So you’re a bricks and mortar store that’s ticked all the boxes: You’ve got a brand spanking new website, you’re active on social media and you’ve ventured into digital advertising.
However, all of this hard work will go to waste unless you ensure you’ve got the basics right.
“What I always say is, no sign is a sign of no business,” Weal says. “With retailers, you can advertise as much as you like online but customers still have to find the place they’re looking for, and you can’t beat a sign.”
Investing in signage is one of the most valuable long-term channels to direct your money into, Weal says.
“Compared to a newspaper or radio ad, which has one shot to grab customers’ attention, your sign is going to outlast all of them as it’s there to stay,” he says. “In terms of value for money, you can’t beat it.”
Weal is a member of NZ Sign Group, a network of signage companies spanning across New Zealand that each specialise in different aspects of signwriting.
Between the 24 different companies, they are capable of making and fabricating traditional signage right through to more modern technology, like stainless steel, plinth and digital signage.
NZ Sign Group has done signage work for companies like Bendon Lingerie, Smiggle and Countdown in the past.
“Within the group, we can offer everything from a traditional hand painted sign all
the way through to a digital screen. The knowledge in the group is huge,” Weal says.
The group’s wide reach also means that if a business wants signage rolled out nationally, NZ Sign Group can create a consistent product that looks exactly the same no matter where it
is in New Zealand.
“When it comes to branding across the countryside, as a group we work together which gives you the power of buying, plus consistency of brand colours,” Weal says.
The group also has vast expertise regarding what works on a sign and what doesn’t.
Although modern technology means there’s the opportunity to do anything with
a sign, such as flashing lights or LED strips – Weal says that often, simpler is better.
“There’s a lot of flashing lights and bits and pieces, but if you utilise them in the wrong way you can cheapen what you’re trying to portray, versus attracting someone to come inside,” he says. “Sometimes less is more. You don’t want to be getting carried away and
overdoing your look.”
Another common misconception of retail signage is that all it takes is putting a logo out the front of your store. Weal says good sign design is designing a logo based on what it’s
being put onto.
“We design for the finished article and all of its aspects - a shirt, a vehicle, a building – all of those things as you would use as a tool to advertise the company, we would use the logo so it looks right on each component,” he says.
If you’re an independent retailer who’s worried about what you can do with a smaller budget, Weal says you can’t beat getting a car wrapped with your branding. Overall, he says signage is one of the most powerful ways of reeling in potential customers.
“If you put the right message in front of somebody you get the results, and having the right signage is worth its weight in gold. You’ll get your return on it,” he says.