Premium Sign Solution | 2023 White Paper

How Do Signs Drive Business

How Signs Can Drive Business: A Guide for Business Owners

Many businesses struggle to stand out and attract customers in a crowded marketplace. Effective signage can be the key to success, enhancing visibility, conveying brand identity, and driving growth. Explore this guide to discover how signs can transform your business and learn valuable tips for maximizing their impact.

What a sign is and why it is important for businesses

Signs play a pivotal role in business success. They serve as visual ambassadors, representing a business’s identity, products, and values. By increasing visibility, brand recognition, and foot traffic, signs become essential assets.

Effective signs attract attention, standing out among competitors and luring potential customers. They have the power to influence consumer behavior, with a significant number making unplanned purchases based on compelling signage.

Furthermore, signs reinforce brand awareness by showcasing logos, slogans, and unique brand elements. This consistency creates lasting impressions and builds customer loyalty.

In addition to this, signs facilitate foot traffic by providing clear directions and enticing customers. They create opportunities for engagement and conversions, driving business growth.

Businesses can choose from a variety of sign types to meet their specific needs:

  1. Exterior Signs: These include storefront signs, banners, billboards, and more, designed to attract customers from a distance.

2. Interior Signs: Enhance the shopping experience with directional signs, menu boards, and product displays, guiding customers to their desired destinations.

3. Mobile Signs: Extend marketing efforts with car magnets, vehicle wraps, and other mobile signage options, reaching a broader audience.

Investing in custom signs tailored to a business’s unique identity and value proposition is an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.

Business Branding Signs

Business branding signs are a powerful tool for creating brand awareness, attracting customers, and conveying a business’s unique value. Effective design plays a critical role in driving business growth in multiple ways:

  1. Clear and Compelling Messaging: A sign should convey the business’s main benefit or solution clearly and concisely, avoiding technical jargon. Including a compelling call to action motivates customers to take the next step, be it visiting a website, making a call, or entering a store.

2. Distinctive Visual Identity: Consistency in visual elements, such as colors, fonts, logos, and images, reflects a business’s brand personality and culture. A well-designed sign should stand out from competitors and its surroundings, leaving a lasting impression.

3. Strategic Placement: Strategic positioning is key. Signs should reach the maximum potential customers, remaining visible from various angles and distances while avoiding obstructions or distractions. Factors like lighting, weather, and traffic conditions should also be considered. Durability and easy maintenance are essential.

Successful businesses exemplify the impact of effective signs:

  1. Starbucks: Their iconic green logo and catchy phrases create strong brand recognition. High-traffic areas like malls, airports, and highways feature these signs, often promoting seasonal specials.
  1. Apple: Minimalist and elegant designs showcase innovative products. Prominent locations, like billboards and buses, build anticipation for new releases.
  1. Coca-Cola: The timeless red-and-white signs use emotional and aspirational messages, appealing universally in diverse markets such as stadiums, cinemas, and festivals.

Business branding signs are a vital aspect of marketing strategy, wielding the power to leave an indelible mark on potential customers and drive business success.

How signs can help businesses stand out from competitors

Signs play a crucial role in setting businesses apart from rivals. They establish a distinctive and memorable brand identity, seize the attention of potential customers, and convey the business’s unique value. Nonetheless, not all signs are equal. Selecting the appropriate sign type hinges on factors like industry, location, target audience, and marketing objectives. For instance, a restaurant might profit from a menu board showcasing offerings and prices, while a retail store could benefit from an outdoor sign spotlighting products and promotions.

Signs profoundly impact business performance. A FedEx study reveals that 76% of consumers have ventured into an unfamiliar store based solely on its sign, and 68% have made purchases due to eye-catching signs. Moreover, 75% of consumers have shared store recommendations based on signage, illustrating the potential for word-of-mouth marketing.

Yet, signs come with costs. Expenses vary based on size, design, material, installation, and maintenance. HomeAdvisor reports an average signage cost of $3,000, ranging from $500 to $5,000. Smaller signs run $50 to $1,000, while larger ones, such as billboards, can reach $200,000. Consequently, businesses must budget carefully and assess the sign’s return on investment.

To gauge sign effectiveness, businesses can track foot traffic before and after installation, gather customer feedback through surveys, or use analytics tools to monitor online activity driven by the sign. These strategies help optimize signage, enabling businesses to stand out and achieve marketing goals.

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) for Signage

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) for your signage is essential to understand the value it brings to your business. ROI helps you determine whether your signage investment is profitable.

ROI Formula

ROI = (Revenue from Signage – Cost of Signage) / Cost of Signage x 100%

Here’s how to calculate ROI step by step:

  1. Estimating Revenue from Signage 
    To determine revenue from signage, multiply the number of customers attracted by your signage by the average revenue per customer. For example, if your signage draws in 100 new customers monthly, each spending an average of $50, your revenue from signage is:

    Revenue from Signage = 100 customers x $50 = $5,000 per month

2. Calculating the Cost of Signage

The cost of signage includes the initial purchase and installation expenses, as well as ongoing maintenance and operational costs. For instance, if your sign costs $1,000 to buy and install, with a monthly maintenance fee of $100, your cost of signage in the first month is

Cost of Signage = $1,000 (initial) + $100 (monthly) = $1,100 for the first month, and $100 for each subsequent month.

3. Calculating ROI
Now, you can calculate the ROI for the first month

ROI = ($5,000 – $1,100) / $1,100 x 100% = 354.55%

This means you earned a profit of 354.55% on your signage investment in the first month. In the second month

ROI = ($5,000 – $100) / $100 x 100% = 4,900%

Indicating a profit of 4,900% on your signage investment in the second month.

It’s important to remember that these numbers are hypothetical and can vary based on your unique circumstances. Consider factors like seasonality, competition, customer behavior, and market conditions when assessing your actual ROI. Use this formula as a helpful guideline, not as an absolute answer.

Placing Signs Strategically for Maximum Impact

Strategically placing signs is a vital component of effective marketing for any business. Signs can draw in customers, convey value, and establish a memorable brand image. Yet, not all signs perform equally, and location profoundly influences their effectiveness. Here are key considerations for choosing the optimal sign location:


The sign must be easily seen from a distance and various angles, free from obstructions or distractions. It should be appropriately sized, with high contrast for readability, and well-lit for visibility at night or in low light conditions.

Traffic Flow

Position the sign where potential customers congregate, near busy roads, intersections, or entrances. Adapt the message to match traffic speed and direction. A highway sign requires a concise message for passing motorists, while one near pedestrians may be more detailed and persuasive.


Ensure your sign stands out from competitors by maintaining a distinctive, consistent design reflecting your brand identity and value proposition. Choose colors, fonts, logos, images, and shapes suitable for your audience and industry². Avoid placing it too close or far from competitors to prevent confusion or reduced exposure.

To maximize impact

Conduct a Site Survey: Assess the location’s physical characteristics, traffic patterns, and environmental factors. This informs sign type, size, design, and placement.

Test Different Locations: Measure a sign’s impact on customer awareness, perception, and behavior through surveys, feedback forms, or analytics tools. Compare results to optimize your signage strategy.

Follow Regulations: Adhere to local authorities’ signage rules regarding size, design, lighting, and permits to avoid legal issues or fines.

Effective sign placement demands careful planning, research, testing, and adherence to regulations. By considering these factors, businesses can create signs that effectively reach and influence potential customers, driving business growth.

Real-world Success Stories

Signs serve as potent tools for businesses to establish brand awareness, attract customers, and convey their value propositions. Here are notable examples of businesses that have adeptly harnessed the power of signage:


This coffee giant leverages its iconic green logo and mermaid symbol on signs for robust brand recognition and loyalty. Incorporating catchy phrases like “The best coffee for the best you” or “It’s not just coffee. It’s Starbucks,” these signs appear in high-traffic areas such as malls, airports, and highways, often featuring seasonal promotions or new products. Starbucks also employs outdoor billboards, indoor menu boards, and vehicle wraps to showcase its offerings.


The fast-food behemoth utilizes its red-and-white color scheme and script font to create a timeless, universally appealing signage. With emotionally charged and aspirational messages like “Open happiness” or “The pause that refreshes,” these signs find homes in diverse global markets, including stadiums, cinemas, and festivals, frequently featuring local celebrities or cultural references. McDonald’s also capitalizes on eye-catching signs near high-traffic areas like roads, intersections, and entrances.


The retail giant relies on its blue-and-yellow logo and slogan “Save money. Live better.” to convey its value proposition of offering low prices and quality products. Featuring clear, informative messages like “Everyday low price” or “Rollback,” Walmart strategically places signs at storefronts, aisles, and checkout counters. Navigation and product promotion also benefit from various signage types, including directional signs, informational signs, product displays, and digital signage.

These businesses’ adept use of creative, attractive, and well-placed signs has enabled them to cultivate a distinct and enduring brand image, propelling their growth and success.

Tips for Effective Sign Usage

For businesses seeking to harness the power of signs effectively, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose the Right Type of Sign: Select signage types that align with your industry, location, target audience, and marketing objectives. For instance, restaurants benefit from menu boards, while retail stores thrive with outdoor signs. Common sign types include exterior signs, interior signs, and mobile signs.

2. Careful Design: Craft an eye-catching and memorable sign with a clear, concise message that highlights your main benefit. Maintain a consistent visual identity that reflects your brand’s personality, values, and culture. Use appropriate colors, fonts, logos, images, and shapes tailored to your target audience and industry. Stand out from competitors and the surrounding environment.

3. Strategic Placement: Position your sign where it will garner maximum visibility. High-traffic areas like busy roads, intersections, or entrances are prime spots. Adapt the message to suit traffic flow speed and direction, and ensure unobstructed visibility. Adequate lighting is crucial for nighttime and low-light conditions.

4. Track Effectiveness: Measure the impact of your signs on customer awareness, perception, and behavior through surveys, feedback forms, analytics tools, or software. Compare results across different sign locations, types, designs, and messages. By monitoring sign effectiveness, you can fine-tune your signage strategy to achieve marketing goals.

Leveraging signs effectively can help create brand awareness, attract customers, and communicate your value proposition. By implementing these tips, businesses can optimize their signage to drive growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does signage help a business?

Signage boosts business visibility, brand awareness, and foot traffic. It conveys essential information, persuades, and influences customer decisions.

How effective are signs for marketing?

Signs are highly effective marketing tools, reaching a broad audience with customizable content. Studies show that signs drive foot traffic and influence purchasing decisions.

How does signage increase sales?

Signage attracts more customers, influences their purchase behavior, and promotes urgency through special offers and promotions. Replacing a storefront sign can directly boost revenue.

What is signage marketing strategy?

Signage marketing strategy involves selecting the right sign type, designing it to be eye-catching, placing it strategically, and tracking its impact to achieve marketing goals.

What is signage marketing strategy?

  • Signage marketing strategy involves selecting the right sign type, designing it to be eye-catching, placing it strategically, and tracking its impact to achieve marketing goals.

Do signs increase sales?

Yes, signs can significantly increase sales by attracting customers and motivating purchases, especially when promoting special offers or events. Replacing or upgrading signage can lead to revenue growth.

Final Thoughts on Signs Driving Business

In a nutshell, signs are indispensable assets for businesses seeking to drive growth. They serve as powerful tools to increase visibility, convey brand identity, and influence customer behavior. By strategically placing signs, carefully designing them, and tracking their effectiveness, businesses can optimize their signage strategy to achieve marketing goals. Real-world success stories like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Walmart exemplify how effective signs can create lasting brand impressions and drive business success. For businesses considering signage, following tips for effective sign usage can help them make the most of this valuable marketing tool. Signs are not just signs; they are catalysts for business growth and brand recognition.