Bad Signs for Business

The Personal Experience Factor (big lever #2 in the Advertising Performance Equation) begins before your customer walks through your door.

It actually begins the moment your store comes into view from whatever distance it can first be seen. In some cases, this can be miles away. For example, the local Cabela's store in my town has their colors and logo on a big water tower that can be seen from about 10 miles away. 

For most businesses, this will be a block or two at most. In a mall, unless you have some outside signage, it will be walking distance and line-of-sight. 

So, what's the first mental image (FMI) of your signage? Does it set the stage for the experience you plan to deliver once a customer crosses your threshold? Is it sending some unintended messages?

I snapped this picture on a recent trip to Canada. Let's talk about it. 


(click the picture for a full-size pop-up view)

This business is located on a very busy feeder street 1 block from downtown. There is a sidewalk, but no appreciable setback from the street. 

Please note: The answers to the following questions are purely subjective. We know that it is wrong to judge a book by its cover. Yet, we proceed to do it. I don't know the owner of this store. Perhaps we can help give the owner an outsider's perspective of the message being sent to customers.

What do you think? What do you expect when you walk through the door? What will the experience be like? Given the workmanship of the sign, what can you expect from the rest of the shop? From the staff? What will the attitude of the owner be? How will you feel about yourself if you purchase here? Will you tell your friends that you purchased here? 

3 thoughts on “Bad Signs for Business

  1. Dennis Collins

    Are you serious? We always judge a book by its cover. Human nature. And this “cover” is out of focus (pardon the pun). Let’s see…how many ideas can I get on one small sign? Maybe it’s a contest or something. Unfortunately this owner loses. Personal Foul: 15 yards: Fowl Signage.

  2. Howard Galvin

    Quite fankly I believe the sign os too busy. Central Value Message should dominate the sign. There is too much other stuff going on on the sign, a clear case of ad clutter!


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