Getting the right sign – is it worth your money?

Posted on: August 23, 2016

Most business owners accept without question that getting attractive, well-designed signage is essential. But are their instincts right? We look at the evidence.


Signs, shops and impulse buys

At the most basic level, business signs alert potential customers to the fact that you exist. They say where you can be found.

For many businesses, they also entice consumers into making impulse purchases. This can be an incredibly powerful way of making sales and acquiring new business.

A 2012 survey commissioned by FedEx demonstrated just how powerful. This research found that:

  • 76% of respondents had made a first visit to a shop based on the signs being displayed.
  • 68% had bought products or services after seeing a sign.
  • 60% said they would not enter a retail premises if no sign was present
  • Around three-quarters had told someone else about a retail outlet, or recommended a product, after seeing a sign.

The last finding is particularly interesting, as it shows that the reach of your company signs goes beyond who views them first-hand. In fact, your signs allow you to reach a whole other audience by word of mouth.


A sign is a sign is a sign?

So the research tells us that, when it comes to impulse buying (around 90% of us buy on impulse), signs are worth investing in. But does the quality matter? Could you save yourself a chunk of money by producing your own?


Once again, the FedEx survey can provide some insight. It turns out consumers do make a connection between the quality of the sign and the quality of the service. In fact:

  • 68% saw a shop’s sign as a good indicator of the quality of products and services on sale.
  • Just over half were less willing to shop where the signage was poorly made.

And if you think no one cares about spelling and grammar these days, think again: in the FedEx survey, misspellings were seen as one of the most important indicators of poor quality.

Conclusion? It’s worth investing in professional, high-quality signs.


Sign design and consumers

As a leading Wiltshire signmaker, we are of course happy to advise customers on any aspect of their signs’ design. In fact, we can offer a full graphic design service. However, many of our customers have already made those design decisions at an earlier stage. Often, our work is to turn their existing design into a graphic, sticker or door sign.

Our advice is to think carefully about your branding and design before you approach the signmaker. Imagery, font and colour all need to be thought through carefully.

For example, psychological research tells us that colour has a big impact in how we think about a company or a product. One research study found that up to 90% of impulse buying decisions are influenced by colour. Other researchers found that consumers’ responses to a brand are affected significantly by whether they think the brand colours fit the product being sold.

All these factors are important in arriving at the perfect sign for your business.


What about signs for everyone else?

McDonalds signMost of the discussion above focuses on retail and impulse buys. But does the same apply for a sign on the side of a van? Or for a firm of accountants?

We would argue that in these businesses, signage is even more important. After all, businesses that meet specialised or infrequent needs rely on the consumer’s memory. It’s vital that when the time comes, they remember you can meet those needs.

Given that you’re likely to be competing with dozens or hundreds of other suppliers, your signs always need to make the case for you. They project your brand, your image and keep your business ‘top-of-mind.’

Ultimately, there is a reason why giants like McDonalds invest a fortune in producing clear, prominent, instantly recognisable signs. They work.


Find out more

Mirage Signs is a Warminster Signmaker offering a comprehensive range of services. Whether you need a simple sign for your door or an aircraft graphic, we can fulfil your needs. Get in touch today.


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