Benefits of Outdoor Signs for Your Business
Why are signs important? Imagine you have an important lunch meeting set up — a business meeting, interview or a date you’d love to impress.
You know the restaurant’s name, and you’ve scoped it out online. But now you’re driving down the street, crawling in heavy traffic, perilously close to being late. You see a window sign — is that it? You don’t think so, but you pause to look. Drivers honk and swerve. Unnerved, you pass by and turn, and you get funneled into a confounding maze of one-way streets. You park in the first space you can find and jog back in what you hope is the right direction. Ten minutes later, you rush through the door, sweaty and out of breath. Your lunch date greets you with a grimace of impatience.
Now imagine that you’re driving down the street. You see a large outdoor sign with the restaurant’s name in an attractive silver font from a block away. You have plenty of time to find a parking space, and you stroll into the restaurant, right on time. Your lunch date rises to greet you with a smile and a warm handshake. Your relationship is off to a great start, and the rest of your day will go much more smoothly, all thanks to a simple outdoor sign.
For any business’s custom advertising, outdoor signs are a popular choice. They come with few drawbacks, and they provide a host of benefits. Print and online advertising are useful, and most businesses make effective use of both. But an outdoor sign is a critical addition to an advertising toolkit.
What Is the Function of Outdoor Signs?
Outdoor signs serve several essential functions for a business:
- Draw attention: Strategic placement of your sign helps you captivate potential customers’ attention as they travel down the street. A sign can hang just above eye level, stand at a distance or run along the side of the building. It makes use of the location of your business to take up more visual space than a storefront alone. People out on their commutes have a lot to pay attention to, and even people taking a walk are sometimes busy and distracted. Having a physical, attractive sign to reach out and grab their attention is definitely a boost for business.
- Spark interest: Once your sign has gotten people’s attention, it has to hold their interest, too. You can use a few concise, descriptive tagline words on your sign to communicate a philosophy, list benefits or describe the value you provide that goes beyond the specific service you offer. You can use cute graphics to make people smile or laugh — and remember you later.
- Claim the location: Imagine you run a tiny cafe tucked into a busy corner with lots of big businesses. Do you want that location to be known only as the corner with the banks and storage units? Or do you want it to be the corner known for the cute, friendly coffee shop with fast Wi-Fi? A prominent, tastefully sized sign could do wonders toward helping you establish yourself in the location. You don’t want to crowd out other businesses, but it’s important to make space for your business to be known.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise: With a professional, quality sign, you can help your name stand out. A good sign lets people know you exist and what you offer. A sign that stands or hangs outside in all weather to display your logo and business name creates brand recognition and a positive feeling of familiarity. Add a testimonial or mention awards to develop trust. Add “home of the foot-tall ice cream cone” if what you offer is the most towering dessert in town. Use your sign to let people know about exclusive products they can’t miss and value they can’t find elsewhere.
Why Is Outdoor Advertising Effective?
What are the advantages of outdoor advertising? More and more, businesses turn to digital marketing for their advertising needs. There are web pages and email, Facebook and Twitter, Yelp and TripAdvisor — so many quick and easy ways to get the word out about your company without going through the lengthy process of sign design, manufacture, and installation. Why would outdoor business signs be necessary on top of all you can do online?
Signage advertising results in a wealth of advantages:
- It drives sales. Many companies see significant positive results in business traffic and conversion after acquiring new signs. Customers will often make purchases solely because a sign captured their attention.
- It prevents lost business. According to a BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens study, 60% of American consumers have made the mistake illustrated above and driven past an unfamiliar business because of poor signage. Some of that considerable percentage may eventually figure it out, but many will give up and move on toward clearer destinations. What if you could get those people back through the door easily? With outdoor advertising, you’re much less likely to miss those opportunities.
- It reaches people where they are. In an increasingly digital world, visual communication stands out starkly. People are so accustomed to receiving alerts on their phones via text or social media platforms that many types of digital communication can start to blur together. Custom outdoor signs slice through that visual noise with their one-of-a-kind design. They can reach people where they are — in the real world, in the moment — and pull them in.
Potential customers may navigate to your website online, feel intrigued for a moment, and then forget about your business amid the demands of real life. A good sign, on the other hand, acts as a beacon and draws people to you. That’s why outdoor advertising is effective.
What Are Some Different Types of Outdoor Signs?
Now that you know some of the advantages of signage, let’s talk about some different types of signs and what they can do to help your business develop a great, long-lasting relationship with its clientele.
1. Hanging Signs
Often smaller and less legible from far away, hanging signs are excellent choices for boutique shops and cafes that don’t typically need to draw in huge crowds from down the street. They are easy to customize with logos, graphics and all styles of lettering, allowing businesses to personalize their way to increased foot traffic and sales.
2. Wall Signs
These signs are exceptionally popular across all sectors of business. They can easily be mounted to an outdoor wall without taking up additional space. Because they don’t extend into overhead space, you can design them to be as big as you want within the constraints of your building. These trusty wall signs will proclaim the identity of your business day and night, though they have less impact on visibility than standalone signs, since people may not crane their necks to look overhead or be able to see signs that are flush against the wall from down the street. Wall signs have many options in terms of materials, and they are easy to personalize.
3. Blade Signs
If your business is located on a congested street or corner, there’s probably not much room for new structures, and it’s easy for storefronts to get lost in the crowd. Maybe your record store is located in a tiny third-floor walkup, and you’re desperate for a way to stand out. In this situation, blade signs are a smart choice. They provide excellent visibility, but they don’t take up ground space or get in the way of pedestrian traffic. These are long, narrow signs that stick out from the side of a building can be installed high up so that commuters can see them easily as they drive through town.
4. Channel Letters
Individually mounted letters form these signs. The letters pop out from the wall, giving your business 3D visibility while conserving space on the ground. They don’t require illumination, though the brilliant lighting of face-lit channel letters is beneficial for increased visibility. Channel-letter signs are an excellent choice for businesses whose well-known names make up a significant portion of the brand. An established bank might illuminate its name in channel letters to convey its solid reputation and trust — our name is our word, and nothing more needs to be said.
5. Reverse Channel Letters
Reverse channel letters work by lighting the back part of the letters and the wall directly behind them. They provide increased visibility while creating soft mood lighting that would enhance the atmosphere of any intimate bistro or late-night craft cocktail bar. A boutique hotel might wish to use soft lighting to entice customers in for cozy, romantic getaways — reverse channel letters would do the job with style.
6. High-Rise Signage
High-rise signage is usually composed of channel letters affixed to the top floor. It’s useful when your business is the primary tenant and has secured the right to sign the whole building. High-rise signs are often illuminated to create a glowing skyline attraction. Maybe you want your company name in gilded, two-story letters across every building you own — high-rise channel letters would make a perfect choice.
7. Monument Signs
Prominent and elegant, monument signs lend a hefty impact to your advertising. These signs stand alone, and though they’re usually only modestly tall, they go a long way toward promoting a business’s identity and visibility. Many types of materials work well for monument signs, from plastic and acrylic to understated wood paneling with other natural materials like rocks, water and flowers. A sprawling tech complex might use a monument sign to mark its main building.
8. Pylon Signs
For maximum visibility, pylon signs are unparalleled. These tall, eye-catching signs, often designed with pillars or poles for supports, are well suited for a shopping complex but can easily stand alone for a single business. Gas stations often use lighted pylon signs to announce their prices up and down the interstate, but hotels, banks, restaurants and many other companies likewise use pylon signs to attract customer attention from near and far.
What Is the Significance of Outdoor Signs?
Outdoor signs signify several different things to a business’s potential customers:
1. Brand Awareness
People might come into a business only once or twice — or never — on their own. But they pass by all the time outside, whether walking, biking or driving. These passersby will see your sign repeatedly, and this repeated exposure will fix your business’s name, logo or specific font — anything they can associate with the place — deeply in their minds. This constant association creates brand awareness. Brand awareness means people will remember your business afterward. If a homeowner drives past a hardware store’s sign every day on the way to work, that store will undoubtedly be the first to come to mind when it’s time to remodel the kitchen.
In any business, first impressions matter tremendously. When people are rushed and busy, which is often, they need some way to make quick judgments, so they will value your sign and business by their appearance. The BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens survey showed a whopping 41% of consumers have made judgments about the quality of a business based on the quality of its signs. An enticing, well-designed sign will lure them in. A dull, sloppy, misspelled sign will let them know they can pass by and not miss out. A good, professional sign is the first indicator of the type of relationship your customers will have with you, so make that indicator a positive one.
To attract more customers, you may be thinking, why can’t you just display flowers in your shop window if you’re a florist, or pastries if you’re a bakery? That’s a good start. But if you’ve committed the time, money, energy and creativity necessary to design a quality, attractive sign, your customers will know that you’re seriously committed to growing and producing as a company. This commitment tells them they can trust you. They’ll know you will work with them to meet their expectations and remain a long-term presence in their lives.
What Are the Benefits of Outdoor Signs?
Outdoor signs provide a wide array of benefits to improve your business. Below you’ll find some of the benefits of good signage:
- They’re cost-effective. Outdoor business signs provide a high return on investment. Advertising is vital to any business, but when it’s an ongoing expense, it eats up a big chunk of the budget. An outdoor sign is a one-time expense. It advertises for your business all day and night, all year long. You don’t have to keep paying for new ads. You don’t have to hope your ads make their way to the right people. Outdoor signs come in a range of styles, sizes and materials, so they can fit into many budgets.
- They target many demographics. Though Internet ads can provide great results, they must sometimes be tailored to specific, narrow demographics so ad buyers get the most bang for their buck. With a sign, narrow targeting is possible, but it’s not necessary. An exterior sign targets all demographics who pass by and thus attracts a wide range of customers.
- They are nonintrusive. Signs don’t interrupt consumers’ TV shows with ads. They don’t spam customers’ inboxes with tons of emails. They don’t call consumers with unwelcome telemarketing. Signs can provide a welcome break from aggressive marketing practices — they merely draw the eye in a pleasing way. There is no outreach or interaction necessary, so customers will feel that their personal space is respected.
- They drive traffic. A large majority of your potential new customers likely enter your store because of good signage and nothing else. The people who came in on impulse and made purchases will likely be delighted with this unexpected treat in the middle of the day. They will talk to their friends about your business and come back themselves.
- They can be personalized. You can work with a team of talented professionals to design custom signage that fits with the service philosophy and character of your business. Graphics, fonts and materials are supremely customizable. You can create a sign that is whimsical or dignified, romantic or sporty, busy with color and graphics or understated and elegant — whatever works best for you.
Get Started With Integrated Sign Associates’ Outdoor Business Signs Today
Don’t underestimate the importance of signage. Outdoor signage is one of the most potent tools for long-term marketing and advertising. It provides many benefits and is an excellent investment for any business.
If you work with ISA, you’ll be a valued part of a trustworthy, caring team, and you get a product that will help your business stand out and increase revenues for years to come. We want to help you dream big, improve your business relationships and achieve your goals. You can call us directly at (619) 579-2229 or fill out our convenient online form — in either case, contact us today.