What does it take for your business to stand out? Do you need a large sign that can be seen across town? Do you need leading lights that catch the eyes of passing drivers? While these factors can help, there are also foundational requirements that can win customers over when they engage with your business.
Wayfinding is an oft-overlooked part of signage, but it’s one of the most important elements. When done well, it can bring in new customers and make them feel relaxed in your business. When done exceptionally well, wayfinding immerses customers into your brand and enhances their overall experience.
It’s time to move beyond standing leading signage and into innovative wayfinding. Here are a few key elements to modern wayfinding that allow business owners to break the rules and give customers something they can truly enjoy.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold
Many business owners get excited about landmark signage and other highly-visible markers related to their business. However, wayfinding isn’t always noticeable and it’s not considered exciting. Fortunately, with a little innovation and creativity, it can be exciting.
One of the biggest wayfinding trends right now is big, creative, and bold statements. Bold colors and bright neons attract customers and enhance your brand. This creates a better experience for people who visit your business because they will have an easier time navigating. Creativity enhances the user experience by unorthodox shapes and fonts as well. Going bold also allows you to reinforce your branding in an oft-forgotten part of signage. You have a new opportunity to connect customers to your colors, fonts, and style.
For a clear example, look at wayfinding upgrades we made to the Brightline rail system connecting Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Bright yellow signs match the Brightline system colors and make the stations seem well-lit and safe. These signs are easy to see, helping travelers quickly spot them so they can learn where to go. The result is a better experience that’s also on-brand.
Create an Experience With Your Wayfinding
The creation of quality customers experiences is a key part of innovative signage design. In fact, experiential wayfinding has taken over as a top priority for many business owners.
The main reason to create a positive experience for your customers is money. Customers are willing to pay more for a good experience. Studies show that people will pay 16 percent more for a positive coffee experience and 14 percent more for a good hotel stay. Along with more money, a positive experience also drives increased loyalty, driving up the potential for revenue in the future.
Almost any company can work to create positive experiences for customers through wayfinding and signage. Just look at the signage we did for the outdoor waterfront destination Sparkman Wharf. This collection of restaurants and bars near the Port of Tampa is brightly lit with clear signs attracting visitors to various businesses. Spending the night at the Wharf becomes an experience, not just a place to have a meal. Customers are encouraged to linger and explore, which means they spend more money.
Consider how your signage creates an experience for customers and how you can update your wayfinding to provide innovative immersion for anyone who engages with your brand.
Use Wayfinding Logic to Guide Customers
You might not realize it, but human psychology plays a major role in wayfinding. As a business owner, you need to identify or predict the needs of your customers and then make adjustments to meet them. When you meet these needs successfully, you can create a positive experience. When these needs aren’t met, your customers leave feeling confused or frustrated.
In travel, there’s a concept called Tourist Brain where people assume something is safe even though it is unfamiliar. Many tour guides and hospitality workers also highlight another version of Tourist Brain where visitors seem to miss important signs and information because they are relaxing and not paying attention. Even if you aren’t in the hospitality industry, you may have come across customers who need a little extra help figuring out where they are going.
Innovative wayfinding signage helps customers regardless of how focused or aware they are. It makes navigating easy for new customers and returning ones alike. Take, for example, the signs we made for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. It doesn’t matter whether you are a long-time fan of the Disney brand or a first-time visitor. You can still follow the signs to learn where to go and discover new magical corners of the hotel. This single project took 250 signs to complete.
Work With Wayfinding Consultants Who Understand Branding
Companies that want to break out from basic signage and use innovative wayfinding don’t have to do the work alone. A branding and marketing team can help you choose colors related to your brand, but these (otherwise very brilliant) advertising professionals don’t know about signage materials and the different structures that are available to you. Alternatively, many signage companies won’t work with you on branding because they specialize in execution.
At Creative Sign Designs, we wanted to marry the worlds of branding and production, which is why we created an Environmental Graphic Design Studio. We offer wayfinding consultations to help you understand your signage needs. Then, we can look at your brand vision and work alongside your creative team to choose the right materials, sizes, and designs. The result is a holistic approach to wayfinding that moves your brand forward. We aren’t just a signage company, we are a branding partner.
Learn more about our EGD Studio and what it’s like working with us.
Strive to be Innovative Throughout Your Brand
Many companies value innovation in their employees and leadership. They make innovation part of their brand as a whole. However, are you making innovation part of your entire company or just your general branding? It’s time to rethink your signage and view it through an innovative lens.
If you are ready to take the next step to improve your wayfinding and customer experience, contact Creative Sign Designs today. Ask to set up an appointment with our Environmental Graphic Design Studio so you can discover new ways to guide customers through your business.