Quirky or Classic? 3 Questions to Ask When Designing Branded Signage

From an Ad to an Icon: The History of the Hollywood Sign
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From an Ad to an Icon: The History of the Hollywood Sign
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As a business owner, you understand how important your signage is. On a fundamental level, your signs help your customers navigate your store, identify your products, and interact with your services.
But the uses and benefits of signage go far beyond that. One of the most important uses of signage is for branding purposes. Branded marketing allows you to cultivate an instantly recognizable image and company persona that makes your customers more likely to like, work with, and trust your company.
Branded signage represents a complex marketing effort. In this blog, we list three important questions you must consider when designing and commissioning branded signage to help you avoid common pitfalls.

1. Do Clients Come to You for Your Expertise or Your Persona?

When you think about the structure and content of your signage, you must start with how your customers perceive your business. Think about your most loyal repeat customers. What keeps them coming back?
The answer usually boils down either to your expertise or your company persona. For example, if you build custom homes, your clients may come to you because you construct durable cabinets or offer unusual flooring options. In other words, they come to your company because of what you can do.
But on the other hand, if you sell boutique fashion, your clients may come to you because of the fun atmosphere in your store. In this case, your customers come to you because of who they believe you are.
Showcase either your expertise or your persona on your signage. Our hypothetical housing company might emphasize awards they’ve received or how many years they’ve served the community. But our hypothetical boutique should appeal to its customers’ desires to look and feel a specific way.

2. Is Your Business More Authoritative or More Approachable?

The type of language you use, your color theory, and even your sign type depend on the tone of your company’s image. In most cases, your company will either fall under authoritative or approachable.
Your company’s tone depends entirely on how you want your audience to feel about your products and services. A bank, for example, might use formal language and traditional fonts to convey its professionalism and discretion. But a local credit union might opt for a casual, conversational tone to appeal to homemakers over business professionals.
Tone should inform every signage decision you make. Something as simple as choosing an LED sign over an exposed neon sign can immediately inform your customers that your company is practical rather than innovative.

3. Would You Rather Your Customers Feel Confident or Excited?

On top of your basic tone, you also want to encourage action from your customers. The action you suggest and the language you use should make your customers feel either confident or excited.
For example, if you tell your customers to schedule a service at your medical practice, you want to use language that makes them feel like they’re in good hands. You might rely on phrases like “trust our expert team” or “depend on our experience.”
On the other hand, if you tell your customers to make reservations for a party bus, you want to generate excitement about the features or services your company offers. Your call to action will more likely sound like, “make your next event unforgettable.”
Many business owners find that working with a signage consultant provides vital information that they otherwise would not have discovered. Signage professionals often have years of experience working with logos, special event marketing, and standard advertising, which makes them a crucial ally in this process.
As you work on your branding effort, ask the questions listed above to ensure your message gets across.
For more information on sign types, placement, and design, read our other blog posts.
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