Breakfast at Tiffany's

What do you think of when you see this iconic image from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Do you think little black dress? High priced call girl? Truman Capote? Audrey Hepburn and what’s his name?

Well I think powerful window display. What was in that window that caused her to stop and gaze so longingly at the items in the window?

I am always wondering why more retailers don’t have window displays with “street theatre drama” that cause passerby to notice their windows. Simply putting a mannequin in the window, isn’t enough – you gotta add some sizzle. Which is why I will soon be launching a webinar series from “So What? to Sensational!” to give retailers budget friendly visual merchandising ideas.

Debi Ward Kennedy, a writer for various retail design publications, had this to advice for retailers using this photo from Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a teachable moment:

“Retail tip number one: Windows are the eyes to your store. What do they reflect? When customers step out of a cab or car, with or without danish & coffee in hand, and they look into your windows, do they stop? Do they gaze longingly? Do they dream of owning what they see? Does it call out to them ‘Notice me!’ (I do not mean scream. Effective displays never scream. They call, invitingly, like a siren’s song, luring customers.) Is there light? Sparkle? Color? Interest? Is it clear what your product is?

Or, in some cases, is it clear what you are selling – the sizzle not the steak, so to speak. As in, ‘It’s not the clothes, it’s the confidence that they inspire’. You know that philosophy. So did Holly. She’s not longing for the diamonds per se – but the lifestyle and sense of accomplishment and worth that they stand for. She identifies with the image that the store presents.”

Debi writes in more detail about the visual merchandising tips from this scene which you can read here