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How to get long-term brand consistency in your signage

Posted by Gary Baron on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 @ 09:24 AM

Your company brand is one of your most potent assets as a business. If you leverage your brand asset well and execute your core mission with excellence, you will find success. Your signage is the visual manifestation of your brand and so, you should execute it with excellence so that it represents your brand to the outside world. 

Executing your brand strategy with excellence requires long-term consistency. Everything your company does should fit into your brand guidelines, even your signage. This is easier said than done, however, as companies run into several roadblocks in their efforts to maintain long-term brand consistency. Maintaining cohesive signage, though, is key to getting the most out of your signage budget.

In this step, we'll explore the common problems companies encounter in sticking to their brand guidelines and how to overcome those hurdles. 

Common Signage Hurdles
When it comes to executing your brand in your signage, companies encounter many of the same problems with maintaining consistency: outside influencers, unavoidable situations, and a lack of fidelity to guidelines. 

You have many outside influencers who want to have a say in your signage. These include facility managers who want to have their stamp on a building, vendors who think they know best and employees who act independently. 

Unavoidable situations also crop up regularly. Signs get damaged from weather or vandalism. A new city or county ordinance might require specific signage immediately. When these situations arise, urgency too often trumps brand guidelines. All of a sudden, fidelity to your branding strategy goes out the window. 

Putting Your Brand First
Despite these common hurdles, you can achieve long-term brand consistency in your signage by recognizing these problems and creating plans to address them before they happen. 

Start by identifying three key details for your signage:
  • Brand color — Pick limited and specific colors your signs can include.
  • Brand logos — Identify what versions of your brand's logos will go on signs.
  • And measurements — Determine the specific size of an array of signage so replacement signs and new signs measure the same. 

After you have identified these key details, you need to communicate them to all the stakeholders — your sign vendor, employees and others like building managers. Knowledge is power after all and many lapses in brand guidelines occur because people weren't aware of the guidelines in the first place.

You should also keep the circle of people who can make final decisions on signage small. When fewer people have the authority to order new and replacement signs, the likelihood of errors will decrease.

Execute your brand with excellence and your brand will work for you. Cohesive signage will help you achieve long-term brand consistency, get the most out of your signage budget and leverage this most valuable corporate asset.
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Topics: property managment signs, branding, hospital signage, wayfinding signs, wayfinding signage systems

5 step guide: How to get the most out of your signage budget

Posted by Gary Baron on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

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Topics: lobby signs, branding, marketing, wayfinding systems, wayfinding signs

Fat Witch Bakery NY added privacy window graphics to the baking facility.

Posted by Gary Baron on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 @ 02:50 PM

  • Life is a journey, not a destination.
  • So along the way, enjoy the best.
  • At Fat Witch Bakery, we're not in a hurry.
  • We bake in small batches and do what is known in the trade as "scratch baking." And we use natural ingredients.
  • We create products where quality trumps quantity.
  • We're not trying to bake everything for everybody.
  • We're baking for people with good taste and that includes their taste buds.
  • We don't add emulsifiers, gas flushes or other things you wouldn't add.
  • We like to add a touch of whimsy and we hope you like our sense of humor.
  • Life is too serious to be taken seriously.
  • Thank you for visiting our website and enjoy the Witches because these are the best brownies EVER!
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Topics: branding, window graphics, privacy windows

Mars International adds custom signage to their new headquarters in Piscataway, NJ

Posted by Gary Baron on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 @ 03:52 PM

Mars International is a Custom Fashion Accessories Group delivers expertly crafted custom decorative hardware, jewelry, accessories, and fabrics to principal designers and luxury brand owners in the fashion industry. 

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Topics: dimensional sign, dimensional letters, architectural signage, branding

Marketing 101 - Your Sign

Posted by Gary Baron on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 @ 09:39 AM

When it comes to businesses marketing to customers, it can basically be defined as "the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships." You could also say that, at it's core, marketing is about identifying, satisfying and keeping your customers.

And every one of those steps can be heavily-influenced by signage, especially the kind that showcases the branding of your logo and message.

In fact, the value of signs as marketing tools is as simple to understand as ABC
  • Attracting New Customers: Some studies say that 85% of your customers live within five miles of your business. That means if you want to find customers outside your base after you've saturated the local market, you're going to need to use outdoor signs and other techniques to get them.
  • Branding Your Business: Since so many of your potential customers leave nearby, they should be come so familiar with your brand and business that it's second-nature for them to stop in when they need something. That's only going to happen if there are signs outside and around town constantly reminding them about your brand.
  • Creating Impulse Sales: Chances are, at some point, a sign has made you stop what you were doing and enter a store to buy something. Maybe you didn't know you wanted that item until you saw the sign but you knew as soon as you saw it that you were going to get what you need. Impulsive sales cannot be overlooked and signage like illuminated signs can help you secure more of them.
If you truly want to follow "marketing 101" when it comes to promoting your business, you'll want to make sure you're taking advantage of signage to the fullest. And here are some of the best options available for you:
  • Carved Signs - If you are located near a street or open space where customers pass by often, a carved sign can be a great way to spark attention and build dependable branding. There are plenty of ways to make a carved sign stand out, including making it gilded, sandblasted, painted with vinyl graphics or lighted. Quality sign companies will make durable signs that won't warp from weather or time as well as making sure the paint won't crack. Like your brand, your sign should last a long time.
  • Illuminated Signs- Chances are, your customers don't stop needing things once the sun goes down. So a lighted sign makes a lot of sense. Even during the day, they attract attention and stand out from the crowd. Thanks to technology like LED, the landscape of signage has changed as the list of things you can do has increased exponentially.
  • Monument Signs - If your business is inside a plaza or office complex, a monument sign is a great way to let customers know they can find you inside with a style of signage that stands the test of time and provides a durable branding opportunity. The weather-resistant material should last you for years as your business grows and your brand remains strong. Just like the sign.
  • Painted Signs - Is your business about attention to detail, quality or artisan craft? Then a painted sign might be the best option for your business. A painted sign showcases quality graphics and/or images that speak to your desire for customers to see you and expect quality from your business.
  • Awnings - Sometimes a sign isn't a sign. If an awning makes sense for your business, it can be like multiple signs in one. You can choose from hundreds of styles, colors and graphics that complement your building, logo and branding. It's hard to go wrong with awnings.


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Topics: branding, outdoor signage, carved signs, illuminated signs, marketing, LED channel letters, monument signs, signs

Franchisee and Franchisors: the pros of working with a sign company that understands branding

Posted by Gary Baron on Thu, May 31, 2012 @ 02:57 PM

No one understands the value of maintaining and promoting a brand more than franchisees and franchisors. The relationship between the two parties exists because of the value both have for their brand and the ability to promote it.

With customers in your market being bombarded with messaging and signage unlike ever before, it's your brand that becomes your best weapon in the fight for market share and awareness.

It is paramount to work with a sign company that understands branding. A sign company that understands branding, use of logos, color match, branding standards and their inherent values can put your franchise on the right path.

Consistency

Both the franchisee and the franchisor want to deliver a consistent message that leans on the overall marketing and advertising reach while also driving home the key branding message in the neighborhood. A sign company that understands that won't tinker unnecessarily with the colors, logos or anything else. They'll focus on delivering signage that stays true to your exact needs and specifications.

A franchise is about maintaining a consistent message across all points of contact with the brand. The sign outside your store is a major part of that, don't leave it in the hands of a sign company that doesn't understand that.

Experience

A sign company that has worked in the industry for a long time picks up more than a few tricks. Working with large corporate clients and upstart entrepreneurs gives a sign company the experience it needs to anticipate logo and color issues as well as the challenges that come with any branding presentation.

This may be your first go at creating signage for your franchise but a quality sign company that has experience dealing with franchisees and franchisors can provide valuable insight into the process and foresee any critical issues that might arise that you would not be aware of otherwise.

Versatility

It's not just about putting your franchise logo above the door, sitting back and waiting for the customers to roll in. What about outdoor lighted signs, LED letters, indoor signage for your entrance lobby, vehicle signage, street banners to announce your grand opening, etc. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the promoting and marketing of your brand.

Not to mention the different needs between opening one franchise and opening multiple locations at the same time. Can your sign company handle the added demand on quantities while also keeping the branding in mind?

Your sign company should be able to provide quality solutions to all of these sign needs without sacrificing your brand or 100% focus on the messaging you are trying to get across to potential customers.

Save Money

When done correctly, signage is the most cost effective form of marketing. When a franchisor does their job to promote the brand and drive customers to your business, a clear, concise and on-point sign is often the best tool to seal the deal and ensure the sale.

A sign company can't look at each sign as just another tool in your marketing arsenal. A quality sign company sees each sign as the ultimate way to give you the most value for your dollar. Don't unnecessarily spend thousands on other forms of marketing or advertising to make up for the lack of awareness caused by poor craftsmanship or placement. A sign company that understands branding, use of logos, color match, branding standards and more will do the job right the first time, drive home your brand and save you money in the long haul.

For more information on franchise solutions and how a good sign company such as The Sign Center can help you, please click here.





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Topics: branding, illuminated signs, franchise solutions

Your sign is branding your business 24/7

Posted by Gary Baron on Thu, May 24, 2012 @ 12:48 PM

It's the first thing a person sees when walking down the road.  The very first impression made on that soon to be daily customer.  The one main indicator that will be associated with you and your product from that moment on: the sign.  Proclaimer of good things, attractor of desire, beckoner to pleasure, a business' sign tells just enough to leave passerbys wondering.  A business' name is its title, something to call it, but the sign is the soul of a company, a way to recognize it when it's not even expected, providing consistency of look and feel.

By using branding, signage, marketing and other advertisements, you are creating for your business a reputation that is proven with every experience and visually reinforced upon every encounter.  Soon the aspects of the sign seen in your front window will become associated in the minds of loyal customers with your product, and recognized wherever they go as a testament to what you provide.

The combination of your unique complementing colors, recognizable symbols and confident lettering should become a known sign that reflects your company itself.  Keeping a consistent look for yourself in the way you use branding creates a specific ideal for customers to associate with you.  By presenting a constant and identifiable front with the physical signs of your company, you give your business a personality for customers to attribute the quality of your service with.  Your branding, signage, marketing tools becomes the visual assurance that you can be counted on, and that travels farther than other strategies ever could to make customers remember you and your product.  

Whatever it is that makes your company unique and spectacular in its very own way, that is what should also be heralded by your signs.  With your corporate logos and trademarked colors, you have unlimited choices as to size, shape and lighting of your sign.  It's what will link your locations together as you grow and expand, ensuring a great first impression that you need only to uphold.  It's what will help establish and maintain trust between your company and your consumers.  It’s the stamp of approval and assurance that you can be counted on just as every other bearer of this particular emblem has proven.

As assuredly as the saying that "your word is your bond", your sign is indeed your brand, recognizable in whatever form it appears.  Branding, signage, marketing are all forms of advertisement that can serve to create for you business an element of irresistibility and charm.  From the cheerful awning over your door to the sign leading from the freeway.  The menu board, "SALE" banner and decal on the side of your vehicles all point to a confident business that is not afraid to put its name for all to see.  Each sign is the same, which notifies viewers that you can be counted of for consistency of look and feel, assuring the same high quality of service at the same time.

To make sure that this most cost effective and valuable form of marketing is used to achieve the full potential of your business, don't leave the details to chance.  Enlist the aid of an experienced partner who can work hand in hand with your company to learn what it is that makes you special.   Easily then will expert designers set to work creating the perfect reflection of your company’s mission and values.  Your sign is your brand, every single day.

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Topics: branding, carved signs

Can your business signs influence a potential or existing client?

Posted by Gary Baron on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 04:53 PM

We all know that your business will rise and fall on the strength of the product or service you offer.  But what about the way in which your hold your business out to potential or existing clients?  Does that really matter?  Simply put, yes! 

Your business signs, outdoor signs, lobby signs, office signs are a visual representation of the personality and vitality of your business.  Indeed, your business signs, outdoor signs, lobby signs, office signs "brand" your business and often become the centerpiece of visual communication to potential or existing clients.  For any skeptics, consider this...

The Physical Location of Your Business

Your business signs, outdoor signs, lobby signs, office signs act as the first line of communication to potential or existing clients when they visit the physical location of your business.  Imagine you find yourself in a seaside town for a weekend getaway with your loved one.  The town is filled with mom and pop taffy shops.  You pass a taffy shop with a sign in basic white letters that states, "TAFFY". You pass another shop with adorable caricatures of Mom and Pop and with words creatively styled "MOM AND POP'S TAFFY EST. 1956".  You have fifteen minutes to pick up some taffy for some friends back home.  Which shop will you pick? 

The Virtual Location of Your Business

Your business signs, outdoor signs, lobby signs, office signs act as the first line of communication to potential or existing clients when they visit the virtual location of your business online.  Skilled web developers will use your business signs as the visual centerpiece of the website for your business. Times are changing and you know that potential and existing customers will visit your website as much or more than they will visit your physical location. So, the rewards of your striking business signs are greater than ever because your signs are published for the world to view online.  Of course, the flip side is the risks to your business are greater than ever if your outdated business signs are published for the world to view online.  

The bottom line - do not take for granted the affect of your business signs, outdoor signs, lobby signs, office signs on the perception of your potential and existing clients.  They may have fifteen minutes or less to visit your business either in person or online.  Pull them in!
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Topics: branding, outdoor signage, outdoor signs, indoor signs

Lobby Signs, Architectural Signs create a first impression

Posted by Gary Baron on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 @ 07:59 PM

Some are quick to overlook the psychological impact of lobby signs on the perception of a business. It is easy to do particularly for the established business. However, there is no question that lobby signs play a critical role in a client's "first impression" of a business. Imagine this...

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Topics: dimensional sign, architectural signage, branding, lobby sign

Retail Signs, Point of Purchase Signs, get your customers' attention

Posted by Gary Baron on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @ 11:08 AM

Point of purchase signage, also called POP, is one of the leading marketing tools that any retail seller can utilize. It is paramount to maximize this marketing medium to boost traffic and revenue. It makes sense to advertise right where customers are and point of purchase signs do just that.

The main advantages of using signs are:
  1. An affordable way that gives a quick return on the investment.
  2. POP signs add an increase in ascetics of the store.
  3. By directing customers to their needs and showing promotions, sales increase.
  4. An affordable way to increase impulse buying.
  5. Branding is easily accomplished on-site in a cost-effective way.

Higher margin products can receive increased attention with point of purchase signage. Using color and graphics on signs and displaying them near products that are higher cost will draw customers to those areas. This increases their exposure and leads to more sales. An impulse buy is much easier to accomplish using the signage as a marketing technique.

Retail signage, besides increasing impulse purchases, also establishes brand awareness. Creative and effective store signs will brand a store, even if it is not part of a franchise or big chain. It is more important in a small business to develop brand awareness that does not have the advantage of nationwide recognition. One of the simplest and inexpensive ways is through point of purchase signage. Consulting with a firm that provides these signs is a good first step in taking advantage of these advertising benefits.

Reasons to use POP signage are:
  1. Boosts storefront traffic as displays increase walk-ins.
  2. Signs with eye-catching designs will attract traffic.
  3. To draw attention to sales and specials to increase revenue.
  4. Longevity because point of purchase displays last long and can be re-used for long periods of time.
Retail signs are an invaluable tool not to be overlooked. So much is concentrated today on technology that the tried and true methods are often forgotten. Marketing and branding as well as catching and holding a customer's attention, in a cost-effective way, make point of purchase signage an absolute in retail stores. Consult with a signage company that is knowledgeable in this area that can advise on the best colors and graphics. Plan advertising campaigns, sales and specials with the company so the signage needed is ready for display at the proper times. Having a handle on a simple marketing campaign integrating POP signs will lead to higher traffic, more impulse buying, increased brand awareness, and increased sales. Make durable, flexible, well-designed signage a part of the campaign and see immediate results.

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Topics: dimensional sign, branding, point of purchase graphics, retail graphics

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