What’s your sign? Well, if you’re running a retail business and your goals are to stand out in a crowded marketplace, get top-of-mind with your customers, and ensure a satisfying in-store experience, then your sign is far more than a label or a marker: it’s an extremely important and valuable asset. That is, it should be. Unfortunately, that’s not the case if you’re making any of these 7 costly retail signage mistakes:
- TMI: One of the most common of all retail signage mistakes is TMI — or “too much information.” A sign isn’t a brochure, or even a business card. Customers must comprehend the message within about 2-3 seconds. This is especially the case with retail signs located in areas that are designed for mobile viewers.
- Not Enough Information: On the other end of the TMI spectrum is another frequent error: retail signs that don’t have enough information. For example, they fail to convey critical and relevant information, such as a website URL (many in-store customers want to surf and shop at the same time).
- Getting too Fancy: It’s important for retail signs to stand out, and that means great design is critical. However, there is a limited amount of real estate to work with, and many signs make the mistake of getting too fancy with fonts, graphics, logos, and so on. Most businesses that design their own retail signs make this error, and unfortunately, pay the price when customers get confused, misinformed or annoyed.
- Not Choosing the Right Type: There are many types of signs, from aluminum to LED and the list goes on. Each one has a distinct set of advantages, and what’s more, some are better suited for certain types of businesses or environments (e.g. exterior/interior). Frankly, it doesn’t matter if a business avoids making all of the retail signage mistakes we’ve discussed so far. If they choose the wrong type, they won’t maximize their investment.
- Not Choosing the Right Size: Retail signs come in all shapes and sizes — which for some businesses, is actually a disadvantage instead of an advantage, because they (again, unfortunately) have the wrong-sized sign. While there are many examples of this error, one of the most common is with exterior signs that need to be viewed by foot traffic, but are simply too small to achieve this goal. This isn’t to say that exterior signs should be as massive as billboards. But if the goal is to engage potential customers 30 feet away, a 3’x3’ sign partially obstructed by a street sign simply isn’t going to get the job done.
- Not Placing the Sign Correctly: If you’ve ever driven on the road (as either the driver or passenger) and passed by a portion of a sign while saying to yourself “how do they expect anyone to read that!?”, then you’ve personally been on the wrong end of this retail sign mistake. Typically, this happens because viewing angles and distances weren’t taken into consideration when the sign was designed, created and installed. What’s more, this problem isn’t by any means limited to external signs. Many retailers have internal signs that aren’t placed in optimal locations.
- Not Working with a Professional Sign Company: Retailers invest a significant — and in some cases, enormous — amount of money trying to attract customers, whether it’s through marketing and advertising campaigns, sales and promotions, launching new product lines, contests, and the list goes on. However, some of these very same businesses undermine this investment by re-using old signs (that weren’t really working before and won’t again), or having their sign designed by the same company that does their photocopying. Sign design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance are not skills that people learn by watching a few online videos, or obeying whatever a piece of software tells them to do. It is a specialization that requires both training and experience — not just to reveal what’s possible and beneficial, but just as importantly, to proactively identify problems and avoid them from emerging.
As you can tell from our name, at Landmark Signs we don’t “dabble” in business signs: it’s our area of expertise — and our customers reap the rewards. To learn more, contact us for your free, no obligation consultation. Regardless of what retail signage mistakes you may have made in the past — or might be making now — be assured that we will solve them!