How Your Sign Defines Your Brand
There’s a lot that goes into your sign design
From colors to graphics, to fonts and sub-text, your sign is everything you want to say about your brand in the fastest, most easily digestible and readable way possible. In a study analyzed by the New York Small Business Development Center, they found that 46% of first-time customers visited a business within 30 – 45 days after sign installation based on the sign alone.
Aside from design, there’s the visibility factor. Does it stand out against signs of other businesses around it and yet, does it visually make sense to those nearby? Do you know what size to make your sign for the distance it will be from the viewer?
We’ll address some of these below, plus some other factors to take into consideration when crafting your perfect and most forward-facing marketing tool—your sign.
Why Does My Sign Matter?
You’ve heard the old adage “never judge a book by its cover” but how many people actually abide by that rule? That reality is, your brand and company is judged from the moment someone walks up to your store front. And that first visual that grabs or deters them? The front entrance and your sign, right there, smack dab in the center.
This in turn impacts the customer’s assumptions of the products within. Is the sign easy to find and read? (Does this company care about my needs?) Is the sign clean and well lit? (Does this brand care about itself enough to stay on top of maintenance, and thus, able to give me what I am looking for when offering my loyalty as a customer?)
Your sign also needs to stand out in a sea of competing signs and brands bombarding your customer at any given time. You want to ensure the type of sign you select doesn’t clash with those around yours, but still stands out. Additionally, you want a cohesive look and consistency if you have multiple locations. All of which matters in securing brand awareness and customer loyalty.
How Does My Sign Create Brand Awareness?
Consider this: You’re driving down the road, or walking along a strip mall and see a sign for a name of a company that is familiar to you, but the sign doesn’t look like other signs you’ve seen paired with that brand. You ask yourself—is this the same company I know and love? Or is this some local, boutique store that coincidentally (or perhaps illegally) is using the same name?
If it’s your brand that is appearing off with your signage at a location, you’re making your customer reconsider stepping foot into a store they might have otherwise gone right into without question. In other words, you might have a missed opportunity, a missed sale, on your hands.
Or, consider this: Your company has an amazing online presence with a logo that your customers are familiar with and now it’s time to open your store. It’s tempting to pull out all the stops for your brick-and-mortar location, and while you should have something eye catching, it should match an already established brand image you’ve carefully crafted for yourself.
When you do this, you’re showing your customers that while yes, you can find us online, but did you know you could visit us in-person, too? Many brands that began online such as Warby Parker, and our client Blue Nile, successfully bridged that gap between shopping online to in-person with cohesive branding for their signage.
What Can Signage Do for My Brand?
Foremost, your sign can set you apart from your competitors. Eye-catching, well-placed, clean and upkept signage will show your customers you want to be seen, and that they’ll like what they’ll find in your store once they step inside.
Signage can play a multitude of roles:
- Complimentary and useful signage, like wayfinding signs, add additional branding opportunities while helping your customers navigate your interior spaces. Something as simple as clear, easy to spot signage directing them to restroom shows your customers you’re thinking about their needs.
- Signage is a cost-effective marketing tool that’s visible 24/7, 365 days a year. For local customers, that means it’s a constant reminder that you’re there, available, and open to them whenever they need. For those customers from out of town, a clear, accurately branded sign is like a beacon—calling them to your locations when they’re outside of their comfort zone and element.
- Good signage provides a blueprint for your brand aesthetic to follow and adhere to, especially if you began as a brick-and-mortar establishment. It’s arguably more difficult to brand based on your signage, but the importance of cohesiveness doesn’t end because you want to revamp your web page or logo—your sign is a vital element to your company’s success and should always be taken into consideration when planning an image overhaul to your brand.
- As we mentioned above, signage can enforce and promote brand recognition, i.e. brand awareness. Anytime your customers can pick you out of a sea of brands vying for your attention and feel like they’re getting the same, great service anytime, you’ve found success with your signs. If your signage is out of date, not properly lit, or unclean, the opinion of your customer decreases, thus hurting their overall loyalty to your brand.
- And finally, signage offers opportunities to enhance communication with your customers. Of course, this includes digital signage and kiosks that can inform and direct your customers. But signs don’t need to only function to direct your customer. Fun, decorative interior signage that shows off your brand’s personality is an excellent way to keep from being a faceless corporate entity that more and more of today’s audience is shying away from.
How Can I Make the Most Out of My Sign?
Above all, your sign needs to be visible. Meaning, you need to make sure the sign you have made is big enough for the distance at which your customer will view it. Rob Mount, our VP of Operations, recommends using this chart for a quick and easy formula for determining such factors:
Once your properly sized sign is expertly installed, you want to keep it looking just like that. Great, visible signage is only the first step to maintaining a good face-to-face relationship with your customer. The work doesn’t end after you put up the sign and hit the “on” switch. Signage, like any piece of equipment, requires regular service and maintenance to stay looking its best. And the better your sign looks and the more it’s taken care of, the more your customer believes you will take care of them, too.
Plus, from a business standpoint, regular service is a lot cheaper than emergency maintenance calls for something that’s gone wrong that could have been prevented in the first place.