Better Signage in 4 Steps
Whenever I talk about signs with a retailer, the first thing I ask them to do is to take the 360° test: stand anywhere in your space and take a slow spin, counting the number of places you see your logo or branded identity. I joke that, in many instances, a consumer might think they are a reflection of a vendor’s brand instead of their own. If this sounds like your retail space, then it might be time for a makeover. Here are a few simple ways to start the process.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER.
The first order of business is to remove everything (as much as is possible) from existing fixtures or display areas. You can also take this opportunity to perform a purge of any products that are doing nothing more than taking up space. Create three categories: keep, clean up and dump. Make sure you keep track of anything you might toss; you can take these items as a business loss.
DEFINE THE SIGHT LINES.
Now that you have cleared the deck, try to experience your shop as a customer might. Start from the parking lot. Is it clear where you should enter and exit? Is the checkout area obvious and does it fit the natural flow? Once customers enter the store, is there a walkway that
helps to move them through the shopping experience? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then that is a good place to start. Again, clear the clutter, move fixtures or displays out of the way. You can move back what you need and again, determine if you need to purge.
ESTABLISH A STYLE.
A good way to begin to establish your brand is to establish a style sheet of sorts. Identify elements like your color palette, approved logos, typeface, images and graphics. You should establish a template of sorts not only to ensure your presentation is consistent throughout the store, but also with your other marketing such as website, print and social media. Each element of your store signage should contain the basics: logo, graphics, color scheme and photos.
FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE.
Show, don’t tell. Each sign is going to have its unique purpose; some will be used to identify departments, while others to help direct shoppers. Other signs will be to call attention to specific promotions — whether seasonal, product specific or promotional.