When it comes to marketing your business, the sheer volume of options can make it feel pretty overwhelming. Do you rely on physical signage, or make a heavy digital marketing push? What about flyers in the mail or even newspaper ads? And within each category of marketing, there are plenty of sub-options. So what’s a business owner to do?
Not to worry! You don’t need the help of a huge marketing firm in order to implement a successful marketing plan. With a few general concepts, you can build a strong marketing plan on your own! Here’s what to consider:
Building A Solid Brand
When it comes to marketing, one of the best things you can do for ongoing marketing — and by this, we mean marketing that will build on itself and gain traction as you go — is to start by building a brand for your business, and build brand guidelines that will guide your design decisions. If you don’t know where to start, working with an experienced design team for custom signs, logo work, and so on can give you that foundation. Whether you work with a designer or not, you’ll need to consider more than just colors and aesthetics. Ask yourself:
- What is my business’s mission?
- What do I want the voice/tone/style to be? And how will that support the mission?
- What are branded phrases to consistently use to quickly explain the brand/mission?
- What colors, fonts, and other specifications will carry your brand message?
- What other image, graphic, illustration, and photography standards will be needed?
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a great set of questions to get you thinking in a way that will help you build a comprehensive brand that will carry through from your storefront sign to in-store signage and online branding.
So, Does Everything Need to Match My Brand?
Ideally, yes. But we understand that branding or rebranding everything all at once can get expensive. If it’s not fiscally possible to do one major brand overhaul, start with the basics first. Get your colors, logos, and general brand standards set first. Then, you can start transitioning your business to the new brand guidelines. Next, we suggest connecting with your local sign company to design new exterior signage. We know how tempting it is to move onto your online branding next, but hold off on that, just for a bit, and focus on physical signage first. Whether you choose illuminated channel letters or a new monument sign, that new storefront sign will be an eye-catcher and help to announce (or re-announce) your presence. It’s a good way to announce to the local community that changes are coming.
Does My Store Signage Need to Match My Online Branding?
Yes! The reason we suggested focusing on your exterior signage before your online branding is because, as much as possible, it’s a good idea to make sure your branding is consistent across both digital and physical realms. A mix-and-match approach will likely confuse customers. Since it’s going to be a lot less costly to swap over the branding on your website and social media platforms, save that until you have had the chance to do a signage overhaul.
Update your storefront signage, then turn your attention to your store’s interior. Create or replace banners, LED signs, a wall mural, and any other signage throughout your store. If you work with a local sign company, they can help ensure that your branding is carried from that exterior sign to all of the bigger signage inside your store. You can use those same brand guidelines to create new versions of your temporary signage (like sale signs, etc.). While you’re at it, make sure your new interior store signs offer customers a way to connect with you digitally. Add your website URL and/or a QR code to signage to make it easy to find you online. Once you have that, then you can take your updated site and social media accounts live so that your branding matches across everything.
Experienced Sign Help
If you’re looking to build a stronger brand, start with help from your local, experienced sign company. Contact Sign Central for custom outdoor signs and indoor signage made to match your brand. We serve Lake County and across Chicagoland, so call us today to get started!