Not every business relies on passing trade or foot traffic in order to drive sales, but a huge number of retail stores do. Even if you are increasingly pushing your online presence and web-based sales, having a strong visual presence in your local marketplace is still essential for building your brand, maintaining visibility, and helping to connect with your target market of potential customers. The way that you present your physical location to the outside world and how you attract people to visit your location will be shaped by a whole range of different factors. In this article we wanted to share with you some tips on how to use that external branding and signage to help drive more foot traffic into your business.
Monument signs with impact
A monument sign is the big sign out front that tells people who you are. The benefit of the monument sign is that it is eye catching and clearly lets people know who you are (and that they’ve found the right place). A lot of retail parks or business districts will have quite strict regulations on what sort of monument signs you can construct, so it is important that you design something that complies with that. You need to choose a construction that is durable – able to withstand all types of weather. Traditionally monument signs have been made from stucco, wood, or metal, but today the best monument signs in the market are made from a polystyrene core and coated with a durable and weather resistant hart coating – so they are lightweight and easy to install. Monument signs should be simple and easy to read, but they should also look professional and appealing – they should reflect your brand values. Garden centers often have the best monument signs because they’re typically located in places where people are driving past, so you can get really creative with a bit of lighting and some of your best selling plants. If you can’t have a monument signs, consider an overhead sign- something simple like a large flip up frame with an e-panel aluminum sign insert. (pictured above)
Dress up your windows
A lot of businesses have street-facing window frontage and it’s crucial that you are maximizing the value of this space. Window displays are generally updated on a fairly regular basis, reflecting changes in seasons or highlighting the latest products or campaigns. Departments stores have elevated this to a fine art, with Christmas windows often becoming a huge attraction themselves. While you don’t have to go to the extent of hiring a full-time window designer to create jaw-dropping scenes of wonder, putting some effort into your windows is really worthwhile. A really effective way to help make the most of your window space is through the use of window graphics or custom window decal. This is a really affordable solution to window dressing, graphics can be printed as full color, adhesive vinyl murals (large decals), mesh adhesive vinyl graphics(see through decals), posters or lettering. Easy to install and delivers a professional finish with impact.
Roll up! Roll up!
The reason that there is always a red carpet at VIP events is that it makes the guests feel special and elevates what could be a relatively tedious awards ceremony into an event. While you could choose to give your customers the red carpet treatment, another technique is to use floor graphics. Floor graphics or floor signs are stickers and decals that can be printed with any sort of logo or messaging. The new trend in large retail corporations, floor graphics are often an overlooked area of prime sign real estate. It’s a really effective way of catching the eye of passers by and drawing them to a particular product or area of your store.
Get portable. Get creative.
If you have something enticing to offer, make sure that your potential customers can see it as they pass you. Sometimes this can be done by displaying your products, but you run the risk of it getting damaged or stolen. Use some creative signage – something that you can easily update with an offer or the day or to present something new and exciting. Outdoor signs work really well in this space. Curb signs are a great way for you to showcase your latest campaign or a new product and are perfectly portable too so you can put them out the front of your store for maximum impact. Floor stands are great inside to showcase your sale area or use in your breezeway to catch a passerby’s attention.
Go high and go hard
Height can have a lot of impact – particularly if your message is clear and simple. A sign on a pole near your business will catch people’s attention as it is separated from the day-to-day business of street level. Imagine that you are walking along the street trying to find a specific street number or store name. There are a lot of signs and competing information that your eyes have to process – make it easier for your target market and make it stand out by putting it up high. The messages that you use on pole signs should be clear and simple, and they should be messages that you’re happy with for an extended period of time so that you’re not having to change them regularly.
Go big and bold.
Poster frames are a great way of presenting a really clear and simple message. Think about movie posters – there is a fine art to making a movie poster eye-catching, interesting, giving you a little bit of information and making you want to know more. Poster frames can be fixed to a wall or used as part of a window display. What’s great about poster frames is that they are easy to change as you update for each new campaign or product launch. Poster frames are perfect if you’re short on space or need to dress up your walls. Use professional grade snap poster frames for long lasting effective sign campaigns that have a timeless and streamlined look.
Think about the weather
When you’re planning how to dress up your business with some eye catching signage, make sure you think about what sort of weather that the signs will have to endure. Products like yard signs are a really effective way to create some visual impact on your exterior and they are built to withstand even the toughest weather conditions. No one wants to put a lot of thought and effort into perfecting the exterior signage of your business only to see it all fade from the sun or blow away in the first strong storm that passes through. Make sure you invest in the right type of signage that will last a long time. If your promotion is short term something inexpensive might do fine, but if you want something to last, investing in something more durable will prevent you from ending up paying twice.
Movement is eye catching
A feather flag fluttering gently in the wind instantly draws the attention of passers by, which is why flag banners are incredibly popular. There are a range of portable options too, so even if you don’t have the kind of premises where you can affix something permanent, you can still get the additional depth and movement that a few flag banners can cleverly create. Make sure you change the flag banners every few months to keep a fresh and updated look.
Bold and bright
Sometimes you need to be bold in order to get their attention – particularly if your business isn’t in the most prominent position or if you are running a special promotion and you need to let people know that it’s on. Maybe there are strict sign regulations that don’t allow for portable signs or feather flags. Signage such as corrugated arrows are a really fun and effective way to play by the rules and still have a sign – keep the message simple and direct and have the arrow pointing to whatever you are trying to get them to do.
There are many ways to brand your business. Make sure you put as much time and effort in all areas. Dress up your website as well as your brick and mortar location to attract local as well as national business. Local businesses are important to the entire community, so make sure to put some effort and focus into your brick and mortar location to show your customers you’re there, you care, and you’re a serious business. It’s not new advice, but it is worth it to occasionally step back and double check that you are giving your business the opportunity to put its best foot forward to the outside world and your target customers.
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