Small business marketing: why to read the signs

Signage will be one of the most important and cost-effective pieces of advertising and small business marketing you will ever invest in.

A good sign tells passersby who you are, what you do and where you are.  It guides them to your business and helps build brand recognition for your consumers.

Signs work by catching passersby in their web. Whether they are aware of it or not, the eyes of passersby are drawn to shop signs and they form an opinion of pretty much every A-frame they walk past.

If the consumer is interested in your services and likes your sign, they are much more likely to enter your shop.

If the consumer is interested in your services and likes your sign, they are much more likely to enter your shop. But even if they aren’t, chances are they will have absorbed some information even on a subconscious level.

Not convinced? Try it yourself. Next time you walk through your local shopping area take note of the A-frame signs. How many are there and how many had you previously noticed?

If someone asked you whether there was a car mechanic or osteopath in the area, you’d probably have a vague memory of it.

The same thing will happen at traffic lights. People read car signs without really thinking about it. Unless of course they need the service on offer and then they will try and remember the details.

So how do you make your signage work?

1. Say who you are

At the very least, your signage should include your name and your business logo. And, if it’s not obvious from the name, you should include a brief statement of what you do.

2. Reflect your brand

A sign is a huge statement of who you are, what you do and how you do it. Make sure it makes you look good.

Your signage should be consistent and professional looking. This doesn’t mean boring, but it should reflect the type of business you are. Bright, colourful lettering would work for a childcare centre, but probably not for a lawyer or mechanic.

3. Say where to find you

This may seem rather obvious, but it is important. If your sign isn’t directly outside your business, make it clear where the business is. A-frame signs on the corner of streets can make your business stand out from the rest.

Signs should also include a web address so passersby can look you up online at home or on their smartphone.

4. Less is more

Remember, when designing a sign less is definitely more. Don’t cram the space full of words, images and logos. Instead give everything the space to stand out. The main message should be the most prominent thing on the sign, if other things are getting in the way, get rid of them.