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How we innovate: we created a Custom Database to streamline a 300-vehicle wrap project for AAA and T-Mobile

Custom database

AAA recently announced T-Mobile as their Exclusive Wireless Partner, providing the communication backbone for their legendary roadside service. In addition to announcing this partnership through broadcast advertising, they also wanted to get the word out on the street…literally. 

Rather than track it all manually with spreadsheets, we built a simple custom database with two modules: a vehicle list, and an install list. It allowed our installers to upload photos, all teams to receive an automated email with PDF of each completed install, and clients to digest our progress with a simple dashboard. For a deeper dive, read on!


The Project

Custom printed, co-branded, full vehicle wraps on over 300 of AAA’s Emergency Road Service (ERS) vans located across multiple states.


The Problem 

(among the logistical challenge of taking multiple support vehicles offline while still supporting outstanding roadside support): how to efficiently track the many details and moving parts of the install, while keeping multiple teams updated on progress


The Traditional Method – Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets, photos, filing in nested shared folders, and emails. Lots of emails. Oh and a full time person tracking everything. It seems laughable, but the tried and true method to connect final install photos with a completed van wrap is for the installer to write the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a post-it note and hold it up in one of the photos. And God be my strength if I see another blurry or out of focus photo written in hieroglyphics and have to track down the installer who has already left the site to go back and take another photo while staying on the original timeline!! Deep breaths…whew, sorry, slipped into the red mist for a second there, I’m good now. Kidding aside, as messy as it may be, that might work fine for one or a few installs. But ramp that up into the literal hundreds and you’ve got a mess on your hands.


Meet the hero: The Custom Database

First off, what is a database? In the words of Chat-GPT, it’s: like a big toy box, and inside this box, you have smaller boxes. Each smaller box, like a table in a database, holds different types of toys or data. Like being able to quickly find a toy in its specific small box, databases let us quickly find the information we need in its specific table. So, a database is basically a big, organized toy box for storing and finding information! 


What did we do? 

Technically, we created two custom forms, one to track the entire fleet of ERS vehicles, and the other to track the photos from the install. A VIN number connects the two forms, so we are able to create any report of the two related tables.


How does it work? 

We uploaded a list of ERS vehicles, then sent a link out to each of our installers. When on site, the installer uses a link on their phone (it’s web-based, so no logins or app required), select the vehicle from the dropdown, then install five photos: the VIN closeup, then front, back, left and right. Once they hit upload, a confirmation email is sent to all teams, with photos, VIN field (to cross check) and installation time included. This builds the records on our database, where we can see them in real time in a report, and view the images in line with the data. Our dashboard shows how many vehicles were done, how many remain, and can drill down to which geographic area. No project time needed, manual emails, or digging through folders. All the data is in one place, is updated in real time, and accessible to all.


What’s the take away? 

Custom databases can do a lot. In this example, we used it to automate the install validation and management process. However, it can be used to track pretty much anything. Whenever you’re using an important spreadsheet, and think of the versions, corrections, and reports needed from it and think that there’s got to be a better way to do it, it’s definitely time to check out a custom database.



Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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How a Custom Database can help you manage a big project


Are you tired of the struggle of using spreadsheets to manage complex projects? Does the constant juggle between shared drives, texting, and spreadsheets make you feel more like a secretary than a project manager? Fear not, as there is a game-changing solution that can revolutionize the way you handle such projects – a custom database.

Imagine managing a project of installing window graphics at 250 nationwide locations: final install photos would come in via email and texts from dozens of installers and you’d match each one to a specific location. God forbid one wasn’t done correctly, and if so, you’d have to manage a go-back as well. The lack of a single location for all project information (install date would be in a spreadsheet, and photos stored elsewhere) and the absence of real-time updates (ex: how many locations are done and those that remain) add unnecessary complexities.

Enter the Custom Database

A custom database is the answer to your project management woes. It acts as a centralized hub, streamlining your workflow, and providing an array of benefits that can transform the way you handle big projects.


1. Centralized Data Management:

Say goodbye to scattered information across various platforms. A custom database offers a single, unified location to store all relevant project data. From the list of install locations to installer details and progress updates – everything is easily accessible to all team members in real-time.


2. Streamlined Photo Management:

Manual matching is no longer a headache and a job within itself.  With a custom database, installers upload images directly into the system, linking them to the location selected from a drop down list. Once saved, the images all show up so you can see them all together, and your dashboard updates with what is done and what is left to do. This seamless process ensures that you have a comprehensive visual record for each location and can focus on higher level tasks to ensure the project is a success.


3. Real-Time Updates:

Gone are the days of outdated spreadsheets and delayed communication. A custom database provides real-time updates, ensuring that every team member is on the same page. Stay informed about completed installations, upcoming tasks, and any changes to the project, all in real-time. 


4. Effortless Coordination:

Coordinating tasks and updates becomes a breeze with a custom database. Instead of relying on scattered texting and chatting, team members can communicate seamlessly within the platform. This boosts efficiency, minimizes misunderstandings, and saves valuable time.


5. Automated Confirmations:

No more manual follow-ups for confirmation. A custom database can automate confirmation emails once an installer completes a task. This feature not only acknowledges the hard work of your team but also ensures that you can easily track progress and maintain accountability.


The happy ending

Effectively managing large-scale projects across multiple installation sites no longer needs to be a daunting endeavor. Embracing the capabilities of a tailored database solution can significantly enhance your workflow, foster improved collaboration, and ultimately lead to greater project success. With centralized data management, real-time updates, and automated confirmations, a custom database empowers your team to operate with greater intelligence and efficiency.

It is time to break free from the challenges posed by unwieldy processes and fragmented information. Elevate your project management capabilities by adopting a custom database, and witness your major projects flourish like never before. Embrace the future of project management and experience the transformative difference it can make today.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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3 Powerful Steps to Boost Sales for Your Up-and-Coming Brand


Are you a new, exciting, and up-and-coming brand looking to take things to the next level? Great! To make sure you don’t take one step forward and two steps back, ensure a strong foothold in your messaging, market channel(s), and target demographics before you take that leap. In this article, we will explore three key steps you can take today to increase sales and take your brand to new heights.

1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Understanding your target audience is the foundation of any successful marketing and sales strategy. Without a clear picture of who your ideal customers are, you risk wasting resources on ineffective marketing campaigns and missing out on potential sales opportunities.

To define your ideal customer profile, follow these steps:


Identify key demographic factors such as age, gender, location, occupation, and income level that align with your product or service. Be as specific as you can – we’ve seen companies be so specific they made up names and stories of their prospect’s daily lives!


Dive deeper into your customers’ values, interests, lifestyles, and pain points. Nothing exists in a vacuum and there are synergies everywhere. Take advantage of this to create a framework and develop multiple points of attraction for them to come to you.

Behavioral Patterns

Analyze your customers’ purchasing behavior, online activities, and engagement with your brand. This data will help you craft targeted marketing campaigns that address their specific needs.

Use the data above to create a few profiles for who these ICP’s are, you’re ready to speak to their values and must haves with a compelling Unique Selling Proposition.

2. Be Clear on Your Unique Sales Proposition

In today’s competitive market, standing out from the crowd is essential for your brand’s success. To achieve this, you must have a clear and compelling Unique Sales Proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets you apart from your competitors and gives your customers a reason to choose your brand over others.

To create a powerful USP, consider the following:

Identify Your Unique Value

Pinpoint what makes your brand special and valuable to your customers. It could be a unique product feature, exceptional customer service, sustainable practices, or a combination of factors.

Address Customer Pain Points

This is the most straightforward starting point for most. First understand the challenges your target audience faces with existing market options and position your brand as the solution. Tired of getting sunburn because you can’t see where you applied sunscreen? Then try ours with zinc that adds a white tint so you’ve left nothing up to chance. Or, tired of sugary kids drinks at restaurants? Try our all-natural root beer with 50% the sugar. Demonstrating how your product or service can make their lives better will resonate with potential customers.

Craft a Memorable Message

Condense your USP into a concise and memorable statement that clearly communicates the benefits of choosing your brand. A strong USP should evoke emotion and leave a lasting impression. Tag lines, a jingle, humor – there are a lot of tools you can use – just make sure they don’t get in the way of the message, and stick the landing!

Once you have a compelling USP, integrate it into your marketing materials, website, social media, and sales pitches. Consistency is key to ensuring your message reaches your audience effectively.

3. Strategic Partnerships

Collaborating with other non-competing, correlated businesses with a strategic partnership can serve as another channel for your leads and sales. Seek out partnerships that complement your products or services and align with your brand values. Strategic partnerships offer several advantages:

Access to a New Audience

Partnering with a well-established brand allows you to tap into their existing customer base and introduce your products or services to a wider audience.

Credibility and Trust

Associating with reputable businesses enhances your brand’s credibility and instills trust in potential customers.

Shared Resources

Collaborating with a partner can lead to shared resources, cost-sharing opportunities, and access to expertise that can drive innovation and growth.

Remember that successful partnerships are mutually beneficial, so be sure to offer value to your partners in return.


Increasing sales for your up-and-coming brand requires a strategic approach. Start by defining your ideal customer profile, allowing you to tailor your marketing efforts effectively. Craft a compelling Unique Sales Proposition to stand out from the competition and communicate your brand’s value clearly. 

Explore strategic partnerships to expand your reach and tap into new opportunities. By implementing these three essential steps, you’ll be on your way to achieving remarkable sales growth and establishing your brand as a force to be reckoned with in the market.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Meeting the Challenge: Designing, Prototyping, Producing, and Delivering 500 Custom Point of Purchase Displays to 80 locations in 14 states in Under 60 Days

POP Display

Launching a new product is always exciting for any business, and  it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Recently, we had a custom point of purchase (POP) display project that was no different. Our client had a tight deadline to deliver over five hundred custom POP displays to 80 different locations across 14 states to mesh with their highly anticipated product launches. We were, of course, happy to take on the challenge! 

The Problem: A Race Against Time

As the go-to point of purchase display manufacturer for Fortune 500-1,000 brands and retailers for nearly thirty years, we are accustomed to meeting tight deadlines. However, producing a final product is one thing, while developing and testing it from scratch then rushing to produce it en masse is something different altogether. The clock was ticking, and we needed a robust solution to fulfill our client’s requirements effectively.

The Solution: Precision and Coordination

1.Rapid Artwork Update: Caught during proofing, we identified color and copy issues within the artwork. Rather than send it back to the client for revision and risk losing more time, we coordinated with our client and our design team sprung into action to make the change. After carefully reviewing the artwork for other possible issues, we promptly updated the art files and sent them back for re-approval. What could have taken a week as done in hours.

2. Streamlined Production Process: To meet the ambitious production deadline, we started production with the POP displays that were not affected by the art changes. This saved the client rush fees and possible lost time. By optimizing our modular post-production finishing section to complete these first units while also setting tooling for the displays to follow, it didn’t disrupt our other projects going through the shop, or cause trouble when the other units caught up.

3. Shipping optimization: To make up for lost time, we ran the distro through our software to see which shipping points would take the longest, and started with those first. We found that while 80% of the locations would receive shipments in 3 days going ground speed (thanks to our centrally located facility in the MidWest) we could pick up production time by sending the farthest points first. We did this all on our end without prompting so our client didn’t have to lift a finger, worry about the specifics, or pay any more in shipping.

The Outcome: Mission Accomplished

Thanks to our team’s attention to detail, urgency, and problem solving we were able to meet the deadline, provide solutions, and create more ease for our client. All POP displays arrived in time for the product launch, impressing the internal stakeholders higher up in the organization.

Post Mortem: Navigating Challenges, Delivering Excellence

This project was valuable for our client to experience – meeting deadlines and budgets, providing solutions, and making the overall process easier and more reliable. 

At TGS Elevate, we take pride in turning challenges into opportunities and delivering outstanding results for our clients. As we continue to grow, we know we don’t know everything, and that continuous training and revisions are part of the process. Driven by urgency and perseverance (two of our company core values), we are committed to providing innovative solutions and exceptional service to our clients for years to come.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Understanding the Success of Your Last Store Fixture Campaign

Understanding the Success of Your Last Store Fixture Campaign

Redefining Success – A Holistic Approach

Within the domain of retail visual merchandising, gauging success of past store fixture campaigns surpasses mere reliance on sales figures. An effective campaign extends its assessment to encompass the satisfaction of all stakeholders involved. It’s a lot like a 360 employee review. While you could focus on a narrow scope, you’re leaving out a lot of valuable information for future decision making. In this case, getting feedback on customer experience, brand perception, and employee ease and compliance are essential to determine how the overall campaign went.

Measurable Results – Balancing Qualitative and Quantitative Insights

To gauge the success of your last store fixture campaign, it is essential to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data provides objective, numeric measurements, while qualitative data offers valuable insights into customers’ sentiments and experiences. Combining these two types of data will give you a comprehensive understanding of the campaign’s impact.

1. Quantitative Measurements Before and After

Sales and Revenue: Track the sales and revenue generated before and after the campaign. Compare the figures to understand if there was a significant increase in sales during or after the campaign.

Foot Traffic: Analyze foot traffic data to determine if the campaign attracted more customers to your store. Increased footfall could indicate the campaign’s effectiveness in drawing attention.

 Average Transaction Value (ATV): Monitor the average transaction value during the campaign. If the ATV increased, it suggests that customers were willing to spend more due to the campaign’s influence.

Conversion Rates: Measure the percentage of visitors who made a purchase before and after the campaign. A higher conversion rate signifies that the fixtures positively impacted customers’ buying decisions.

2. Qualitative Insights Before and After

Customer Surveys: Conduct surveys to gather feedback directly from customers. Inquire about their perception of the store fixtures, whether they found them appealing, and if the fixtures influenced their shopping experience.

Social Media Listening: Monitor social media channels for mentions, comments, and feedback related to the campaign. This will help you understand how customers are discussing the fixtures and your brand online.

Employee Feedback: Engage with your employees to learn about their observations and experiences during setup and over the duration of the campaign. They are on the front lines and can provide valuable insights into how the fixtures impacted customer interactions.

Reporting and Tracking Progress Over Time

Regular and transparent reporting is crucial in evaluating the success of a store fixture campaign. Develop clear metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) based on the qualitative and quantitative data gathered. Use visual representations, such as graphs and charts, to present the data in an easily digestible format.

To track progress over time, create a schedule for reporting and analysis. You may want to assess the impact of the campaign immediately after its conclusion and then at regular intervals afterward (e.g., monthly or quarterly). This approach allows you to identify any immediate wins and to measure the campaign’s lasting effects.

Moreover, nothing can be more valuable than a post-mortem review with all stakeholders to discuss the results openly and collaboratively. Encourage feedback from different departments, including marketing, sales, and customer service, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the campaign’s overall impact.

Evaluating the success of your last store fixture campaign involves understanding the expectations of all stakeholders and measuring both quantitative and qualitative data. By adopting this holistic approach and tracking progress over time, you can ensure that your future store fixture campaigns are even more effective and impactful for your business. Remember, success is not just about the numbers; it’s about creating a lasting and positive impression on everyone involved.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Measuring the Impact: How to Assess the Success of Your Visual Merchandising Efforts

Visual Merchandising Efforts

In the ever-evolving world of retail, it’s crucial to determine whether your visual merchandising efforts are yielding the desired results. Here are some key strategies to gauge the effectiveness of your initiatives and ensure they are paying off:

Define Success

Success can be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. Consider metrics like sales per square foot, conversion rates, and strategic partnerships established as indicators of success.

Create Metrics to track Early Progress

Establish metrics to track your progress from the early stages. While data from POS systems or door counters can provide valuable rearward-looking insights, find ways to track forward-looking information as well. Look for effective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that provide real-time decision-making information.

Start Simple

Data overload can lead to analysis paralysis. To avoid this, start by tracking the most important metrics that align with your goals. Focus on key indicators that directly reflect the impact of your visual merchandising in the real world.

Get Help

Seek feedback from the boots on the ground – your store staff. They interact with customers daily and can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your visual merchandising. Additionally, explore technologies or products developed in other industries that may have applications in the retail sector.

Stay Committed

It’s essential to acknowledge that your initial efforts may not always succeed. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks; instead, view them as learning opportunities and stay committed to refining your strategies.

Customer Feedback and Surveys

Engage with your customers directly through feedback and surveys. Their opinions and experiences can offer valuable insights into the impact of your visual merchandising efforts.

Social Media Engagement and UGC

Monitor social media platforms for customer engagement related to your merchandise. Look for hashtags, mentions, and photos shared by customers, as they can provide real-time feedback on the effectiveness of your visual merchandising.

By implementing these strategies, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of whether your visual merchandising efforts are driving the desired outcomes. Continuously assess and adapt your strategies to create impactful and memorable experiences for your customers.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Unveiling Your Up-and-Coming Brand: How to Gauge Customer Interest and Drive Sales.

up-and-coming brand

Launching a new brand in the direct to consumer space is exciting. It’s a crowded and noisy space, yet it’s crucial to ensure that customers will embrace and purchase your products before you hit go. But how do you successfully position your brand in the market and attract loyal customers before taking the plunge? It actually comes down to basics: understand your target market’s preferences, behaviors, and needs, then test it as many times as you need to. Said another way, shoot bullets first, then cannonballs, so you don’t run out of gunpowder. In this article, we will explore a simple approach you can customize as you see fit to assess customer interest and determine if your up-and-coming D2C brand will resonate with your target audience.

Create Your Ideal Client Profile (ICP)

Start by defining your ideal customer. Understand their demographics, preferences, and shopping behavior. Create a detailed profile that includes information such as age, gender, hair color, lifestyle, family status, and other relevant characteristics. In the past, it’s common to give this person a name! This exercise will help you gain clarity on who your target audience is and guide your marketing efforts effectively. If it’s not a skill you currently have on the bench, hire someone or outsource it. Just don’t skip it!

Take a Stand

Based on available data or conducting surveys, take a position on the messaging, style, and overall look of your brand. After all, you have to start from somewhere. Determine what resonates with your target audience and aligns with their preferences. Maybe your space is dominated by cheap knock offs – why does it make sense to go up stream for a more elevated product? Or perhaps the issue with existing products is back end customer service – how would you message your brand differently so that it hits home? Whatever the case, develop a unique brand identity that stands out in the market and differentiates your brand from competitors. To be effective, don’t tell them, show them.

Pilot It

Before fully launching your brand, pilot it in the real world. This is the part about shooting bullets. Offer product testing opportunities with strategic partners, provide free samples to potential customers – whatever makes sense for your product and target demographic to give you the crucial information you need to make a decision. This allows you to gather valuable feedback, gauge interest, and assess if your products align with customer expectations. Similar to creating your ICP, you can also outsource this to take a more direct route.

Adjust and Refine

Based on the insights gained from the pilot phase, further refine your product, and if necessary, brand identity. This might be the hard part for most. We’re all human at the beginning and end of the day, and experiencing negative feedback or better ideas hurts. Honor it, take the time to be clear on your goal of a successful brand, and keep moving. Use the information to develop a compelling brand story that emotionally connects with your target audience. Clearly define the unique value your brand offers and create a consistent brand image across all touchpoints.


Once you have made the necessary adjustments, it’s go time!. Implement your refined brand identity, messaging, and product offerings to the people. Leverage strategic partnerships from before, your marketing channels to create awareness and generate excitement among your target audience. Collect and track your progress along the way with Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to monitor the market response so you can adapt accordingly quickly and decisively if needed.

Be Open

Stay attuned to market trends, customer demands, and industry shifts. After all, we’re all playing in the same pond together and you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time. Actively seek feedback from your customers, create surveys, ask questions, and remain open to new information and insights. Once you’re out there, the work has only begun. Keep managing and adjusting post-launch to ensure continued success.

Having real, actionable data about products from your up-and-coming brand is a critical factor for success, and your heartache. By understanding your target audience, developing a compelling brand identity, piloting and adjusting your offerings, and staying open to customer


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Navigating a high-profile celebrity brand product launch: A tale of tight timelines and triumph.

Navigating a high-profile celebrity brand product launch

Launching a high-profile product line for a celebrity brand is an exhilarating and demanding undertaking. With multiple visual merchandising products that incorporate diverse elements such as graphics, millwork, and plastics, all while synchronizing with a live product launch event, the pressure can be immense. In this article, we will explore a real-life scenario where our team faced the challenge of a tight timeline, working with a new client and starting from scratch. We will delve into the reality they confronted, the solution they devised, and ultimately, the happy ending they achieved.

The Mission

Embarking on a high-profile product launch for a celebrity brand, our team was confronted with a complex set of requirements and expectations: a refined finished product with half the time to produce it. The challenge culminated with a live product launch event featuring the celebrity themselves. The stakes were high, and there were a lot of variables to manage!

The Problem

Adding to the pressure, this project marked our team’s first collaboration with the client, who was undergoing a major rebrand. So, not only were the graphics and fixtures coming together for the first time, so were the colors, artwork, and design. Starting from scratch meant there were no pre-existing templates or established workflows, and when seen together it all had to make sense.

The Reality

With only six weeks to deliver the entire project (from design ideation to delivery), our team had to make the most out of each day. Typically, production lead time alone would take four weeks after final approved art, followed by an additional week for shipping, resulting in a total of five weeks. To make up time, we had to compress four weeks of design work into just one week. To make sure we didn’t skip any steps, we adopted a simple mantra: make no assumptions, and over communicate. However, it takes two to tango, so we also needed to make sure the client was on board with making messy progress (which of course, they were)!

The Solution

Our team rallied together to find a way forward. Our client’s creative team went to work finalizing the digital assets quickly, while our design team collaborated with them constantly to ensure it translated to the final product. Our production team evaluated our existing production schedule and utilized machine down time and our prototype line to get the project in line without bumping out existing projects we were committed to. Our project management team called out milestones, deadlines, and created contingency plans in logistics and delivery. By being on the same wavelength as our client, we were able to maximize efficiency every day to rush specific elements without compromising quality or holding up other parts of the project.

The Happy Ending

Despite the initial challenge, both our internal and client team’s tenacity and strategic approach paid off. In fact, we completed the project ahead of schedule! The products shipped early and arrived with time to spare – surprising even our client! The live product launch event went as planned, reception of the products was overwhelmingly positive, and we were happy to be a positive contributor in the journey.

The successful outcome of this high-profile product launch demonstrates the power of collaboration, adaptability, and creative problem-solving. Despite facing tight timelines and starting from scratch with a new client, we harnessed our expertise and were disciplined in our approach to overcome the hurdles we did see, and those we didn’t. By closely aligning with the client early on and making informed decisions, we beat the target.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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How to develop and rollout a new store fixture campaign: a quick hitting guide

New store fixture

In today’s competitive retail landscape, a well-executed store fixture campaign can make a significant positive impact on customers’ overall shopping experience and increase sales. To give yourself the best chance of success, a structured approach that incorporates empathy, collaboration, innovation, and iterative refinement is crucial. In this article, we will explore the key steps to developing and rolling out a new store fixture campaign successfully.

1. Gain Empathy for the User(s):

Before embarking on any store fixture campaign, it’s essential to gain a deep understanding of the end-users. Think about their demographic, values, interests, and even give them a name. If this information isn’t readily available, create your own by conducting interviews and surveys. Or, use an outside company to do the heavy lifting for you. The route you take to get the information isn’t important – empathizing with the users is what really matters. Once you have a firm grasp on who you are creating the retail environment for, the better your decision making will be. With that foundation, you’ll be better equipped to meet their expectations and create an in-store experience that will resonate with them to bring them back again and again.

2. Determine Usage and Stakeholders:

Building on the last step, consider how the fixtures will be used in-store. This goes beyond the consumer – we’re specifically talking about in-store sales staff and the visual merchandising team. Engage with both of them to align their expectations and gather valuable insights. You might be surprised at the feedback you get from each level. You might end up with more information than you need – so be clear to differentiate between “must haves” and “nice to haves,” to boil down to a store fixture or campaign that effectively serves its intended purpose. Also, define success at the different levels – some create Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports (showing metrics that aid in making a decision in that moment) – to set a target for all.

3. Maximize Your Knowledge and Network:

Leverage your personal experience, expertise, manufacturing equipment and network, to form guardrails around the store fixture campaign scope. Also, don’t assume you know all the capabilities of your existing suppliers. Lean on them for ideas, techniques and products they’re producing outside of your relationship. Follow industry publications and trends as you advance towards your goal.

4. Take a Stand:

With a holistic understanding of user needs, stakeholder expectations, and industry insights, take a stand on what you believe is the best store fixture campaign. Be prepared to defend your perspective, backed by your research and expertise. Also make sure it solves the problem and is in alignment with company values (ex: initiative for sustainable materials, or diversity / equity / inclusion). This clarity will serve as a guiding principle throughout the campaign development process.

5. Ideate – Start Drawing!

This is the exciting part where creativity takes center stage. Expand your possibilities by generating many out-of-the-box solutions – think beyond conventional boundaries – you never know where the perfect idea or feature will emerge from. Encourage your team to think freely, and create an environment that nurtures innovative ideas, as opposed to treating them negatively as if they are unobtainable or unrealistic. Consider every possibility, pushing the boundaries of what is considered feasible.

6. Share Solutions and Capture Feedback:

Review the multitude of ideas generated during the ideation phase. Analyze the differences, options, and associated costs of each solution. In the end, the decision on what to produce may likely come to a Return on Investment (ROI) calculation. If you don’t know the amount of the investment (the I in ROI), then you’re missing critical decision making information. Share the proposed concepts with stakeholders, incorporating their feedback and suggestions. Embrace open communication to refine the ideas further, ensuring alignment and buy-in from all parties involved.

7. Iterate New Solutions:

Don’t count on grand slams with every swing of the bat. After all, you need to have runners on base first. Plan to receive feedback, be open and return to the drawing board to refine your proposed solution. Embrace an iterative process and mindset, honor yourself and emotions that you may hear things that you don’t want to, and keep the line moving. Boil decisions based on features, must haves and nice to haves, and evaluate the best option on how to get there. This may be the most challenging and frustrating part, so be prepared.

8. Build and Test:

Having arrived at a solution, it’s time to bring them to life! Build a small quantity of your store fixture campaign according to demographic, geographic location, budget, and scope of rollout. Get pictures and video as they roll off the line to catch any potential issues. See in person and put it through its paces. Conduct testing according to your scope to evaluate each element’s functionality, durability, and visual appeal. Most importantly, does it do what you need it to?

9. Share Solution and Gather Feedback:

After completing the internal testing phase, share the results and feedback on your store fixture campaign with stakeholders and end-users. Seek ground truth feedback from all angles to ensure a holistic perspective, and be prepared to repeat the previous step again. Maintain an open mindset and be prepared to iterate on the solution based on the gathered insights.

10. Rollout!:

The store fixture campaign is finally ready for its time in the sun! Put all your hard work into motion by producing the store fixture campaign and rollout to individual locations. Keep track of what goes where, and compare its performance to the definitions of success defined early in the process.

Developing and rolling out a successful store fixture campaign requires a combination of empathy, collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Note what it doesn’t include – shopping around different manufacturers for the lowest price or technique. While most would consider this the first step, it isn’t necessarily. Ultimately however, there are no rules for how to create a store fixture campaign that resonates with users, meets stakeholder expectations, and elevates the overall shopping experience. It’s up to you! So embrace your creativity, learn from feedback, and iterate on your solutions to achieve lasting success in the ever-evolving retail industry.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Why you should prioritize speed over price and quality: it can ultimately save you more.


In today’s fast-paced world, you would think that prioritizing speed over price and quality is a recipe for disaster. However, this is not always the case. In fact, prioritizing speed can ultimately save you more in the long run. Here’s how:

Speed: Time is money

The saying “time is money” is not just a cliche; it’s a fact. When you prioritize speed, you are saving time, which equates to money. The longer a project takes, the more resources you’ll need to invest in it: design, approvals, re-work, etc.. By prioritizing speed, you can minimize the amount of time and resources you’ll need to complete a project.

Faster feedback loops

When you focus on speed, you can quickly identify and address any issues that arise, have concrete information for the next iteration, and collect real-world data. This allows you to make changes and improvements quickly, get back into the next round of iteration, and get one step closer to the final goal. Like best selling business author Jim Collins puts it, “Fire bullets, then cannonballs.” This means not loading up on a single gamble then spending all your energy on that one shot. Instead, test first, make adjustments, test again until you get the ideal result, then unload all you’ve got on it.

Being open and flexible

Of course, projects rarely end up the way it’s initially outlined. Think about remodeling a house – how many times have you experienced or heard that the buildout went exactly to plan? Not a lot, so you might as well embrace it! That means being open and flexible in your approach and mindset for the unpredictable journey ahead is also very important. 

One way to achieve faster results is by being open to different materials and techniques. With the right mix, it’s possible to achieve the same or even a better outcome than another option, in less time. For example, if you’re building an acrylic point of purchase display fixture, the early prototypes may take too long for custom tooling. Instead, substitute a material like FalconBoard for the first go-around with CNC routing to prove the concept first. 

Avoiding paralysis by analysis

This is a big one. As Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post wrote in his April 2021 article, “Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests,” we innately complicate things. Factor in the easily accessible information we have at our fingertips today, and it’s a recipe for an endless loop of re-thinking and inaction. By prioritizing speed, you can avoid getting bogged down in the details and instead focus on getting things done. It’s also a work around so you can avoid reaction tendencies.

Recognize the human

Prioritizing speed over price and quality can maximize your time, create more opportunities, gain competitive advantage, benefit from faster feedback loops, and avoid analysis paralysis. Understand your natural tendencies to navigate projects thoughtfully – if you’re in control of them, you’ll be able to navigate anything. So, the next time you’re faced with a project, consider prioritizing speed as a viable option.


Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.

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Get help from one of our professionals