Where Should You Display Your Business Signs?
The importance of location does not just apply to your business itself. The placement of your signs is also of the utmost importance.
One of the oldest and best-known principles of business is the old idea of “location, location, location.” It is said three times to emphasize the importance of this factor to the success of a business. Small businesses, in particular, need to make sure that they are located in a busy area if they want to have the best chance of success.
The importance of location does not just apply to your business itself. The placement of your signs is also of the utmost importance if you want to attract new customers. Even if you have an appealing business and a great set of advertising posters, it won’t do you any good if no one knows about these things. That’s why signs must always be placed in locations where they will be seen by the right kind of people. In this article, we will explore the topic of sign placement a little more deeply.
Placing Outdoor Signs
There are many ways that you can go with this one. First, let’s start with the most obvious thing: The sign outside your place of business. If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to make your sign a little more visible than the others. You can start by doing a simple visibility test.
To do this, step outside of your place of business and pretend that you are just another pedestrian. Walk down the street in the direction of your business, and stop when your sign comes into view. If your sign is not prominently displayed, you are doing something wrong. When you look down the street, your sign should be the one that stands out the most. If it doesn’t, you might try one of the following little tricks to make it more noticeable:
- Neon or LED lighting
- Brighter colors
- More unique colors
- Some kind of audio cue
- A digital or LED-letter display
Whatever method you choose, you want to make sure that potential customers notice your sign first and foremost.
Outdoor signs can take many other forms. For instance, you might use a blade sign because of the way that it sticks out from the wall. However, if there are already a bunch of blade signs in the area, you won’t stand out. Thus, you could opt for anything from a simple A-frame street sign to a fully lit billboard. The bottom line here is to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
Outdoor signs will almost always require some degree of lighting. Without lighting, a sign will be virtually invisible at night. This is a real problem for businesses that are open late because customers will assume that you are closed. Thus, a lighted sign will quickly pay for itself in the form of revenue that you didn’t lose.
On that same note, you need to make sure that all your signs can be read from as far away as possible. Oversized neon-lit letters are the most effective for this purpose but are not always a realistic option due to the large amount of space that they require. The most important thing is to avoid tiny letters, regardless of your sign format. No one wants to squint just to read an advertisement, so don’t make them. Also, more legible signs will increase the window of opportunity in which a passer-by might look at the sign and be interested.
Placing Indoor Signs
Indoor signage works on completely different principles. In most cases, the only people who will see your indoor signs are people that are already doing business with you. Thus, these signs are not intended to attract new customers off the street. Instead, they are meant to direct existing customers to certain products, services, and features.
In some cases, these signs are just giving vital information like the end of the line or the location of the bathroom. Believe it or not, these signs do actually matter somewhat. When customers come into your business, they want to know that their needs will be attended. A business that doesn’t use signs to inform its customers is going to be dealing with a lot more customer questions. Why is that bad? Because it wastes time; and time, as we all know, is money. To make sure you don’t waste time, place your indoor informational signs in very visible locations. You should be able to find them as soon as you walk in the door. Some of these indoor locations may include:
- Along the walls
- In a front foyer
- Next to a rack of sale goods
- Behind the checkout counter
- At or above a help desk
- The ceiling
- In a window display
Indoor advertising can be a little more in-depth than outdoor advertising because you are probably dealing with an audience that is already interested. You don’t have to generate interest because you already did that (otherwise, that person wouldn’t be there). Instead, you should be concerned with increasing the customer’s interest in your products and services. For instance, signs might point customers toward special sales and other deals that they may wish to use.
Another great thing about indoor signage is that you can make better use of technology. An outdoor sign can incorporate things like LED lights and digital displays, but it has to be very thoroughly waterproofed in order to stand up to the weather. An indoor display doesn’t really have that problem since it is unlikely to see even a drop of rain. Because of this, such displays and ads can be made of cheaper materials without too much worry.
The Importance Of Sign Laws
It surprises many people to know that there are many laws regarding the posting of signs. These laws are ostensibly meant to curb public annoyance with excessive advertising. Without some kind of limitations, we would probably get bombarded with advertisements all the time, and no one wants that. In fact, a person who feels that their peace has been disturbed by your advertising will probably feel annoyed, and will, therefore, be less likely to show interest in your goods and services.
Before putting up any sign, make sure that you are in compliance with all applicable regulations. City ordinances are the main place to look, as the majority of American signage laws are to be found there. Failure to comply with these rules can result in your sign being taken down (at the bare minimum), and could even result in serious fines if the infraction is found to be serious enough.
Thankfully, you might not need to worry about this. Many signage companies will offer to handle the permitting process for a small fee. In most cases, this fee is worth the cost. The law can be a very tricky thing, and it always pays to trust legal matters to those who know how to work this finicky beast that we ironically call a justice system.
Remember that Flashy Is Not Always Better
Many business owners seem to think that their advertisements need to be as flashy and loud as possible. They seem to reason that eccentric behavior brings attention, and all attention is good for the business. While that first assumption is more or less correct, the second assumption is in error.
It is important to have a sign that draws attention and makes people consider whether or not they want to do business with you. That being said, you can go too far with that concept. Imagine, for a minute, the loudest and most eccentric advertisement that you can imagine. For us, we get an image of someone beating on drums, blowing a horn, screaming sales jingles at the top of their lungs, and maybe doing a little dance as well.
Would that kind of thing make you more likely or less likely to do business with that company? For most people, the obvious answer is that they would be annoyed at such obnoxious attention-seeking behavior and would probably walk away without visiting such a business. Even if the product is good, the whole advertisement can be ruined if the delivery is obnoxious.
A Few Basic Principles To Remember
- Don’t chase the customer. This will be seen as obnoxious and rude, so instead, try to focus your efforts in the right places. Go to places and events and look for people who might be interested in your goods and services. By carefully choosing your locations and venues, you can work to attract customers that are already interested.
- If your business is not located in a good place, you can make up for this disadvantage (somewhat) by advertising in high-traffic areas. The more people gather at a certain place, the more chances you have to find customers. Remember that every public gathering is an advertising opportunity.
- Some people might look down on this attitude, but it’s a good idea to focus your advertising campaigns and sign placement on areas that are more financially prosperous. In other words: Go where the money is instead of waiting for it to come to you.
- Make sure that your signs and ads are always honest. If a new customer walks into your store based on your signage or advertising, they will probably have certain expectations. By meeting those expectations, you will have proven to the customer that your business is an honest one. Businesses that lose the trust of the public don’t tend to do as well.
- Consider the use of a distinctive logo or mascot. Logos and mascots, being symbols, are usually recognized more quickly than words. Even an illiterate person knows Ronald McDonald or Mr. Clean on sight, so try to create a recognizable image of your own.
- It’s also a good idea to adopt a specific color scheme for your business. Most companies can be recognized by the colors that they use in their advertising and storefronts, and these colors will signal a person’s brain long before they have time to read the text of your signs.
- Avoid the use of strange fonts, as these tend to be harder to read. In some cases, uncommon fonts might cause a person to misread something and get a completely inaccurate picture
- Remember that images are more important than words. Once again, people will normally notice colors and images before they notice words. Thus, your imagery must work to associate your business with something positive and likable.
- You might consider hiring a few sign-wavers. Not all businesses do this, but it can be a great way to grab the attention of passing pedestrians or motorists. If you can find someone who knows the exquisite art of sign spinning, so much the better!
- When designing a sign, try not to use any more words than you need to use. Once again, no one wants to take the time to read a mini-novel. When they look at your sign, they just want to get the information and either act upon it or go on with their day. That’s why so many ads try to boil everything down to a catchphrase.
As we said before, the importance of location cannot be overstated. Just remember that your store is part of a larger community and that no one in the community has time to care about every single business that opens. It is your responsibility to generate the interest that will make your business a success, and no one else’s!
By using your mind, and a little bit of the advice we have given you, we trust that you can soar above the pack and create a level of business of which you can be proud. If you want to make us feel a little bit more proud, please fill out the contact form below so that we know you’ve been paying attention!