You already know the many benefits of your outdoor sign. Effective signage makes you easy to find, keeps your customers informed, generates new prospects who weren’t aware of your business, helps you build your brand, differentiates your business from competitors, captures impulse buyers, keeps on selling 24/7 – and does it all with one of the highest rates of return on marketing dollars invested.
So how can you get even more return on that investment? One of the best ways is to upgrade the appearance and performance of your signage in low light. As summer ends and we head into fall, the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun. That reduces the overall intensity of light, especially during drive times. More importantly, sunset occurs much earlier in the evening, so a larger percentage of your potential customers will be driving home from work in the dark.
By late fall, when we “fall back” at the end of Daylight Saving, darkness will come another hour sooner, and many more drivers will be passing you by, perhaps unable to see your sign.
According to a recent “dusk and darkness” traffic study, the effectiveness of signs and signals drops off sharply as soon as the sun begins to set. This was found to be the case for commercial signs, as well as directional signs and traffic lights.
As dusk approaches, even while the light is still strong, the low angle of the sun during drive time causes a strong glare that reduces driver visibility. Not only does human vision adapt poorly to decreasing light, full darkness is even more challenging, as headlights and street lamps distract the eye and interfere with our ability to pick out a landmark.
Is it really so important for your sign to be more visible (and its lettering more legible) in the evening? Industry and university marketing studies have found that the answer is a definite YES!
- Three out of four new customers say they stopped and entered a business for the first time because they saw the outdoor sign. How can you make yours easier to see?
- Three out of four survey respondents said that they had told someone else about a business — not because they had been a customer, or had seen a Facebook ad — but because they had seen the sign.
- Two out of three buyers said that they stopped during their commute, entered a business and subsequently made a purchase — because the outdoor sign caught their eye.
- In the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the rate of population growth has averaged 20% for the past ten years. Thousands of commuters passing your location are potential new customers. Can they see your sign during their evening drive home from their new job?
How to upgrade your signage for optimum ROI
Make it Visible. It makes no sense to spend money on a pretty sign that pleases the owner, but is not
large enough, high enough or bright enough to be seen by passing auto and foot traffic. What can you
see as you approach your place of business, from either direction? What can you see at night?
Make it Legible. Size and contrast will strongly influence the legibility of any writing on your sign. Use
fewer, larger letters. In 1936, signs for the iconic brand John Deere had ten words under the company
name: “The Trade Mark of Quality Made Famous by Good Implements”. I0, modern marketers
condensed this to “Quality Farm Implements”. With just three letters, the font could be much taller and
heavier, making a Deere dealer’s selling proposition more legible, from a much greater distance.
Make it New. The appeal of “new” is hard-wired into our brains. Again, using the Deere example, their
leaping buck graphic, first used in 1876, was updated in 1912, 1936, 1950, 1968 and 2000. Sometimes
the purpose was to accommodate new graphics technology. But in most cases, the motive was to
recapture a fresh, contemporary look. To update your brand graphics, seek the advice of a graphics
professional to target an image that adds novelty, while retaining long-term brand affinity.
Make it You. Is there room on your sign for a bit of brand positioning? Most marketers would agree that
“Quality Farm Equipment” was an excellent way to sharpen Deere’s outreach to their target agricultural
buyers. However, in the later 1950’s, this tag line was removed as sales from their new construction
equipment segment began to surge. Does your sign fully communicate who you are today?
Make it Sell. Great signs start the selling process with a condensed version of their value proposition.
LensCrafters promises “Glasses in less than one hour.” Target invites you to “Expect more. Pay less.”
HEB claims that “Here, Everything’s Better”. But letting your sign sell harder requires careful thought.
Before you swap “Oral Surgery” for “Same Day Teeth”, consider the local market and the personality of
the business. And finally, invest in some professional feedback from an experienced marketing
Make it POP. If your signage is not well-lit, that should be the primary objective of your fall upgrade. If
your sign already has backlighting, but with old fluorescent technology, replace it with modern LEDs,
which are brighter, longer lasting and more energy efficient. You may also want to consider digital
signage, which can be customized to promote discounts or seasonal offers.
More ways to light up your sales
Illuminated signs can feature your custom logo, channel letters, cabinet signs, digital message boards and more. For maximum impact, a lighted monument sign sends the viewer a powerful message of stability, quality and trust in your business. On the storefront, store lighting can be combined with large and attractive window graphics, turning existing blank windows into powerful tools for pitching your message and showcasing your brand.
Is there still time to upgrade for this Fall?
Summer days in North Texas are still long and hot…but it is not too soon to plan and execute a new and improved sign strategy for the fall. Cowtown Graphics & Signs will give you a free estimate to upgrade your signage…and light up your sales this fall! Visit us online at www.cowtownsigns.com , or to speak
with one of our expert advisors, call 817-446-6000.