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Lighted Business Signs: Still A Bright Idea

It has become increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the competition. Yet, one of the most effective ways to get noticed is also one of the more affordable as well. In fact, the Small Business Administration (SBA) cites signs as the most effective, yet least expensive form of advertising for the small business. In addition to affordability, the SBA has cited a number of additional reasons why signs are an integral part of doing business: 

  • A sign serves as an in introduction or greeting to those who pass by your business. Signage is a fundamental way to identify your business to existing and potential customers.
  • Signs work every day of the year. It is worth pointing out that lighted signs take this a step further by working around the clock, as lit signs can be easily seen any time day or night.
  • People often judge a business by the quality and appearance of your signage, making it an important tool to help project the image you are looking for. It can also reinforce the branding efforts for your business.
  • Along these same lines, many businesses have increased their foot traffic and sales simply by adding a good sign. The opposite is also true, as many have gone out of business in part because they simply were not identified well enough, making it difficult for potential customers, to even know of their existence.
  • According to the United States Census Bureau, 18% of households relocate each year. As your customers move, you need to replace them by attracting new customers and signs can help you do this in a cost-effective manner.

 Choosing the right type of sign is critical if you hope to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. When you consider that the human eye is drawn to light five to six times the ambient level, the benefits of lighted signs are easy to see. Moreover, lighted signs can be customized to promote specific items. For example, a restaurant looking to promote its specials can use lighted signs that can be easily updated on a daily basis to attract business. The constantly changing signs will also help to keep the messages fresh, while a stagnant print sign loses its effectiveness over time. Likewise, a retailer can use lighted in-store signage to direct customers to parts of the store that they are looking to promote.

Lighted signs make it possible to connect with your existing customers any time day or night, even when your business is closed for the day. Smart signage marketers aim to achieve "top of the mind awareness" and a lighted sign on display 24 hours a day increases the chances that your target audience will keep you in mind when looking for the products or services you have to offer.

 A 2012 survey by Ketchum Global Research provides further evidence of the power of signage as a marketing tool and determined a connection between the quality of business signage and a positive consumer reaction.

 Nearly eight out of 10 respondents (76%) say they have gone into a store they have never shopped at before because of its signs.

  • Almost seven in 10 respondents (68%) say they have bought a product or enlisted a service because a sign caught their attention.
  • Even in the social media age, a business’ sign can provide influential word-of-mouth advertising, as three out of four respondents indicate they have told others about a store based simply on its signage.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) believe a store’s signage is indicative of the quality of its products or services.
  • Quality signage is an important consideration, as poor signage can keep prospective consumers from entering a store. Just over half of the respondents (52%) say they are less willing to enter a store with misspelled or poorly made signs.
  • Almost 60% of respondents say the lack of storefront signage is a strong enough deterrent to keep them from shopping at a store. On average, respondents feel that two to three signs around a business’ storefront are the right amount of signage.

Given the understanding of the role signage can play in effectively marketing businesses, it is equally important to understand the various lighting options in order to determine the best solution for your needs.  

Neon lights have been used for decades and are still popular with some business operators. Part of the problem with neon lighting is that it can wash out in direct sunlight and its brightness is contingent upon a number of factors. They are not as interchangeable as other options. Due to their delicate nature, breakage is often a problem and repairs can be costly. Neon lights also may require special installation. Fixed dot LED lighting has grown in popularity due to its low power consumption compared to neon. Nonetheless, they share some of the same drawbacks as neon lighting, plus some of their own. For example, if any part of the sign burns out, the whole unit must be replaced. LEDs lose their brightness over time. Quality can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. The pixelated look of dot LED is not considered to be as attractive or professional in appearance as other alternatives.

The SpellBrite LED signage system addresses the drawbacks often associated with neon and dot LED lighting. SpellBrite systems are viewable in direct sunlight and offer 180 degree viewing. The letters are fully interchangeable, making it easy to change at any time to maximize impact of promotions. They feature a premium look and feel and are easy to install by yourself. If a letter should need replacing, it can be done individually so there is no need to replace the whole sign. SpellBrite signage is rated for up to 80,000 hours and is easy to clean and maintain with no sharp edges or excessive heat created by the lighting. Perhaps best of all, SpellBrite offers animation and dimmer options making it possible to highlight specific parts of your marketing message.

There is an old adage in the sign industry that states, “A business without a sign is a sign of no business.” That will not be an issue if you decide to use lighted signs to brighten your business outlook.

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