long lasting graphic that reflected favorably on their store brand as well as the products they featured and sold to valued consumers.”
As the need to appeal to regional and niche demographics continues to escalate, Peterson said the need for unique, targeted messaging will also. “This will cause complexity in appropriately allocating dollars to print and OOH advertising to support brand owner needs,” he said. “In the brick and mortar realm—walls, floors, windows and doors will become increasing prime real estate to communicate to consumers, both current and targeted.”