This is part two of a series about how to tell your brand story through a variety of marketing channels. Today’s focus is on how to tell your brand story with signage. Check out the first of this series for more on storytelling through direct mail.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. There’s a reason why we see signage everywhere, from billboards to buildings and every place in between. If you’re a business or organization that uses signage, I don’t have to remind you how impactful it is. If you’re not (or if you’ve forgotten), here are three quick reasons why creative, quality signage matters:
- Signage enhances communication. It can be directional, educational, promotional and more, but it’s typically there to tell your audience something important.
- Creative signs provide a competitive advantage, helping to set you apart from competitors and stand out in a crowd.
- The right kind of signage is a cost-effect marketing tool, increasing sales opportunities and building brand awareness.
And let’s add a fourth: Signage can help tell your brand’s story. When you think of infusing storytelling into your marketing, you might think about your website, blog, newsletters, maybe a brochure. But your signage can do a lot of heavy lifting in that area as well. Everything you show the world is (or should be) uniquely you and give a glimpse of where you came from, where you’re going and what you’re all about—signage included. Here’s how:
Outdoor signs are a direct reflection of your brand.
You’ve heard “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but let’s be honest: An attractive cover is going to get more attention. It’s frustrating, though, when you make an assumption about a book based on its cover, and then you read it and what’s inside doesn’t align with what’s outside. Authenticity matters. Think of your outdoor signage like that—it’s like your “book cover,” and it’s as much a part of your story as what’s inside. Just be sure that everything from your colors to your messaging to the whole look, feel and vibe of your outdoor signage lines up with your brand’s authentic self.
In-office signage speaks to your own team.
Don’t forget to keep your story front and center for your own staff. It’ll go a long way toward creating the type of culture you want in your workplace. Create a team “Wall of Fame” to acknowledge those who’ve gone above and beyond. Place signs and posters throughout to keep your values in the wild and on everyone’s minds. Even little things like small signs outside of uniquely-named conference rooms or gathering spaces can elevate your office space and make people feel excited about coming into a fun, creative work environment.
Vehicle graphics drive brand awareness.
Literally. And they are the most cost effective per impression form of advertising! Think of a vehicle wrap as a mobile billboard, taking your business or brand to audiences around your community (and potentially beyond), plus they’re an excellent way to show off your brand’s personality—you can get as creative as you’d like with a fun vehicle wrap as long as it still looks like it belongs to the rest of your marketing toolkit. Add your URL, and you can also drive traffic online where you continue the story of your brand and business on your website and get people signed up for your emails.
In-store signage tells your story to a captive audience.
Whether you’re a restaurant, grocery store, spa or bank, you have people coming in to do business, and for a short while, you have their (mostly) undivided attention. You can use indoor signs to develop your business’ personality and tell the heart of your story. For example, you could design a wall mural to literally tell your story with a timeline of how your business has grown from its inception. You could have a wall of pictures and portraits that show the faces behind the business and tell the stories of the people who built it. Or you could use different types of signage throughout that reflect your brand messaging, values, products and services.
Whatever you choose, be true to who you are as a company or organization and let your signage reflect that—many consumers want to look beyond your “what” (you offer) to your “why” and your purpose. You can use signage to show them.
Digital signage can create an interactive story and draw your audience in to be a part of it.
One of the best ways to share a story is through audio, and if you’re able to, adding digital signage to your workplace is a unique way to share more about your company or organization in a more interactive way than what traditional signage allows.
Whatever type of signage you use, remember this: Keep your customer at the center of your story. That might seem counterintuitive because, hello, this is your story. But at the end of the day, businesses exist to serve customers, and nonprofits exist to serve people and communities. Design your signage to pull your audience in and invite them to become a part of your narrative.
If this got some wheels turning in your brain and you’d like to learn more about how to tell your brand story with signage—or any other marketing channel—we have print and marketing experts who can help. Sign up for a free strategy session to learn more about building your brand and telling your story with signage.