Brick and mortar stores are no strangers to competition. In fact, roughly ten years ago, small businesses were in trouble whenever a new Walmart would pop up in a town. Studies found that the closer a small business was to a Walmart, the more likely it was to end up closing. For every closer a mile was to Walmart, it was 6% more likely to close, while a whopping 35-60% of stores that were located the closest would go out of business. (Source).
Walmart was certainly an entity to be reckoned with. However, this was mostly a threat for smaller businesses that did not have the same marketing budget as the bigger companies, like Best Buy, JC Penny, and Toys R’ Us who managed to weather the Walmart storm cloud. Fast forward to today though, and these brick and mortar stores are quaking and folding in the force of a much more formidable foe, one whose omnipresence makes it a threat no matter where a store is located. Being that most of you are business, you most likely have already guessed that I am referring to the online giant, Amazon.
JC Penney closed 140 of its stores in 2017 and announced that it will continue to close stores this year. Best Buy plans to close all 250 of its mobile phone stores. Toys R Us just recently released a statement saying that it will close or sell all 735 of its stores bringing an end to the only store that really seemed to be ours as children as we strolled happily through aisles and aisles of dolls, games, and action figures (we are in intentionally leaving out the countless temper tantrums that could easily ruin the nostalgia we’ve reminded you of). Even Walmart is not immune, which will close 63 of its Sam’s Club locations impacting 9,400 employees.
So what does all this mean for you and your business? Well, whether you are a small business like ours, or a Fortune 500 company, upping and adjusting your marketing strategy and making the in-store experience more authentic for customers seem to be the direction many are recommending. We concur with these strategies and luckily, we are in a business that provides a solution to both of these methods. Let’s break down a few reasons why signage can be the answer to fighting the competition.
#1: Gives Consumers Back Some Control
Research has found that customers go to brick and mortar stores because they are looking for authentic shopping. In a world where they are bombarded by constant in their face marketing, customers are tired of being aggressively sold to. We cannot even look at our cell phones without getting a text from some company advertising their products even though we have no memory of signing up for these messages. When we reply to this communication with STOP in all caps, we really mean it!
Signage, like Monument Signs or Store-Front Signs, gives consumers the chance to take back some control of when and where they choose to learn about a store and its products. If they see your sign and are interested, they will come to you and if not, they can move on without their day being disrupted. Furthermore, according to the research, with a brick and mortar store, most of your consumers come from within a 5-mile radius, which means that potential customers will have the chance to see your company twice a day or roughly 60 times a month. That gives them plenty of time to decide if they want to check your business out without the frustrating experience of being bombarded wherever they go. Don’t be just another company that tries to aggressively convince consumers to give them a try with the next “best deal”. They get enough of that. Let them see your impressive signage and come to you.
#2: The Original Form of Marketing
It does not get much more authentic for customers than signage, which is a form of advertising that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The Romans used stone or terracotta signage to announce public events. Later, during China’s Song Dynasty, people started using signage for effective branding.
Signage continued to develop and from the late 1890’s to the 1960’s, when chipped- glue
window displays, gold leafing, and sign painting were the norm for signage advertising (our owner actually learned to create signage with his dad painting by hand). We can still see hints of these past signs today! Then in the 1980’s the emergence of neon signs took center stage and since then, this more permanent, long-lasting type of signage continues to dominate the sign industry today.
In a world of online businesses and temporary, ambiguous marketing that floats through the internet like a cloud in the sky, advertise your long-lasting, permanent business with signage that dates back to ancient times. What can be more authentic than that?
#3: Enhances the Customer Experience
Bloomberg Businessweek survey revealed that “delivering a great customer experience” has become the new imperative: 80% of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective. This is different than simply providing great customer service, which is an aspect of a customer’s experience.
But what exactly is the elusive customer experience? Well, according to the Harvard Business Review, it is “the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.” It is said that all the little things add up in the end, and this is another way of looking at the customer experience. It is all the ways that a customer interacts with your company from the coffee and snacks that are served in your lobby to the day they sign on the dotted line. And one important component of a customer’s experience is your signage. With more than two-thirds of consumers believing that the quality of a business’ signage is directly related to the business itself, it is imperative that the signage component of the customer experience (from Monument Signs to Lobby Signs) make the right impression on your customers.
Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years. Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation. Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!
© Landmark Signs 2018