Over the last century, the importance of physical signs as a medium of advertising and business promotion has significantly shrunk. First, there were radio commercials that informed listeners about products and services. Then came the television which added visual depictions to audio. And today we have the internet which combines audio and video and provides an interactive experience which makes the decision to purchase a simple one that requires just a click of the button to execute. While this is all true, the fact remains that brick and mortar businesses still play a huge role in commerce and experts agree that they can never be replaced by the web. For the brick and mortar business, informing the market about its location and what it has to offer, are the basis of its growth. Digital marketing and advertising are important, but signage can never be replaced. Signage is, and will remain, one of the critical marketing tools for local businesses, both for advertising as well as for creating a brand. When planning the use of signage, there are 3 simple rules to keep in mind.
Location is of immense importance. Off premises signs need to be placed where they will attract the maximum attention. Ideally, it should be where viewers will get repeated exposure so that the message remains etched in memory. On premises signage will inform the customer about what is on offer. A study by the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati had this to report- “Signs are among the most important elements of visual communication.The visual communication provided by on-premises business signage is essential for the efficient functioning of our system of commerce and the success of many businesses.” FedEx conducted a similar study and found that 76% of customers made first time visits to a store based on what they had seen on a sign. The study also found that signs play a major role in promoting word of mouth publicity.
Bigger is not always better. A sign that looks out of place in its surroundings will only make the viewer dwell on its negative aspects, not the message it wants to convey. A smaller sign placed where it can be easily seen without the distraction of sticking out like a sore thumb because of its size, will always be effective. It is the message that must be remembered, not the sign itself.
Digital signage is growing rapidly because of the flexibility it offers in terms of content and the message and the images it conveys. Changing the content of a digital sign takes just a few minutes. However, there are places where digital signs are a distraction and often procure the viewers’ resentment by interrupting their stream of thought and causing them to lose focus. It is necessary to ensure that the style of the sign is right for its location and serves its primary objective.
The creation of effective signage is a far more complex subject than most people realize. To maximize the benefits a business will derive from the use of signs, it is best if the concept and the manufacture of the sign are done by a professional signage company which has the ability to produce quality signs and which also has a track record of providing customers with signs that bring in business.