Is Your Signage Wow or Woe?


Your signs should be a reflection of your business’ personality of course, but at the same time, they need to be your “pot of honey” that attracts bees.

Driving between Sydney and the Gold Coast recently, I was shocked to see how many hotels and restaurants have woeful identification outside their premises.

I’ve often said “I reckon I could double the occupancy rate of some of these hotels within a number of weeks by simply replacing their terrible signage with something that’s sexy and Wow!”

Likewise, how many times have you put your foot on the accelerator when you’ve seen the awful signage outside a hotel?

How many times have you gone past a fast food outlet and decided against calling in because the signage outside was a turn-off?

Have a look at some of these awful signs outside hospitality venues. OMG!

And petrol stations! Don’t start me!

I’ll actually drive an extra kilometre or two to frequent the petrol station that has the bright lights, clean signage and attractive convenience store?

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

You see, this Wow Factor stuff is so simple!

People are attracted to attractive things and if your sign outside your accountancy practice, dentistry or petrol station is old and tattered, don’t expect hoards of clients to be busting your doors down.

There’s a hotel that I stay at in Newcastle from time to time, which is a comfortable four-star facility.  But would you believe for the past five or six weeks, their main identification neon sign is buzzing and flickering like the Bates Hotel one from the famous Psycho movie!

In fact, I’ve often stood on the opposite corner of the hotel and checked out the top window to see if the dead mother from the Anthony Perkins movie is rocking backwards and forwards in her chair!

I was speaking at a conference recently where I showed photographs of the sandwich boards outside restaurants and cafes, all promoting half-price lunches and two-for-one specials.

You’ve heard me previously criticise this form of marketing as such signage screams “desperation”.  Furthermore, when you offer a half-price lunch today, it’s very hard to charge full price tomorrow – unless you have a very good reason.

But putting aside my marketing rationale regarding the appropriateness of such offers, most of these sandwich boards are disgusting to say the least.

They’re either chalk boards where the chalk has rubbed off or they are those dreadful illuminated neon-type signs that change from one awful colour to the next!  And, you would be very lucky to find one that doesn’t have rust marks on the side of it and cobwebs all over it!

Just as I believe your receptionist is the director of first impressions for your business, so too is your signage.

Disney and Las Vegas Hotels Know how to use Wow Signage







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