Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Should You Use Witty Names and Pun Words For Your Signage?

Funny store can either be effective, or can make your store look unprofessional, so perhaps, the safest answer to this question would be an ambivalent YES and NO.

YES because funny signs can encourage customers to visit your place. It provides a homey, laid-back and casual vibe that makes them feel comfortable and welcomed. This has been proven to be effective, that even big shot brands occasionally adapt this strategy to attract more customers.

Photo courtesy:

On the other hand, NO because of course, you would want your customers to take your business seriously, right? Hence, this does not suggest that every establishment owner should get back to the drawing board just to come up with a classy joke that they can incorporate with their business. That’s why don’t take this post’s every word for it.

It’s A Sign!

There are quite a number of stores around the world that deemed successful not only because of the goods and services that they are offering. Their store signs are one of the major factors that led their business towards fame and popularity (some of them, locally to say the least). Most of these businesses are in the food & beverage industry, furniture manufacturing, grooming and even marketing firms.

With these quirky, unusual names and signages that use word play to impose a unique identity, are they risking the reputation of their business? Isn’t it self-deprecation? Maybe, or maybe not.

As for the owner of one particular furniture and antique shop in Michigan, the strategy seems to work well. In fact, according to their website, “[Despite the name] at Wooden-It-Be-Nice, we take our work very seriously. If you are looking for steady craftsmanship and detailed attention, stop by our store room.”

Wooden It Be Nice antique shop in Belvidere, IL.
Photo courtesy: Wooden It Be Nice Facebook fan page

Got the Guts to Go for the Gag?

Another example of this is in Manila, Philippines, where the “unapologetically incorrect”, experimental Japanese-inspired joint, Wrong Ramen, made a bold move of trying a “reverse psychology” kind of approach in marketing their brand. True to its name, the restaurant offers its “different kind” of ramen in a self-deprecating way by deliberately lambaste itself in almost any way imaginable, telling everyone their ramen sucks, and even promotes other competitors. As a result, more people were instead intrigued, tried and actually loved the food they’re serving. In an interview, Dwight Co, managing director and founder of the ramen joint told about the initial plan was “scary, uncomfortable, and most people we told about our plan thought it was a bad idea. But we felt that’s precisely why it had so much potential. Nobody else would dare do it”
Photo courtesy:

Not My Kind of Thing

But unlike the said establishments mentioned earlier, hospitals, clinics, law firms, hotels, fine dining restaurants and schools are a different story. These institutions rarely, if not never use this strategy because primarily, these businesses have a strict code of conduct, and making jokes out of a scrolling LED board is the last thing in their mind. Therefore, it is not apropos to use such signage. Otherwise, these businesses may compromise their credibility (unless if they are trying to pull a “Saul Goodman”). Although there are still some straight-edge offices that unintentionally carry some of the weirdest “cannot be unseen” names displayed outside their offices, but refused to re-brand their business and at the same time, managed to maintain its strict, formal and straightforward integrity despite the laughable title. Call it coincidence, call it intentional, as long as it works for them, then it’s all good.
Wigger Law Firm in North Charleston, South Carolina
Photo courtesy

Are You Willing to Take the Risk?

As a business owner, deciding on whether or not to come up with a playful signage will still be up on you. As said earlier, you must have to gauge it according to the type and nature of your business. If you think a funny attention-grabber signage will get the customers to like your place, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it. However, be mindful, as this name will forever be associated with you and your business.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Avoid Tacky Signage for Your Business

If you look the word “tacky” in the dictionary, you’ll get “characterized by lack of good breeding… In short, having a bad taste. As a budding businessperson, you wouldn’t want your business to be associated with that awful word, agree? Now, imagine if you own a classy restaurant that serves good food, fine wine and cozy ambiance. Now mix that with a bad signage, what do you think customers will say about you and your swanky fine dining hub?
WHAT’S WITH THE SIGN? A good straightforward business signage will effectively help in building your professional business credibility.

WHAT’S WITH THE SIGN? A good straightforward business signage will effectively help in building your professional business credibility.

You see, it’s difficult to build up a reputation, particularly when it comes to handling business. But it’s easy enough to destroy it, that even a small signage issue could ruin everything because of its bad taste. No one is to blame but you. So before checking and replacing your business sign, here are some tips you might want to consider these tips on avoiding tacky practices and strategies for your business signage.

Use the Perfect Font That Best Suits Your Business

Fonts like Comic Sans and Bradley Hand will never make it to the golden gates of being classy, so don’t even think about using it. Meanwhile, common fonts such as Helvetica, Trajan and Impact are way too overused, not to mention close to being tacky and amateurish, especially if not utilized right. Instead, come up with a font that will complement your business. You own a computer shop? Use a minimalist yet formidable font to accompany your logo; You’re in the fastfood business? Use a large, inviting font with little shadow/overlay effect to emphasize a homey, wholesome and welcome-y vibe. The keypoint here is to make your signage correlate with the nature of your business.

Use a Well-Lit Signboard Accordingly

Let’s make this a concrete example, since we’re talking about “lighting”. Say, you own a lights and fixtures shop. But then, you can’t even afford to change the lights of your signage. This will impose a bad reflection to your business because for one thing, you don’t even have the decency to replace the lights of your own sign. This is in utter bad taste, right? In installing your sign, make sure it is well-lit and visible enough for the public to see. It is better if you use LED sign because it is more efficiency in terms of dynamics and energy consumption.

Avoid “Punny” Business Names

Unless you intend to your business to be funny (which is apropos for comic book stores, barbershops and the likes), then carry on. But don’t get this the wrong way, punny business names and signages are funny, at times effective. But if you want your patrons and potential customers to take your biz seriously and look up to you as a “professional” businessperson, then you may want to consider use another business name. Make it simple, straightforward and of course, original.

Never Use Cardboard or Paper as Substitute/Makeshift Signage

Writable LED board is as good as having a traditional chalk board as a substitute in the event your main business signage conks out

The fastest way to throw away your business’ classy credibility is to use a makeshift signage using cardboard. Instead, you may use LED board and install it by the window for a short time while your signage is being repaired or replaced. In addition, you may also employ a chalkboard signage (this works especially for coffee shops and diners).

Having a bad signage is quite a major turn-off. Don’t commit this mistake, otherwise your business “creds” will hike down a couple of notch or so. And chances are, even your “regulars” will turn their backs on you because of a simple tackiness. So much for being in such bad taste, it’s time to take down your current signage and install a new one.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few More Things You Need To Introduce Your Newly-Opened Restaurant Business

You’ve secured all the permits and licenses; negotiations with your suppliers are all done; A set of menu is well-thought; manpower is ready; your shop is situated right in the heart of the city; Looks like everything is all set for your restaurant grand opening… Except for a few things: An effective way to introduce your restaurant to the public!

Halt! Before thinking about cutting off the ribbon to officially inaugurate your food joint, here are a few more must-haves you need to consider in owning a restaurant:

A Catchy Name and a Logo

Giving a restaurant name is easy. But deciding a “great” restaurant name is crucial. “Why?” you may ask. Because that particular name will forever be associated with your restaurant and the type of food that you’ll be serving. Your restaurant’s name will be the identifier that will eventually be imprinted on your customers’ memory, along with their dining experience from your joint. Go for a simple yet catchy name. Be creative but don’t be tacky. You may also consider using wordplays and inside jokes but not to the extent that it will alienate customers.

Signages to Welcome Your Customers

Of course, signage is a must-have to every restaurant, as it serves as virtual usher for potential customers that pretty much says: “We’re open for business!” These signages, particularly open signs, downright inform and encourage customers to enter the shop as they’re very much welcome to come in and dine. Business hours sign is also a good way to tell the public your resto’s serving hours. Nowadays, the use of dynamic LED signages in most food & beverage industries is highly-recommended, as it draws more attention than that of a regular open signs.

A Dazzling Menu to Showcase your Latest Offerings

A good menu for the day is what will drive customers to visit your shop even more. Apart from the traditional menu that your waiters are proactively handing over to customers, it is always a good thing to post your specials and all-time favorites to a menu board. Not only customer will be enticed to order the mouth-watering dish that you’ll be serving for the day, having a menu board exudes a colorful vibe to your restaurant, bringing a warm, vibrant accent to your restaurant that makes your place more appealing.

Advertisements and Promos to Boost Sales and Customer Turnover

Using special promotions and advertising will greatly benefit your restaurant in attracting more customers to dine in your place. This is one way of telling the whole town that your restaurant is up and ready for service. Along with various traditional advertising schemes such as flyers, t-shirts and posters, you can also come up with different promotional antics like free dinner, gift cards, vouchers, discounts, combo meals, holiday specials and even tie-ups with other establishments to promote your food hub. Furthermore, go virtual by creating fan pages on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to market your restaurant.

Along with these must-haves, it wouldn’t hurt to test the waters by going on a soft opening firsthand to gather some feedbacks as to how good your food business is doing. With this, you can make adjustments and further improvement in terms of service, theme and life hacks on running a resto business.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Make Your Business Signage Noticeable

Imagine if your hole-in-the-wall coffee shop is sandwiched right between two other establishments that has nothing to do with coffee. Not that they try to block off potential customers from coming to your joint. Despite your business is situated in a perfect location to reach your target market, it just seems that your shop is somehow unnoticeable to the public...Virtually invisible, if you may. What could possibly be a problem?

Perhaps, what you need is a signage revamp.

As posted last week on this blog, business storefront signage is a huge factor in promoting and introducing your business. It basically becomes your business’ identity for your customers to recognize your brand. That’s why in case you are currently experiencing the sited example above, it is clearly a “sign” that you need to do something to make passersby notice your business signage. Here are some ideas:

1. Be Bold Enough – Use bold letters to emphasize your signage. Along with the right color palate, make sure the backdrop contrasts to the letters to superimpose your business name.

2. Size Matters – Assuming that you have a decent design for your business signage but it looks as though people still aren’t noticing your business. Maybe the size of your signage is too small for the people to see. Go for a larger scale instead.

3. See it From Such Great Heights – The higher your signage, the more people will see it. Hence, more potential customers will be compelled to visit your place. But see to it that the size of the font is proportioned to the height to ensure visibility even from afar.

4. Be More Graphic – Graphics in business signage can make a big difference in terms of pursuing customers to check out your business. You can add moving elements or strategic lighting to exude a warmer vibe and welcoming aura to your store. However, do not over-do it as it will only make your signage look cluttered.

5. LED-ify Your Signage
Dynamic LED signage such as programmable LED signs, LED boards and scrolling signs can draw the public’s attention to your shop. LED signages not only can add color to your store, you can also infuse a little creativity by putting “punny” quotes, what’s today’s specials and even little doodles.

6. Position Your Signage Strategically – Of course, none of your effort would ever work if your business signage is located in a low-key spot. Make sure to place and position your signage somewhere visible to the public.