If you have a brick and mortar store, do yourself a huge favor. It is exactly the first thing I do with any new retail client. Walk out in front of your store. Walk up the street and see what your store and signage looks like coming from up the street. Walk down the other way and check out the look from the other direction. Are you near an intersection or are there shops on the other side of the street from you with potential customers who might be viewing your store? What kind of impression are you making?
First, can a person driving by tell what business you are in with a glance? Is there anything going on that would cause them to look? Will someone who commutes by every day have any new reason to look and be reminded that you have something they might need?
Second, would you want to shop in your store based on the appearance of the store? Is the shop frontage clean, well maintained, modern (where applicable), and inviting? Or is it time for a facelift.
Third, what can you do to extend your street visibility? Ideas:
✓ Signs on your storefront that angle in such a way as to be seen from well up the street
✓ Three dimensional signs
✓ Balloons, banners, and other temporary items
✓ Vehicles with signage on them parked strategically to extend visuals
✓ Sandwich boards and yard signs or flags in parking areas and easements
✓ Sign spinners and other characters
✓ A really well done mural on a traffic or parking lot facing wall
Yes, some of these things will be "against the rules" of the city or the landlord. I don't want to be accused of suggesting your break the rules, but … Okay. Yes, I am. I had one client who was constantly harassed by the city over sidewalk signs. His competitor just two miles away in the same city had multiple sidewalk signs, some even weren't in front of his shop. City never did anything.
Next, check out the shop at night. Can you be seen? Can your unique selling proposition be seen after dark? Lit signs might set you back a few thousand dollars. You won't find many ways to spend marketing dollars that are more productive. Obviously, if your town rolls up the sidewalks at 7:00 and there really is no traffic, maybe not. But, during the winter, there are usually at least six hours in the evening when good traffic is going to potentially see your lighted sign. Maybe thousands of cars that are your most local potential clients. How much do you pay to get a small add in the newspaper that has nowhere close to the same potential reach?
If you are not on the street, or work out of your home, consider a vehicle with a full wrap (sign is about $2000) that you can park in interesting places where the traffic would be your perfect demographic.
You may be surprised that there are no rules or at least none that are enforced regarding hanging banners out of your windows in a multistory building. I know one company that did really well with such a banner.
More ideas? Send them to me by return email.