What’s Your Window?

I used to work in high-end retail and every
month HQ would send a “window stylist” to our shop to create that month’s
masterpiece. And they really were. Sometimes elaborate and ornate and sometimes
subtle understated. But always perfect to the last detail and eye-catching to
everyone who passed by.

The shop had a big front door that was always
wide open and everyone could see inside if they chose to. The company could
have saved a lot of money by forgetting about the huge windows that needed monthly
styling and just put up a solid edifice. After all, everything that made the
company money, and for what their brand was known, was inside. Surely with
great stuff inside and the doors wide open people would come in, right?

Well, the truth is, they don’t. They walk on by,
leading their busy lives. Sure, our regulars came back and some wanderers would
pop in, but an open door with great stuff in side isn’t enough to make people
stop in their tracks. Our windows were, though. People stopped, looked, pointed,
and took photos. It made them curious and forced them to wonder what was going
on in there. It’s that sense of wonder that made the windows effective. That,
and the fact that they were expertly designed and executed.

As the window at the top of this post stopped
me in my tracks and made me look, point, and take a photo, I was reminded of
the power of that sense of wonder. I had no idea what that store was, but I wanted
to find out. It was a huge store with doors everywhere and tons of stuff
inside. Stuff the purveyors think is great and probably ought to sell itself.
But they know that no matter how great the stuff inside is, they need that
sense of wonder to stop in their tracks busy people with much to do and many

So, retail or not, what’s your window? How do
you get people to slow down for a minute and take notice? How do you make them
wonder what’s going on in there (literally or figuratively) and make them care enough to find out? It’s a
challenge we’re working on at Dialsmith and this window brought it full circle
for me, so I thought I’d share. Hope it helps.