Custom signs are an essential piece of any company’s marketing strategy. That said, custom business signs serve slightly different purposes for the business behemoths out there and startup businesses.
Small businesses will be much better served making custom business signs that make a great first impression with a precise, engaging message and visually appealing layout with a high contrast (background versus text). Sans-serif fonts that steer clear of fonts might be best here.
In general, the less well known your brand, the greater emphasis you should probably put on the readability and visibility of your sign. Which location gets the most views? How long do customers have to take in the message?
Less time calls for a simpler, more streamlined message. Moreover, if your business is new or relatively unknown, then increasing brand awareness with your custom business signs becomes that much more important.
Think Brand Awareness Before Brand Recognition
For businesses who have been around the block, brand recognition (i.e., the extent to which customers know about the brand and the goods and services on offer) is less of an issue per se.
Customers with high brand recognition simply need a refresher in general or a rundown of a new product lineup in particular. That’s why brand recognition is sometimes called “aided brand recall”: sometimes a refresher is all that’s needed.
The table is set a bit differently for startup businesses, many local businesses, or even regionally based medium-sized businesses for that matter.
If you’re like most businesses out there today, you need custom business signs that drive brand awareness more than brand recognition. Brand awareness is simply customers having knowledge that a brand exists in the first place – brand awareness is basically more fundamental than brand recognition.
For less popular brands, playing a jingle might elicit little more than a shrug: that’s because these brands don’t yet have brand awareness with customers. Customers simply not aware that a brand exists (brand awareness) yet, let alone what the heck the brand’s and company’s attributes are (brand recognition).
One mistake that local businesses can make is shooting for brand recognition before shoring up brand awareness. That’s really putting the cart before the horse in the sense that customers need to know who you are before they familiarize themselves with, for instance, your goods and services.
Custom Business Signs Can Increase Customer Engagement and Customer Satisfaction
Once your small business has shored up enough real estate in customers’ minds by getting the word out, arguably the biggest advantage that small businesses have over the big national companies is personalized service and great customer relationships.
Custom business signs that help to guide customers through the store (in-store signage) and facilitate a pleasant experience are definitely the way for small and medium-sized businesses to go.
You might even considering having a part on some of your custom business signs about “asking a sales representative” about how a particular product or service works. That can definitely help foster better customer relationships.
Differences and Commonalities with Customers
One trick that all companies can benefit from is putting social media handles or QR codes on their in-store signage. This links, pardon the pun, your real world presence and online marketing in a way that really benefits your brand because your brand will be the one commonality for your on-the-go customers.
The interesting part about all of this is that your younger customers might be more receptive to this “cross-channel” marketing. In fact, younger customers in that criticial 18-34 year olds demographic value creativity with graphics and signs over simplistic sign designs.
On some level, you should probably be blending the two – creativity and simplicity don’t need to cancel each other out completely. Ninety one percent of business owners still conceded that readable graphics are paramount.
Just remember that custom business signs need to be more readable and visible to increase brand awareness with customers who might be seeing your sign for the first time or customers who only have a second or three to take in your sign. Contact us for more information.