Lighted Business Signs: Still A Bright Idea

Image of the lighted business sign from Smokin’ Scoops, who used a SpellBrite LED sign to write out Nitro Ice Cream and Boozey Milkshakes

How can your business stand out? With so many new businesses popping up, along with the rise of digital marketing and e-commerce marketplaces, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the competition. However, one of the most effective ways to get your business noticed is a tried and true method that is also one of the most affordable marketing strategies: lighted business signs.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) cites signs as the most effective yet least expensive form of advertising. This is especially true for small businesses that are looking for heightened visibility for their business on a budget. However, signs’ affordability is just one reason why signs are an integral part of doing and growing your business. Below I expand on why signs, and particularly illuminated signs, will make a positive impact on your business.  

How Are Business Signs Useful? Per the SBA:

  • A sign helps introduce passersby to your business and welcome them inside. Signage is a fundamental way to help existing and potential customers identify your business.
  • Signs work every day of the year. Lighted signs take this a step further by working around the clock. Lit signs are easy for customers to see all day and night, giving your business maximum visibility.
  • People often judge a business by the quality and appearance of its signage, making it an important tool to help project the image you are looking for. A good sign 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 new sign. The opposite is also true: many have gone out of business in part because potential customers were unaware of them.
  • 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. Signs help you do this in a cost-effective manner.

Why Choose a Lighted Sign?

Choosing the right type of sign is critical if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Did you know that the human eye is drawn to light that is five to six times brighter than the ambient level? When you consider this, the benefits of a lighted sign in your business are easy to see. These lighted neon and LED signs are great ways to promote specific items or services in your storefront window. For even more effective marketing, customized lighted signs can showcase your business’s specialties and stand out to nearby pedestrians. Likewise, illuminated in-store signage is a great way to both transform the interior of your business or restaurant and to direct customers to different areas, like your restrooms, or to inform them about new products you’re looking to promote.  

In addition to allowing you to reach new audiences, lighted signs make it easy to connect with your existing customers. Your illuminated sign can shine bright day and night, even when your business is closed. Smart marketers aim to achieve "top of the mind awareness,” keeping their business at the top of customers’ minds. Having a lighted sign on display 24 hours a day, especially if it features an eye-catching message, increases the chances that your target audience will keep you in mind when looking for the products or services you have to offer.  

Signs as a Marketing Tool

Infographic showing that 68% of consumers say they have paid for a product or service because of a sign and 76% of consumers say they’ve entered a business because of its sign.

A 2012 survey by Ketchum Global Research (now Ketchum Analytics) provides further evidence of the power of signs as a marketing tool. This survey investigated whether there was a relationship between the quality of business signage and consumer reaction to the business. While studying the results, they discovered that there was a correlation. Did you know that:

  • Nearly eight out of 10 respondents (76%) said they have gone into a store they have never shopped at before because of its signs.
  • Almost seven in 10 respondents (68%) said they have bought a product or enlisted a service because a sign caught their attention.
  • Even in this social media age where digital marketing is king, a business’s sign can provide influential word-of-mouth advertising. Three out of four respondents indicated they have told others about a store based simply on its signage.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) believed a store’s signage is indicative of the quality of its products or services.
  • The quality of signage is an important consideration, as poor signage can keep prospective consumers from entering a store. Over half of respondents (52%) said they are less willing to enter a store with misspelled or poorly made signs.
  • Almost 60% of respondents said the lack of storefront signage was a strong enough deterrent to keep them from shopping at a store. On average, respondents felt that two to three signs around a storefront is best.

Signs Trumps Social Media for Location-Based Business

Businesses with walk-in / drive through customers derive over 80% of their revenue from customers within their immediate geographic area. Studies show that over 50% of these customer pass that business at least once per week. To be successful, location-based businesses like dentist offices and restaurants must continuously remind passersby of their presence, products/services, and promotions.  Lighted signs are particularly effective in grabbing the attention of passersby, keeping the business top-of-mind and highlighting special promotions.

Which Sign is Best?

Given how important a high-quality illuminated sign is in effective business marketing, it’s extremely important to understand the available range of options. This will help you to select the best sign for your particular needs.

Neon Signs

Neon signs, which use neon gas, have been used for decades and are still popular at many businesses. These signs are visually striking and bring a vintage aesthetic. Authentic neon signs are also handmade, meaning they can serve as art pieces and that no two are exactly alike. These handmade and authentic neon signs can also last for many years when properly cared for.

However, while neon signs are a beautiful and classic signage solution, neon also has quite a few drawbacks. Because it is handmade with neon gas encased in glass, these signs are not only expensive and easy to break but also dangerous when broken, making them a potential hazard to yourself, employees, and customers depending on where you place the sign. This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that neon signs require regular cleaning and maintenance and the fact that repairs can be extremely expensive.

Dot LED Signs

Fixed dot LED signs are known for being an affordable lighted sign option for businesses. These signs run for as little as $30-50. They also have a much lower power consumption than neon, which can save your business money on energy costs.

However, the low price comes at a cost for businesses. These signs are often much less bright than neon, and their pixelated appearance is not as attractive or professional as other signage solutions. Additionally, like neon, if part of the sign burns out, you’ll have to replace the whole unit, making repairs costly. The LEDs also lose their brightness over time, and these signs are not as long-lasting as their neon counterparts. There is also a big discrepancy in quality between different manufacturers. If you choose to purchase a dot LED sign for your business, you’ll want to make sure the sign is UL or CE certified. Many manufacturers will cut corners to make their signs more affordable, but checking for a certification will ensure that the sign you choose is safe for use in your business.

What Makes SpellBrite Different?

When we initially created SpellBrite, we designed our LED signage system to address these drawbacks often associated with neon and dot LED lighting. SpellBrite systems are viewable in direct sunlight and offer 180 degree viewing. The letters are also fully interchangeable, making it easy to change your sign at any time to maximize advertising impact.

For example, a restaurant looking to promote its specials can easily update their lighted SpellBrite sign on a daily or weekly basis to attract new business. These constantly changing signs will help to keep your messages fresh, unlike stagnant signs that will lose 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, changing the sign’s location or message as desired.

SpellBrite also has a sleek, premium look and feel and is easy to install by yourself. If a letter needs replacing, it can be done individually – you won’t have to replace the whole sign. SpellBrite signage also uses long-lasting and ultra-bright LEDs. It is easy to clean and maintain with no sharp edges or excessive heat. Our signs also offer 8 animation options and 6 brightness options at no extra cost, making it possible for you to highlight specific parts of your marketing messages.

There is an old adage in the sign industry: “A business without a sign is a sign of no business.” With your new high-quality lighted business sign (which we at SpellBrite would be happy to help you with!), you can be sure to see your sales increase as you attract more customers.

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