Signs, or signage, are so commonplace that their importance can be taken for granted. The International Sign Association (ISA) published a study indicating that when a sign was added on a previously blank side of a building, sales increased anywhere between 2.5% and 7.1%.
Most small business owners know they need signage, but too many think of them as merely a marker identifying the business –certainly not a powerful marketing tool. The fact is, when designed effectively, a sign can be a part of a solid integrated marketing strategy that helps brand your business in the minds of your customers.
According to the International Sign Association (ISA), your sign should
- Attract new customers
- Brand the business
- Create impulse sales
Attract New Customers
Research indicates that 85% of your customers live or work within a five-mile radius of your business. But according to the U. S. Census Bureau, 18.6% of the population relocates annually, which means every year you’re losing customers that you must replace with new customers just to break even. The quickest, easiest and most economical way to attract new customers is with signage.
Brand the Business
When your business is the first one that comes to mind as a place to find a product or service, you have achieved what is called “top-of-mind awareness.” Top-of-mind awareness is built and reinforced through repetition. When driving to and from work, school and shopping, your customers pass your location some 50 to 60 times a month. Your sign should be designed so that it commands their attention every time they pass by.
Create Impulse Sales
A recent study from the University of California at Berkeley analyzed 30,000 purchases of 4,200 customers in 14 cities. It found that 68% of purchases during major shopping trips were unplanned–they were bought on impulse. Even though many of today’s consumers have the financial ability to spend money, few have the time in which to do that spending. They’re certainly too busy to search for you or wander around comparison-shopping. They are more likely to stop at the first convenient place they see that seems to be selling what they need.
If your sign is going to convince the impulse customer to stop at your business, it must be designed so that the important information is easily recognized at a glance. Make sure the first time someone reads your sign, they immediately understand the most important information–what you’re selling!