Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Marketing: Pay Attention to the Signs

By Jenny Tracy

There are many common characteristics of successful businesses; one of these characteristics is a well-placed, quality-made, creative, and attractive sign. Signs are an essential part of a business’ overall marketing strategy; they serve as a 24/7 advertisement that draws attention to their business and helps differentiate it from their competitors.

Exterior Signs: Exterior signs help to draw attention to a business; they can be ground-mounted, typically near a road to attract the attention of passing motorists and pedestrians, or they can be building-mounted on the rooftop, walls, or awnings. 

Interior Signs: Interior signs are usually hung from the ceiling or attached to the walls; they help customers locate merchandise, and, when added to special displays or to advertise sales, can lead to impulse sales.

The costs for signage is much lower than the other types of advertising, such as radio, television, and newspaper. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, signs are the most effective, yet least expensive, form of advertising for a small business. 

Great example of a ground-mounted exterior sign

Three things to consider when purchasing a sign:

Zoning Regulations: Many cities have specific regulations for outdoor signs, concerning the size, type, and location. It is important to know these local regulations before designing and purchasing your sign.

Design: The design of a sign should appeal to the business’ target audience. If you own a yarn business and would like to attract motorists passing by your store that knit and crochet, the ideal sign would be a ground-mounted sign near a busy road, or a building-mounted sign that is high enough to be seen by passing motorist. The sign should include your business’ logo and possibly an eye-catching relevant image, in this case, a yarn ball would work. If the sign is not building-mounted or ground-mounted near the store, an address and phone number may be needed to direct the customers to the business’ location.  You want your sign to be visually appealing, have all the necessary information for the customer, yet not look cluttered. The larger your sign, the more information and visuals you can add; the smaller the sign, the more you should focus on adding only necessary content, like the business name and phone number. 

Nice and simple, but still effective!

Picking a Company:  Once you decide where you would like to place your sign and draft a design, get quotes from several companies; remember to calculate and add any design, set-up, and delivery fees. Sign costs vary depending on the size, material, color, and content. Some companies specialize in certain types of signs (neon, wall-mounted, etc.), so it may be less expensive to work with a company that specializes in making the type of sign that you desire.

Even better, use your own experiences.  If you see a business sign that you like, don’t be afraid to ask the business’ owner who they ordered it from and if they would recommend working with that company. And always remember to read reviews before deciding which company you are going to work with. 

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