When it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses, your exterior retail signage plays a major role in your marketing. A clear sign can communicate your brand, offerings, and value proposition. On the other hand, if your sign is hidden or confusing, customers might walk or drive by without noticing you. And, if your signage is not well kept or lacks proper lighting, they might avoid your business altogether.
It is never too late to evaluate your exterior signage to make sure it has a positive impact on your business. To make changes to make your signage more impressive, follow these six tips, whether you are opening your business for the first time or upgrading your existing designs.
1. Use Signage to Convey What Your Business Offers
Explaining what your business offers on your exterior retail signage is a powerful tool for advertising your brand. Consider adding a graphic or a few descriptive words below your brand name that showcase your products or services. If you have space, you can alternatively add your slogan or motto if it describes what you do.
With these additions, your brand name and creative retail signage can attract the eyes of your customers, while your descriptors can inform them about what you offer.
2. Add Design Elements Beyond Your Logo
Sign design and planning is creative at its core. As a business owner, there are so many levers you can pull to create something unique and engaging. Use your standard company logo and brand colors as a starting point for your retail signage, and then explore different materials, textures, layers, lighting options, and locations to place your signage. Once you realize all of the choices you have, you can create something new and engaging that properly reflects your brand.
Consider the work Creative Sign Designs did for Hurst Hardwoods in Tampa. We developed a monument sign with faux brick columns and decorative caps so customers can easily identify the business from the road. We also added large and small wall signage at the business, further guiding customers to their location. These signs use a mixture of scriptwriting for the brand name and clear lettering to describe what their business does. This, along with the mixed building materials and contrasting white, light blue, and dark brown colors really make the messaging pop.
3. Use Signs for a Variety of Sightlines
Consider how you can use retail signage at a variety of sightlines. You may need storefront signage attached to your business and wayfinding signs that bring customers through your parking lot. Companies that are based next to the interstate may want extra tall signage so their brand can be seen. Recently, companies have started attaching signage to cranes to not only let passing drivers know what is being built but also who is building it. Crane lettering has proved to be a unique way to build brand presence and awareness during long construction projects.
Also, consider using monument signage which are low-level signs that greet customers at your entranceway or near the road. These signs are at eye-level (or are closer to the ground than other lifted options). They promote your brand and can include lighting to draw people in at night. Don’t think your lighting is restricted to traditional signage. A little placement creativity can go a long way.
4. Consider Lighting Along With Exterior Signage
In addition to having noticeable branded exterior signage, also use safe, bright, and energy-efficient parking lot lighting. A few changes to lighting and wayfinding could make a big difference in what people see.
Don’t underestimate the power of promoting a safe and comfortable space for your customers to park. If your parking lot is dark, confusing, and riddled with potholes, then it is unlikely that anyone is going to stop in to learn more about what you do. Your parking lot is your first impression and reflects your brand as a whole.
5. Choose Long-Lasting Materials
Customers often approach our team with worn or broken signs that only lasted a few years. Their electric bills are high from installing incandescent bulbs, and the colors are faded on the logos they installed. The materials you choose will impact the longevity of your retail signage. For example, LED lighting lasts 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They also use a tenth of the electricity, saving some of our customers up to 70% on energy bills.
With your retail signage, focus on the long run. You plan to be in business for the next several years, so choose materials that will last with you. The short-term investment costs can pay off when you don’t have to replace worn or broken signs again in the near future.
6. Look at What Your Competitors Do
If you are looking to stand out against other companies in your field, drive past their locations and conduct a signage audit to see what they are doing right and where they can improve. If you can increase your brand recognition at the street level through retail signage, then you can grow the number of people who know your brand. Your retail signage doesn’t just impact your direct foot traffic, it improves your promotional efforts as a whole.
In the world of signage, your competitors aren’t limited to companies within your industry. You are also competing with every other sign on your street or within your shopping plaza. Look at the stores neighboring your business to see if your brand stands out or if you need to improve your signs to get noticed.
Use Retail Signage to Grow Your Store Traffic
Every business needs a clear sign to let customers know what they sell and why customers should choose them. Whether you are trying to attract fellow business owners to your warehouse or hope to increase foot traffic to your downtown store, your signage needs to welcome customers and reflect your brand.
Look at the first impression that your business currently offers through your signage. If it’s time for an upgrade – or if you want to start your company off on the right foot – we are here to help. Contact Creative Sign Designs and ask us to create something that wows your customers.