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Can Signs and Banners Actually Increase Sales?

Today, businesses and organisations have hundreds of ways to reach their customers. Back in the days, they were only a few marketing channels available such as newspapers and word of mouth.

Today, when formulating a marketing strategy we will bring up SEO, Facebook, Instagram, email and sometimes maybe even TV if your company has a six-figure advertising budget.

What about signs and banners? You rarely see signage included in any marketing strategy.

Quick experiment

In this post, we experimented to see the effectiveness of signage.

Here is a quick experiment. Do you think Shop A or B provides a better quality product and service?

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Which shop do you think provides a better quality of aquarium products and livestock? If you think Shop A, you are right.

I personally went to both of these stores and I can let you know that Shop B’s quality is nowhere near Shop A. As an aquarium hobbyist myself, I shop at Shop A all the time because of their quality and service and it reflected in their outdoor sign and banners.

FedEx conducted a study and they found that 70% of customers believe that a sign or outdoor banner reflects the quality of a business and their product.

Impressions aside.

The main question is do signage increase sales and bring in new customers for the business?

Case Study #1 – A global QSR (quick service restaurant) franchise

This QSR did a survey in one of their branches with the goal of finding out how customers found out about that specific branch.

The survey was done over a period of a few months. Every single customer that went in were asked “How did you first became aware of the restaurant?”

They were given six choices:

  1. They Saw it while passing
  2. Always knew it was there
  3. Word of mouth
  4. Advertisements
  5. Others
  6. Don’t know

Which do you think came at number one?

This QSR franchise had a multi-million dollar advertising budget with over 10 million Facebook fans. Even with all that marketing spend and Facebook fans, advertisements came in at #4 with only 10% of the votes.

The #1 result was “Saw it while passing” at 35% and #2 was “Always knew it was there” at 29%.

How do you think customers knew this franchise had a branch at that specific location? Their signs and banners.

This QSR franchise is Burger King.

With a signage like that, I doubt anyone would miss it.

Do you want to know something else?

When McDonald’s opens at a new location, do you know what is one of the very first things they place an order for? Their signs and outdoor banners. Not their retail fitouts, not their ingredients, not burger patties. Their signs.

And they spend £40,000 on signs per location.

Case Study #2 – National retailer

A case study was done by this national retailer to find out the change in sales when a signage was added.

They tested a few things.

  • Install a new building signage with no signage on it.
  • Installed a new pole signage.
  • Put up directional signage in their stores to help shoppers find the entrance and exist routes.

Here were the results.

  • The new building signage was installed, sales growth increased from 2.5% to 4.6%.
  • When the new pole signage was installed, sales increased from 4.9% to 12.3%.
  • Were the directional signage were installed in stores, sales growth increased from 4% to 12.4%.

Assuming each store was turning over £1,000,000, a sales growth increase from 4% to 12.4% is an additional £84,000!

That is one of the reasons why McDonald’s is willing to spend £40,000 on signage per location. Would you spend £40,000 to make £84,000 per year?

Let’s not forget, signage is a one-time investment unlike advertisements where once you stop paying, you stop getting impressions so that additional £84,000 comes in year after year.

Summary

7 out of 10 customers judge a business’ quality of products and services based on their signage. This alone should shift most business owners’ thinking on signage.

If your product and service is perceived to be of lower quality, that would impact the business’ probability of generating a sale from customers.

Secondly, if McDonald’s, the world’s biggest restaurant company is prioritising signage in each of their location, that must send a signal to all business owners.

If you have any quires regarding your advertising or signs, drop us a email or call 01708 200166

About the author
Stan Tan is the digital marketing manager at Selby’s, an Australian signage company specialising in sporting events, festivals, trade shows and retail.