Let’s start off by defining signage broadly:
Signage can be seen as Commercial or Public signs… displayed for the purpose of either advertising a product, service, event, special etc. or used to identify a business, message, direction, or warning.
For the sake of this article, we are referring mostly to Outdoor Business Signage.
- Psychology of Good Signage
- How can Outdoor Signage increase my sales? (Top 3 Ways)
1) The Psychology of Good Signage and How to make it work.
Traditional signage works on consumer perception. We perceive the messages we receive everyday selectively *1 due mostly to the fact of message overload. Businesses and organisations reach out to customers in multiple ways such as TV, Radio, Online (eg. Facebook, Google and YouTube,) Print Media and Signage.
Adverts and Signs are all around us – on the road, in our cars, on buildings, on the products we own and the clothing we wear.
So then, we are left with two basic questions:
- HOW DO I boost business without throwing money away in an over-saturated world of advertising? and,
- How effective IS SIGNAGE when I want to increase sales and bring in new customers?
SOME QUICK STATS: How effective is signage? *2
- Half of businesses’ potential customers have driven right past them, because their sign was unclear or too small.
- One third of customers ended up in the wrong store based on the quality of their sign.
- About 2 out of 5 customers have made an assumption about the quality of a business based purely on whether their sign was clear and attractive.
AN EXAMPLE: A quick test in perception
Below are two signs, both Upholstery Businesses.
Which one do you think provides a better quality service?
“According to a research done by Fedex, 7 out of 10 customers *3 BELIEVE that YOUR BUSINESS SIGNAGE reflects the quality of your business and your product.”
If your sign is the very first thing that potential clients will see – without ever dealing with you, before even walking through the door, what message is it that you are portraying to them?
BUSINESS OWNERS’: Perception of Signage
AN EXAMPLE: Many small business don’t see the importance of signage.
The most common reasons that they do not invest in effective outdoor signage may surprise you:
- “My customers already know where I am.”
- “I already have a sign. I don’t need a new one.”
- “Can a sign improve my sales?”
According to Perry Powell, a signage consultant, the most common mistake of his clients when it comes to signage is money allocation. When small business owners build at a new location a certain allocation is set aside for ‘signs.’ But if construction costs overrun the budget, money is taken from “signs.”
But, if your sign is the first impression made to your potential clients, and as we’ve seen in the example above (AN EXAMPLE: a quick test in perception), that people judge the quality of your products and services based on your sign… shouldn’t your sign stand apart from your competitor’s?
B: RIGHT PERCEPTION
AN EXAMPLE: How McDonald’s prioritise their signs
Larger corporations such as the McDonald’s franchise understand and think about their signage very differently. One of the very first things MacDonald’s do when opening up at a new location…
is to install their unique signage.
Their reasoning is simple: to reinforce their brand.
Outdoor business signage attracts people directly to you and in turn boosts your sales.
Properly placed, clear and attractive signage gets your business noticed, and people walking through the door.
2) HOW can outdoor signage increase my sales?
Your sign needs to be attractive. It needs to stand out. Professionally designed outdoor business signage is one of the quickest and easiest ways to a) represent your business, b) build a positive experience, and c) gain you the exposure you need.
THE TOP THREE ways that Outdoor Business Signage will boost your business.
- Attracting Customers
- Showcasing your Brand
- Driving Interest
1) Attracting Customers (New and Old)
A physical outdoor sign directs customers right to your door. As people either drive or walk passed your location, they are exposed to your business signage and can potentially be converted to a customer right there and then.
3D signs can stand out more than your competitor’s flat signage.
Lit signs can be seen at night and in bad weather.
Outdoor signs can convert customers and send your message after business hours.
2) Showcasing your Brand (Impression of your Business)
Custom designed signage shows off your unique logo and corporate colours. Branding your signage makes it memorable and consistent. Keep in mind, that visibility is key here too. Not only should it be short and sweet – for those passing by or driving by quickly… (in other words, displaying your prominent product or service, values or message) but should be welcoming and professional too.
3) Driving Interest (and Sales)
Your outdoor sign is a great way to market your business offering, sales, promotions or events. So captivate people passing by your premises by utilizing visual aids. Keep your brand foremost in their minds. Then, your message needs to be clear. Use images and a call to action that gives people what they want.
WHAT Should your outdoor sign contain?
The Signage you choose is vital for your company. People need to know
- a) WHO YOU ARE (Name or Logo)
- b) WHAT YOU DO (Concise description)
- c) WHERE YOU ARE / HOW TO CONTACT YOU
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
Because signage is mostly glanced at, your signage should be clean and uncomplicated. So, try to stick to one message, one focus, and ask for one response.
Microsoft’s 2015 Attention Spans report has shown that our attention span may be dwindling. Putting our average attention span at 8 seconds (1 second less than a goldfish)*4 should prove at least that in the world of Signage, you are dealing with a glance media. As such, get your message across in a clever and attractive way, one that will be remembered.
1) CASE STUDIES of 6 businesses: Can signage bring in new customers
2) TOP THREE WAYS that Outdoor Signage will boost your business revenue