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  • July 9, 2019

How Often Should You Update Your Business Signs?

Has it been a long time since you updated your outdoor sign? Maybe you’ve never given the idea a single thought. If so, it’s a good idea to start thinking about it now. Many benefits that can come from a simple sign upgrade, and it’s probably worth considering whether those advantages are worth the outlay of cash.

Your personal style has probably evolved to incorporate new things and throw out outdated fashions and ideas. Can your signage evolve too? Business building signs need to change with the times so that they continue appealing to customers.

If your sign is run-down, weatherbeaten, hard to see or not on brand, it can work against you, even if your business is polished and your services and products are top-notch. You need to make sure to keep your sign updated so it contributes value to your business and advertises effectively for it.

Is It Time to Replace Your Building Sign?

Your building sign may be a trusty old workhorse, standing outside in hot and cold, sleet and hail, to tell the world about your business. But innovations occur, new products appear, technology changes and your business must change too to keep up with competitors.

A study done to analyze the effects of sign changes on business performance found that signage improvements were the best predictors of sales revenue, the number of transactions, and the amount spent per transaction. These results are even more pronounced for small, independent businesses over large chains. If you own a small business, the value you receive simply by replacing an old sign can often prove tremendous.

You can make your sign more attractive and more durable. You can make your sign more modern. You can make your sign relevant to your business and what it hopes to achieve in the world.

There are many reasons you might not have replaced your building sign. Maybe you think you don’t have time for a major overhaul. You might worry that replacing your sign will be too expensive. Perhaps you think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your current sign. and it’s fine the way it is. Maybe you never realized how many different types of outdoor signs there are and what they can do for a business.

If it’s been a while since you’ve upgraded your sign, or if you’ve never upgraded at all, give the idea some thought. An old or damaged sign is costing you money by not marketing your business effectively. Make sure customers see the most flattering image of your company by investing in a quality new sign. The last thing you want is for your old, worn sign to have a negative impact on the business you’re working so hard to develop.

Nine Reasons to Update Your Outdoor Signage

If you’ve been thinking it might be time to change your signs, here are our top reasons for updating outdoor business signs.

1. Change Is Good

Though it’s sad to admit it, familiar things get tiresome. They don’t spark interest or appeal to people in the way they used to. If you haven’t changed your business sign in a long time, it may be getting old and tired. Like a worn piece of furniture so familiar you almost don’t notice it’s there, an old sign will blend into the background. This quality is fine for an antique rocking chair, but it’s not one you want in a sign.

If your sign has been around forever, it may have become part of the landscape. Passersby don’t notice it any more than they would notice an old tree along the route. To change things up, consider investing in a new sign with new design, fresh colors or graphics, a different height or a different shape. Or maybe invest in some lights to brighten things up and grab attention.

2. Your Sign Is Damaged

If your sign is worn, damaged, rusting, peeling, chipped, faded or vandalized, it’s undoubtedly time to invest in a new one. Maybe some letters are crooked or have fallen off. Maybe the frame of a hanging business sign is broken, and the sign is dangling precariously from one corner. Wear and tear on a sign is to be expected, but when your sign starts to look shabby, it’s important to upgrade to keep your business looking sharp.

Keeping an eye out for signs of damage is vital if you live in an area of particularly brutal weather. Blazing sun in the summer and harsh snow and wind in the winter can cause a sign to deteriorate swiftly. The UV rays in sunlight fade a sign’s colors and break down plastics like acrylics and vinyl. Rain causes water damage, and blowing sand from beaches or desert areas can scrub off paint. Sandblasting is a great look for jeans or weathered wood, but not for signs — unless it’s a deliberate style choice, of course.

The wear and tear on a sign doesn’t have to occur frequently — if you’re replacing a damaged sign, look into upgrading the materials for your new sign so it will be more durable and last longer. Painted wooden signs look charming and antique, but a sign made of plywood won’t last very long. Go with a sturdier plastic core, or try metal signs for business to increase longevity. Custom outdoor metal signs are tailored to your business and exceptionally durable. If the frame of your sign is undamaged, look into getting replacement sign faces that will last for a long time.

Of course, outdoor signs that endure harsh weather will be more likely to wear down than indoor signs. Direct sunlight may fade interior signs too, so keep an eye on those as well and replace them as needed.

3. Your Sign Is Outdated

Like shoulder pads and perms, an old sign may be too new to be delightfully retro but too outdated to be engaging. Your sign might contain quality materials that won’t get damaged, or you might enjoy a mild climate that minimizes weather-related deterioration, but if the sign is out of date, you’ll still want to replace it. Fonts, graphics and color schemes can show their age pretty quickly.

If all the newer, shinier signs in the neighborhood are showing yours up, don’t let them. Invest in a new sign with modernized colors, graphics and font. Maybe spring for sleek environmental graphics, or change a flat wall sign to a hanging or monument signwith some 3D depth. Modernize your neon to environmentally friendly LEDs, or commit to a stylish new neon-look sign for a bright, vibrant modern look.

4. Your Sign Doesn’t Attract Attention

Maybe your business wasn’t able to use the services of a professional design team when you created your first sign. Maybe your sign is hampered by poor design, a small logo or illegible font. Whatever the problem may be, the clientele you’re trying to attract stays away. Your sign doesn’t drive traffic to your business or communicate your products or services effectively. Consider upgrading to a sign that will make customers excited to come to you.

Your sign works hard, all the time, in all weathers, to stand out to customers. Make sure it can do its job effectively.

5. Your Sign Isn’t Big Enough

Maybe your shop has expanded, or maybe a small sign was all you thought you needed or could fit into the budget. If you can get a more prominent sign now, that means your business has boomed — and a bigger, better sign can help it grow even more.

Or maybe your sign is so small that people passing by can’t easily read it. A BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens study found that 81% of consumers become frustrated with signs that are too small to be legible, so this is definitely a flaw you should look into fixing. Your sign should be prominent and visible from more than one direction, and ideally, it should be visible from many directions, perhaps by standing apart from the building. It should catch the eye even when commuters are focused on traffic. Make your sign a landmark people know and recognize by investing in a large sign that harried, busy people won’t be able to miss.

6. Your Sign Is Inaccurate

Have you changed your phone number or created a new website or social media account? Maybe your sign says, “Get $4 guacamole burgers here,” but now they’re $5 guacamole burgers. Maybe your veterinary sign shows cute ferrets, but you don’t take exotics anymore.

Ensure your sign is accurate so it targets the right clientele. That way, your customers won’t go away disappointed or neglect your business because they don’t know what it offers.

7. Your Sign Is Too Cluttered

Sometimes, in your enthusiasm to communicate all the great things you have to offer and the passion you feel about your businesses, it’s easy to get carried away. If your sign looks like a dictionary or thesaurus because of all the words crammed into it, it’s probably difficult to read, and a redesign is in order. Or maybe your sign boasts an explosion of graphics or it shows off scripted, curlicued fonts in every color of the rainbow.

If your sign is too cluttered to convey your message clearly, it’s time to design and build a new sign and scale back a little. Less is more — use a few carefully chosen details to catch the eye rather than a chaotic blur.

8. Your Sign Lacks Visibility

If your outdoor sign isn’t visible at night, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of free advertising time. Especially if other businesses in the area have outdoor lighted business signs, yours is at a disadvantage and can’t compete as effectively. Though you can always light your sign with a spotlight, consider springing for a new set of lighted channel letters or a backlit sign.

Or maybe when you first got your sign, your business stood on an empty grassy lawn, but now you’ve landscaped. Maybe your community planted trees as part of an ecological initiative, and though the trees are lovely, they block the view. In this case, you may want to get a newer, taller sign so people can see it clearly.

9. Your Sign Doesn’t Match Your Brand

Sometimes it’s necessary to update a business’s branding. A hotel gets a spiffy new logo and colors, or a bank chooses a new motto to describe its service philosophy. A firm may rebrand itself to pull in new customers, fix old mistakes or capture new demographics that have proven elusive in the past. Rebranding is a valuable tool — but don’t forget your sign.

It’s essential to send a consistent marketing message to customers so they know what your business is and what it stands for. Uniform branding helps send this consistent message. To create brand awareness, you need a sign that promotes your brand accurately, so remember to keep your sign up to date.

How Do New Signs Affect Customer Impressions?

The sign is the first thing many people notice about a business. and it makes an enormous first impression. The BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens study found that 41% of consumers make judgments about the quality of a business based on its signage. Additionally, 85% of consumers agree that signs “convey the personality or character” of the business.

With these numbers in mind, you can see that new signs impress consumers in a few different ways:

  1. They coordinate with your brand. Does your visual marketing target one demographic, but you want to reach out to another? Are you a globe-spanning McDonald’s, but you want to be a cozier McCafe? New signage provides a quick and easy way to indicate the shift to consumers.
  2. They make or break your reputation. Signs that are in disrepair or outdated do damage to your business’s image. Customers are likely to perceive your business as run down and unsuccessful — you must have no profits to update your signs with! Or they may conclude that you don’t bother to keep up with the times.
  3. They illustrate your relevance. Especially if your business is part of a rapidly growing and changing field like technology, you don’t want to seem irrelevant. You don’t want to look as if you can’t keep up with what’s current and fresh. Update your sign and brand to show customers you can give them the newest and best.

Customers judge your business on its appearance. Tastes change, and creating a positive perception is essential. If you want to improve customers’ perceptions, starting with your visual marketing — including your sign — is a great step.

How Should You Get Started With Updating Your Outdoor Business Sign?

Though the task of upgrading your signage may seem daunting at first, it’s not difficult at all. The process can take some time, but partnering with a professional, hard-working design team makes the experience easy, even enjoyable. Sign-making companies want to work with you to answer your questions, help develop ideas and create a unique sign that adds value to your business — and that you enjoy seeing every day at work.

Update Your Building Sign With Integrated Sign Associates

Take a good look at your business signage. Is it doing what you want it to? Do you see details, big or small, that you’re itching to change? Maybe you have ideas about how you could represent your business more accurately.

Talk with the ISA team for outdoor business sign ideas. Our experienced professionals are happy to assist you in creating personalized, quality replacement signs for your business. Fill out our pop-up form, or call the number at the top of the page. Contact ustoday to start upgrading your business sign.