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Signage: Improving on what we know

open sign displayed on shop door

Signage is a means of communicating and messaging to an audience through the use of visual graphics and signs. Signage is used in many different ways to deliver key information, but is most commonly used for marketing and promotion. It has become an integral part of everyday life and an essential tool in any business with a brick and mortar store.

Businesses have used signage for many years to attract and inform new and existing customers. In this time few changes have been made to the way signs are delivered and displayed. Has the role of signage changed over the years? And, is it still considered important?

With advancements in technology, signage is undergoing an evolution. Digital signage is bringing about new and powerful ways to engage audiences and deliver more information than ever before. However, many businesses are still using static signage techniques to communicate and deliver their message.

So, where is signage heading? And, can this new technology improve the way businesses communicate with their audience?

The role of signage within business

Commercial signage has a long history and is believed to date back as far as ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. The fact that it is still in use today and is even more prevalent, would suggest that it is considered effective and of high importance still to this day.

Signage can serve many purposes, but the key areas for businesses are:

Advertising and exposure

Signage is a powerful platform to give people in the vicinity, or already within a business a snapshot of what a business can offer. It allows businesses to showcase their brand, products and services. As a result, it still plays an important role in how businesses reach potential customers or add value to existing customers.

It is a tried and tested medium that can reach people on ground level and increase exposure. Studies are showing the importance of familiarity when it comes to choosing a product or brand. Derek Thompson says ‘sales professionals need to understand the Mere Exposure Effect’. In essence, we are more inclined to like something if we are somewhat familiar with it.

Signage is still a highly effective and essential part of a business’s marketing mix. Accompanied with other forms of advertising and exposure it can ensure a clear consistent message is being presented across all channels of the business.

busy street at night with prominent signage

Attract customers

Signage allows businesses to attract customers with vibrant and creative content. It can create a great first impression and help bring new customers through the door. Once in-store, a business can show more targeted content to attract customers to featured products or services. Signage often uses colour and vivid graphics to entice and engage people. Catching people’s eye could be the difference between them coming in, or passing by.

As a result, well thought out and captivating signage still plays an important role in how businesses attract potential customers.

Inform and educate

Signage is a great way to reach people and show what a business can offer. It can be used to educate, inform and effectively communicate with people. Whether it’s highlighting trading hours, new products or services which are now available, or safety information, signs are still used extensively to get the message across. Signage is still one of the most efficient ways to communicate with a wider local audience. Both those within a business, or passing by.

outdoor menu board showing specials

What is the future of signage?

From the few examples we’ve looked at, we can see signage still plays a key role in how businesses communicate, attract and promote themselves to potential customers. With advancements in technology, new ways are emerging to improve business signage. Digital Signage is changing the way businesses can deliver messaging and engage customers.

Digital signage uses LCD and LED technology to deliver vibrant dynamic content. It allows businesses to reach people with a wide variety of digital content, such as video, webpages, text-based content, and images. This creates a high impact engaging experience which is more likely to attract potential customers.

This new technology is elevating signage into a new phase. Digital signage offers many new features which can improve effectiveness. It allows for content scheduling. This in itself creates new possibilities for businesses. For instance, content can now be delivered at certain times to speak directly to specific demographics, or to coincide with things such as local weather. Scheduling allows for more effective advertising and marketing as businesses are now able to reach key audiences and deliver more relevant content with dayparting and custom playlists.

Digital signage delivers maximum impact with vivid colour and varied, dynamic content. The fact that it can deliver varied digital content, means it is more likely to captivate and engage an audience. Whether the messaging is used to attract potential customers or showcase products and services in-store, the message is more likely to be noticed with Digital Signage.

We live in the ‘information age’, and as such people expect to be educated and informed. Digital signage offers a platform on which businesses can communicate with people more than ever. As has been the case with static signage, messaging is often redundant not long after it’s installed. New digital technology now allows businesses to share a lot more information. The space which was once occupied with a static sign now becomes a platform on which messaging can be changed as much or as little as necessary.

A new beginning

Since signage has been in use from ancient times until today, it would be safe to say it is not going anywhere, anytime soon. For most of that time, it has remained static and unchanged. With the arrival of digital signage technology, it looks like an evolution has arrived for the industry. Digital signage provides new ways for businesses to reach out and communicate with their audience. It’s a versatile platform that can be upgraded and customized to create unique experiences and will continue to grow as the technology becomes more widely adopted.

Ultimately, allowing for clearer communication and understanding between businesses and customers.


If you’d like to discuss what digital signage can do for your business, feel free to get in touch with us.

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