The signage for your business or store is an important marketing element. For many visitors, your company’s sign is the first exposure they have to your company. The right signs can invite casual passers by to stop in and look over your merchandise, which may very well lead to a one-off sale. In some cases, a single sale can result in your company gaining a long term customer who also recommends your products and services to his or her friends. On the other hand, poor signage can put people off. Even if your budget is limited, it is worthwhile to make the investment in signage to give your business the best possible chance to be successful.
Your budget is probably a major concern, so you try to save money wherever possible. However, saving money on signage may very well be penny wise and pound foolish. If your sign looks cheap, potential customers may get the wrong impression about the quality of your merchandise or your services. Use the best quality materials you can afford. If you must economize, consider a slightly smaller sign or a sign with a less elaborate design, rather than trying to get by with cheap materials.
Likewise, unless you have training in marketing and design, it’s probably not a good idea for you to design your own sign. If you cannot afford the services of a high end designer, consider a new graduate from a local design school. If you know someone with design skills, you may be able to negotiate a barter to obtain a professionally designed sign in exchange for free merchandise or services from your store.
Choosing colors for your signage depends on several factors: the type of business you have, as well as any cultural associations that may be associated with certain colors and the appearance of your store. If your store is housed in a brick building, a sign done in earth colors may coordinate better than one that is done in bright, primary hues. For a bedding store, consider cool, soothing hues such as blues or greens. For a store that sells high tech electronics, silver, bright white and even gold are possible good choices for signage The signage for an upscale jewelry store should be done in soft colors that will not detract from the gems and precious metals on display.
Lights can be an effective attention grabbing element for signage. However, for many businesses, less is more where lights are concerned. For a toy store or a gaming arcade, flashing lights and bright colors are fine. However, for a bedding store, such garish lighting may scare customers away. The wrong kind of lighting can also project a cheap image to a store, which is exactly the wrong impression for an upscale clothing store or an exclusive cosmetics boutique.
The age of your customers may also influence how much lighting is appropriate for your company’s signage. Brighter lights and a lively display may be appealing to teens and young adults. However, too many flashing lights may be off putting to older adults and may be frightening to very young children and babies.
Robert M. Smyth is a business psychologist. He frequently writes about the psychology behind sales on small business blogs.