Monday, 9 February 2015

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION - SHOP SIGNAGE


How many individual signs do have in your shop?  How many of these signs do you think your customers read? If there’s many, probably none!

I love to see a new shop opening on the high street, especially if it’s an independent or new brand to our shores.  At this point of newness everything looks as it was intended by the designer, everything will be clean and free of clutter and the message to the customer will be clear and the brand identity understood.

But once the business has been operating for a few months the chances are more stuff will appear, more products to entice us to spend and unfortunately, more signs to promote new brands, new services, new promotions, new special offers… But here lies the problem, customers don’t read. In fact the only time they tend to read anything is in the doctor’s surgery while they try to occupy their minds waiting for their appointment or, if they have a food allergy, checking the ingredients on packaging.

Over time we all tend to accumulate stuff but for some reason shops, and in particular independents tend to accumulate signage.  The more signs that get added the more difficult it becomes to inform your customers about a new offer or product because at this point additional POS (point of sale) just gets lost with all the other messages and becomes totally ineffective.

There are usually three types of signage that you’ll find in a shop. The first will be the shop name which is there to strengthen the brand identity, the second will be internal signposting (hopefully aligned with the branding) telling the customer where the main product categories are, cash & wrap etc but then comes all the other stuff – suppliers point of sale, credit card companies, promotions, special offers, information signs, health & safety stuff, organisation membership signs and please don’t get me started on window stickers and shop doors covered in posters and other stuff. Why anyone thinks putting messages on a shop door (other than open/closed and opening times) is beyond me. Doors are for customers to enter and exit not block while they stop and linger to read something, which as I’ve already said they probably won’t anyway! 

So my advice is to take a good look at your shop signage and decide if it’s time to do a bit of de-cluttering and editing. You don’t need to tell everyone everything. If there ever was a time to apply ‘less is more’ to your company ideology then this is it!  Keep within you brand guidelines, keep it visual, keep it simple and keep it to a minimum…

All the best

Peter
#visualcommunicator  #retailconsultant  #designer
tel      07907 691711

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