Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How Not to Use Signs: 6 Common Mistakes

Creating an attractive and eye-catching sign is important in improving your retail sales. As a store or business owner, you may know this. You may also have learned (hopefully not the hard way) that a nondescript sign is just a waste of the money spent. What many people do not realize is that the way a sign is used is as important as the sign itself. Here are six common mistakes that stores and businesses make in  using signs.

1. Wrong placement: Suppose you own a bookshop. You have bestsellers right near the entrance. You also have a great selection of computer books you want your customers to glance through. It’s tempting to place signs near the entrance to direct customersto the appropriate sections. But what often happens is that they see, for example, the sign ‘bestsellers’directing them to the section of computer books. The last thing you want is for your customers to think that your store is disorganized.

2. Overwriting: Never overwrite a sign by covering a product or price with another product or price . This smacks of desperation. You are eager to sell, not desperate. Would you buy something from a salesperson desperate to make a sale, or would you wonder about the cause of the desperation?

3.  Filling the entrance with signs: Sticking all kinds of signs on a glass door is a no-no. The door should allow people to have a preview of the merchandise beforeentry. Blocking the view with signs, defeats that purpose.

4.  Putting up ineffectual signs: If a product warranty is a selling point, have a sign that highlights it. However, do not clutter the sign with terms and conditions. No one has the time to read it all, and the selling point will be lost in the clutter.

5.  Putting up a long list of do’s and don’ts: “Eatables and drinks not allowed” or “No pets” is fine. But a long list of do’s and don’ts is not what your customers want to see when they enter your establishment. They are the reason you are in business. You want your customers to be relaxed, not get annoyed. Keep you do’s and don’ts to a minimum.

6.  Letting customers see signs meant for employees: Some signs are meant only for staff. You don’t want customers in your restaurant to see signs asking employees to wash hands before serving food. They will wonder what kind of behavior caused you to put up such a sign, and the conclusion will be that there is a cleanliness issue. Signs meant for staff should be where only staff will see them.

Spending money to have your signs designed and fabricated by a professional signage company is a good investment. The signs you get will be effective in increasing your sales and will justify the investment you have made on them many times over. Just make sure that the signs are put to right uses in the right manner to avoid negative impacts on your customers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Trade Show Displays - the latest Buzz

The latest buzz in marketing department all round the world is this new trend – the ‘Trade Show Displays’. Essentially, these displays are graphic tools or devices used in trade fairs or shows. The idea is to popularize your brand by attracting visitors at these display booths where sales representatives can then pitch in, handing out brochures or interacting with visitors.  
Imagine strolling into a trade fair and a big banner stands out with vibrant colors and intriguing caption images. Submissive to our senses, as we all are, we automatically get drawn to it, thus fulfilling the purpose of these displays.
Diversity in Display:
The displays are of variant types. They vary in terms of designs, materials, complexity, cost, graphics but all for the sole purpose of visually representing a particular brand. Usually these come in vivid and bold colors, striking images and catchy phrases that are enticing and charming to human senses.
  • Pop-up & Back wall Displays
These are lightweight, portable displays that can be set up on site without much effort. They have flexible graphic panels that are pulled up along the support of a spring loaded roller. These are also popular as wall murals and even often used for designing home or office interiors. At trade fairs, these are commonly used as individual stands or in side by side series. 
  • Banner Stand Displays
These are similar to pop up displays but contain single free standing panel. They are mostly one large graphic in a standing or roll-up frame panels. There can be outdoor banners, motorized banners, X-banner or retractable stands and framed tension fabrics as well.
  • Tabletop Displays
These are probably some of the easiest and hassle free displays. The tables come with rented tents or booths at the place of exhibit. Only some handy metal framework and graphic panels need to be carried. The graphics are attached to the frameworks via mechanical fasteners, hooks and loops, magnets, etc. It involves little carrying effort and minimal manual intervention while setting up. 
  • Table Cover Displays
If Tabletop displays appeared to be easy and effective, Table Cover display is sure to top that. Here, the exteriors of the tables are simply draped with custom covers, graphic images turning the otherwise bland cover to a branding opportunity. 
  • Modular exhibits
These are standardized structures constituting of panels and frameworks and also pipes and drapes in many cases. Some of these are made up of aluminium extrusions or thin metal frameworks that are moulded to suit the exhibitor’s requirements. These are similar to pop up displays but while pop-ups are primarily background exhibits, modular displays consume an entire space. They are re-used and often rented or sold to many interested parties. 
  • Truss Displays
These are heavy-duty displays that are often seen as backdrops in television shows or entertainment platforms. These are of robust quality with interchangeable and customizable graphics and durable constructions.  
Display Materials:
There are no mandates when it comes to what kind of materials to be used for construction and preparation of different types of displays. 
  • For graphic images, compatible fabrics and substrates are used. These substrates can be rigid and semi-rigid depending on the forms of plastic and acrylics used. 
  • For frameworks and panels, light metals are often used. Aluminium sleets are one of the most commonly used material for constructing pipes and poles. 
  • Another trend is to utilize various building materials like fabric, laminate, metal, etc. in one display. These are called ‘custom modular hybrid displays’.
  • A recent design technique to reduce weight and setup or dismantle time is to use dye sublimation for printing, tension fabrics, etc. 
  • Eco-friendly troops often opt for bamboo shoots. They give a natural and different look to their displays. These are typically called ‘bamboo displays’.
 Display Configurations:
Statistically speaking, rental realities demand that trade show displays should fall under one of the below mentioned categories:
  • Linear configuration – The exhibit is lined up with displays on either side and/or back of the exhibit space.
  • Peninsula configuration – The exhibit forms a peninsula with aisles converging from three sides.
  • Split island configuration – The exhibit, in this case, shares a common wall, back to back with a peninsula exhibit.
  • Island configuration – The exhibit is exposed with aisles on four sides. 
  • End-cap configuration – The exhibit, in this case, is composed of two booths and exposed with aisles from three sides.
 Budding Industry around Trade Show Displays:
The design and sale of trade show displays have helped bloom an entire industry around it. Some companies have exhibit showrooms in cities, while some operate online. They are primarily involved in–
  • Custom designs
  • Branding strategies
  • Material estimates
  • Manufacture and deliver the displays as contracted 
They also indulge themselves in buy and sell of used exhibits and/or materials. 
In some areas like South America, Asia and Europe, this industry revolves around ‘build and burn’ strategy mainly. The exhibits here are set up for one show and then dismantled. 
However, in some places like North America, it is more common to rent or purchase and re-use the once fabricated exhibits across locations for different shows. 
Why Trade Show Displays:
Last but not the least, how these trade show displays are important. To sum up the advantages that are already mentioned above and few more, trade show displays are spreading epidemically because of – 
  • Convenience – The displays are lightweights, quick designs, and handy portables and provide easy installations.
  • Business branding – At trade shows, the first things that attendees see are the exhibits. This automatically creates the first impact and sets the tone thereafter.
  • Flexibility – The modular and portable accessories can adapt to ever changing needs. Moreover, graphics are more or less interchangeable, adding to its flexibility.
  • Rent/Sell-out option – The exhibits are often available for rent, which takes away a lot of inception effort. Again if you do not want to rent, then selling them out to many interested companies is also another inviting option now.