At Signarama, we believe that a great sign doesn’t just speak; it sings.
After all, a sign isn’t just the content it conveys. Consider the famed golden arches of McDonald’s franchises. McDonald’s is a household name; but if you were to drive by a fast food restaurant with a sign above the door that simply read “McDonald’s” in a dull, off-white serif font, you would no doubt wonder what dark hole this cheap imposter crawled out of and what it had done with your beloved burger joint. Without that enormous yellow “M” and all the associations you carry with it – the smell of chicken nuggets, the sound of a crinkling to-go bag handed down from a drive-thru window – the sign loses its meaning and ceases to be a valuable advertising tool.
Of course, we can’t all be lucky enough to have the universal brand recognition of McDonald’s, but we can start to build this kind of brand recognition by designing a fantastic sign. This sign should be something customers can pick out from a distance, at a glance. Ideally, once a customer sees your sign a few times they won’t have to think about what your business is; they’ll already know.
If your sign is doing its job right, it shouldn’t need too much information. Long tag lines and subheadings tend to detract from the aesthetic virtues and readability of your sign. In some cases, a simple logo will suffice. Your sign will do the all-important work of getting customers in the door, at which point you can personally provide them with further information about your business.
So just how important are signs to the health and wealth of your business? According to a recent survey conducted by FedEx, signs are still every bit as important and effective as more modern marketing mediums such as television and social media. Of roughly 500 small businesses polled, more than half reported success in generating new business with updated signage and in-store graphics. In addition, signs are responsible for attracting half of a start-up business’ new customers. That’s huge!
How can you use your sign to generate business?
Keep target market in mind
The poll also shed light on some interesting preferential differences between generations. Whereas younger business owners (age 18-34) tended to prefer highly creative, colorful signage, older businesspeople (age 55 +) generally favored simpler, muted designs. Knowing who your market is and what sort of designs will resonate with them will help you to decide how to design your sign.
Use compelling colors
Colors that have been chosen wisely to reflect your business and target market will help to generate the right kind of business. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, color choice has a profound effect on your brand. 80% of brand recognition is due to its color – not the logo.
Bigger signs are better
The larger your sign is, the more visibility it will have; especially when it is placed in high traffic areas. The size of your sign is going to greatly depend on your individual situation, but you should keep in mind that larger signs will capture more attention.
For the foreseeable future at least, it seems that signs are here to stay as highly effective marketing tools. So tonight when you come home from a long day of running your small business, start dreaming up your very own golden arches. Signarama can help you create your vision.
Have you already succeeded in spreading the word and generating foot traffic with the help of a new sign? Share your experiences with us!