The Essential Ingredients of a 5-Star Display Program

The Display Chef

I am often at my happiest when exploring display options with clients.  They have a challenge, a budget and a vision, and I have options for them to consider.  Frequently I find myself making analogies to the preparation of food, comparing their display decisions to decisions about ingredients, temperature, timing, costs, seasons, pairing, portions, or plating.  While I don’t do much actual cooking in the kitchen, it’s a subject I enjoy knowing about and benefitting from.

Decisions about materials are like the selection of the main ingredients of your dish. Who is coming to dinner and what do they like to eat? What’s available and appropriate given the season? What do you want to spend? What’s a better choice: temporary materials for your display or permanent? Some combination?

Pairing can enhance your main dish. Salmon is so much more enjoyable when paired with asparagus. Your back-to-school binder display can also hold related products like dividers and sheet protectors making the binder even more enticing.

The little details, like enough salt, can make or break a dish. Maybe it’s a steel pole that supports the weight of your product; it remains hidden to the customer but keeps your display intact.

Portions are important so that the dish will satisfy but not overwhelm. The ideal product count results from thoughtful analysis of what will sell through during the promotional period.

And of course, plating is critical for determining the overall appearance and presentation of the meal. Sometimes it’s all in the details, with a sprinkling of herbs or a swirl of red pepper aioli. Sometimes a display pops because of some extra special detail … maybe a clear front lip to fully display the product or an angled shelf to tilt the product back and more fully expose the graphics.

Donald Budnick
Founder and CEO
Ardent Displays

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