If you were new to the area and walked or drove by your store for the first time, would you be enticed to stop in?
The signs displayed outside a business can have a huge impact on the store’s profitability. Take a good objective look at your shop’s facade and consider these tactics for improved outdoor signage.
Why are signs important?
When you display information outside your store, it plays into the first impression potential shoppers have. The exterior of your business will always be what customers base their initial judgments on, but the addition of a sign gives them a better idea of what they’ll find inside. Whether it catches the eye of someone new to town or influences an old resident to stop in for the first time, a sign outside can greatly increase foot traffic. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, outdoor signs are one of the best ways to maximize the potential for profit that you set yourself up for at a particular location.
It’s a form of advertising that pays for itself over and over again. When you invest in a TV or radio spot, it’s all about getting it played when the maximum number people are tuning in. However, a message board outside your store is available for passersby to see during high-traffic and slow times alike.
How can you make them effective?
- Have a clear goal. When you decide to give outdoor signage your all, it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve. If your main goal is to attract new shoppers, brainstorm what they might be looking for and present it on the sign. According to Bang Advertising, one of the objectives should always be to cause an emotional response from those who read the sign. That doesn’t mean you should try to make them cry – find ways to make potential customers excited, curious or otherwise moved to walk through the door.
- Keep the message short and sweet. You can find out if the information on your sign is overwhelming by asking a friend to do a drive-by. Have someone walk or drive past the store and report back what they think the sign says, the Retail Doctor recommended. This way, you’ll know if people unfamiliar with the business have time to take in all of the details. Shopify explained that your signs should follow the five second rule – it shouldn’t take longer than that to understand the message.
- Speak directly to the customer. The Retail Doctor suggested writing your signs in the second person. By saying “you” or “yours” to the people passing by, you’re helping them imagine how your product or service can benefit them.
- Branding and personality matter. When you’re designing a message board, don’t forget to incorporate aspects of your brand and its persona. If you use certain colors or mascots around the store and on marketing materials, stick with that theme. In the same vein, your signs don’t have to be formal or stuffy. Try using puns, jokes or other plays on words to make signage more interesting and attractive to the demographics your business targets.
- Create the most impact. When you really hit the nail on the signage head and create a store display you really love, don’t let it be temporary. While you have to routinely mix up the way you promote your store, you can share the sign on your social media pages. This will increase its initial impact as it reaches the eyes of your digital audience when you share it, plus lets it stay on the Internet forevermore.