Signage may seem old fashioned, compared to slick websites and glossy full color ads, but don’t be fooled. Signage is probably the single most important element of branding for a mortar and brick business. Actually, the real secret to branding is a uniform presentation of the logo on packaging, shopping bags, ads, websites and signage. Traditionally though, all other occurrences of the logo refer back to the main exterior on premises sign. It is this sign that all other branding materials must match exactly.
The Importance of Signage
Signage is real world local advertising at its finest. It directs both car and foot traffic into your business establishment. It informs them of your goods and services, while they are already out and nearby. According to “The Importance and Effectiveness of Signage,” a handbook developed by New York State Small Business Development Center, impulse stops account for 15 to 45 percent of the people who come through any given business’s doors. That alone proves the importance of good signage.
On Premise Outdoor Signs
For a mortar and brick business, on-premise outdoor signage is the bread and butter of the marketing plan. Whether the sign on the door, on a canopy or on a post, the largest outdoor sign on-premise should display the logo and company name prominently and explain in just a few words what exactly the business has to offer. This is the sign passersby will see first. In a sense, this sign is like a written invitation to the public. It should be as large, visible and attractive as possible.
The largest outdoor sign is perhaps the most justified major startup cost, other than necessary equipment. This onetime purchase that will set the mood and pace of the entire business. It should be a beacon to the surrounding community and a hearty welcome to travelers. The conduit directs traffic into your establishment.
In addition to the largest sign, there should be secondary exterior signage. A sign on the door or front window should display store hours and other information. This is very important because it eliminates a lot of frustration when your store is closed. It is also important to put up temporary signage well in advance, if you plan to change or interrupt your regular schedule for a holiday or vacation.
A more detailed list of products, services or menu items should also be posted where it can be viewed from the outside. Ideally, all this signage should contain the company logo, as well as the information.
On Premise Indoor Signage
Once a customer enters your business, it is vital to drive that branding home with prominent indoor branding signage. Use your logo colors consistently in interior decor and be sure to display at least one large logo sign indoors. Having a large indoor logo sign reinforces branding, the entire time customers are in the store. It is a key element to creating a pleasant and brand unique atmosphere within the store. In addition, stores should reinforce branding on smaller temporary signs and even price tags.
Billboards are the largest of all common signs for local businesses. While they may amount to a significant cash outlay, they can really rake in the traffic if your business is near an interstate or other major roadway. If the cost of a billboard is too much for your small business, you could consider pooling your resources with other business owners in your immediate location.
Consider how you can best place signs in and around your business to pull in the traffic of passersby. Start with low cost signs placed in highly visible areas and use the increased revenue from those to work up to billboards and other major signs that can pull in even more foot traffic.