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Home Staging Tips for Styling Your Branded Gifts

Shawna Sherk is an Elite Home Stager and Design Specialist, collaborating to create outstanding layouts and scenes that inspire customers. We learn from her experience how to adapt a home stager's philosophy to the design of promotional products destined to become part of your home life.

How team members present themselves is an extension of the culture and values of the brand or organization that they represent. In a post-COVID world, uniform guidelines are being refreshed to help manage expectations of appropriate professional apparel.
The One Stop Home Staging Team. Their mission, to help transform any property into a welcoming and appealing space that will attract any eye. CEO Shawna Sherk is second from the left in the back row.

Since 2019, Shawna Sherk has been building an elite design portfolio. Her canvas is an empty room. Her art is mixing together different elements of size, colour and pattern, to accentuate the strengths of a space and invoke the desired emotional response that this room feels like home.

The value of working with an elite home stager and design specialist to present a home for sale, is not unlike working with a graphic design or branding specialist to create artwork for an engaging promotional campaign.

Both are artists with unique experiences and perspectives, often different from the sales and marketing persons they work with. Their keen eye for colour and space, and emotional intuition, guide the customer’s journey through discovery, consideration and conversion.

Speaking with Sherk about tips and strategies for presenting homes and spaces, we learned how her team’s experience with customer homes and homelife expectations might be helpful in the design and distribution of promotional products.

#1  Similar goals, unique plans

A home, like a client’s brand, is personal to the owner and will definitely have its own unique characteristics.

“As a designer, our responsibility is to understand and highlight the strengths in a manner that’s attractive to the desired audience. We sit down with our clients and get the feeling and understanding of what are their needs and wants, and work out a design plan together.”

In promotional product development, understanding the style of a target demographic is paramount to achieving your desired impressions, impact and return on investment.

In our illustrated example, we considered a modern, young professional in an urban enivronment, likely living in a condo or apartment. We believed gifts for this audience would need to be tonal with a brand guide, subtle and personalized where available.

Featured products blended into this environment include:

#2  Follow, follow, follow

To stay on top of style trends and find inspiration it’s important to stay connected to the trends in your industry.

“The style expectations are up to the stager. We often visit workshops, meet online with members of our industry, and of course follow well-known interior designers on social media.”

It’s okay to peek in on your competition. Visit the social media pages of competitors, locally and abroad, from your industry and others, to gain insight into how they are presenting themselves. You might find inspiration and understanding for how you want — and don’t want — to approach your next project.

Reviewing social channels for mentions of your product or brand, or those similar to yours, is easy research to discover things like how customers perceive the value of your product or service, favourite features and/or experiences, and the sentiment that customers have for your brand and its values.

For example, if your target demographic are active athletes then you might want to research some social media influencers in that group, see what sort of products they like using and why, and then develop your promotional branded merchandise to solve a challenge or enhance an experience.

#3 The best gifts are personal (and in neutral colours)

Many modern households are working to minimize their clutter and open their spaces.

The minimalist style is, “characterized by clean lines, with a monochromatic palette where colour is used as an accent.”

To avoid the decluttering process, Sherk recommends that gifts be personal and created in neutral tones. “If their home is neutral and minimal, then let your gift be the same. A couple ideas would be a piece of art, or a neutral colour accent pillow or throw blanket, customized with their name.”

The ability to develop engaging and effective promotional products is a combination of research and experience. The skill set is not unlike those of a home stager or other art-minded marketer, whose understanding of a demographic's shared values, goals or style, allows them to create a consistent presentation to attract like-minded prospects. Once in the door, it is the role of the sales professional to continue to build the relationship and close the deal. mem


Shawna Sherk is an Elite Home Stager and Design Specialist, CEO and Senior Executive Design Specialist with One Stop Home Staging.

Shawna had a vision, a dream, a passion to make a change in her life, for herself and family.

One Stop Home Staging is a full service staging company, and also provides a wide variety of services to increase the value and asethetics of your home.

The February 2024 Top Products Hard Goods edition of marketingedge magazine, read free online.

- as featured in marketingedge magazine, February 2024



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