FC Scott began his sales career in the front yard of his parent’s house when he was a young teenager. He sold used cars that he bought, fixed up minimally, and resold, and built a bank account with which he opened his own retail store. A young friend of his once asked him the secret to his success because he too was trying to resell cars and could not sell a single one of them. Scott answered his buddy with a few simple but important words- “It’s all about the sign.”
FC Scott went on to become a sales tycoon in later life. He learned when he was quite young one of the most important points to selling that almost all sales people fail to even give much thought to- the sign brings them in, and once they’re in, they’re in your hands.
If the sign is so important, why are so many of them created to look so crummy and difficult to read? Well, business owners often make the mistake of thinking their product is so good that customers will be beating down the doors to buy it, or they believe that people will come in just to see what they have to offer. Few greater mistakes could be made than to fail to give attention to your business sign.
A few essential things to keep in mind when designing your company’s sign:
– Keep it short. Remember we live in an unusual time in history when people are able to connect with almost everything instantly. The attention span of people in general has shortened greatly in the last twenty years. Get right to the point with as few words as necessary.
– Words should be clear and easy to read, without the fancy fonts, which make you look clever, but do nothing for readability. Even a vendor or small shop downtown should avoid the temptation to stick out a chalkboard and scribble something on it, unless they are well-established. If your sign is portable or able to be moved, always place it in a spot where nothing can get in the way of it being read. Keep in mind that the Baby-boomers are reaching an age where it is becoming more difficult for them to read. Cater to all readers.
Signage is about more than just your store-front sign, it’s also about infographics inside of the store. A customer can quickly and easily become acquainted with your products without trying to locate a customer rep by looking around the store and glancing at some well-placed infographics. In-store signs can also make it easy for customers to locate merchandise within the store.
Signage is also about creating a visual connection between the customer and the company. Think about the Starbucks sign, which incorporates their name with a fabulous infographic that a customer instantly identifies with the company. This is the effect you’re shooting for.
Signage should not be placed in such a way as to impede traffic or the customers’ ability to get to your merchandise. It should have the power to be seen from a good distance. It should display all essential information. The signage should be constructed of something highly durable. It should not confuse or mislead your customers. When done right, your company’s signage is the first impression of your business and the last thing that will stay imprinted on their mind.