4 Steps to Guide the Signage Process

When it comes to signage we see it time and time again where there simply isn’t enough thought put in to getting the most bang for your buck.  “I need menu boards,” or “I need an outdoor sign with my company name on it,” are examples of the conversation starters we constantly hear.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it certainly gets the dialogue going, but if you are looking for more insight or direction on the appropriate course of action, you’d better make sure you are dealing with the right company.

A lot of companies work with a “transaction” mindset meaning that they want to make as many sales as quickly and easily as possible (this makes sense for a lot of commodity-type businesses).  Look, I am in the business of selling as much as I can as well, but not at the cost of putting something out there that I don’t personally believe in.  Call it ethics, integrity or even a business strategy, but I have always felt that spending more time with folks to understand their objectives will provide them a better opportunity to succeed, thus possible future residual work.  From a sales standpoint you can avoid the “free consulting” if you define the rules of engagement up front.  This is not going to be a dissertation on “how to sell” (I could blab my two cents about that all day long) but there are 4 steps that will help guide the process from start to finish.  Keep in mind that each of these 4 steps could be broken out even further, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I won’t do here.

Display Menu Boards

Step #1 – Make sure the objectives are defined

This is an area where there sometimes is some confusion as to who is responsible for what.  Not long ago, we were approached by a company that was struggling with how to convey their messaging.  They alluded to us being the experts and needing our assistance.  When asked, “What are your objectives?” we were told again that they were hopeful that we could help with that.  This is where the first line has to be drawn in the sand.  Although I shudder when we are thrown in the same bucket as sign companies, our core competencies do not include creating marketing goals but helping to execute those already in place.  In a separate but similar scenario, we were approached by a company with the same challenge but knew that they wanted to sell more of what they had, but didn’t have a way to get the items in front of people in a convenient manner.  This is all that was required to develop some prospective solutions for them.

Step #2 – Plan

This is the error mode that gets realized the most.  This is because the majority of businesses DO have their objectives, or slightly less structured ideas, of how they want to do things.  Take menu boards for instance, they have a menu that they have created and now want it displayed on to menu boards.  What tends to happen is a simple regurgitation from the menu copy in Word, Excel, PDF, etc. form to a basic layout of items and pricing which doesn’t align itself with what the ultimate goal is (i.e. selling more of the items with the greatest gross profit).  Graphic design is only one part of it.  Functionality and placement are two other areas that have to be discussed at length.  “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Step #3 – Innovate

There are many instances where standard products will work given the need and use for a particular client, however one should never feel as though they are being forced in to a solution because of budget or a general lack of vision from who they are speaking with.  With that said, innovation shouldn’t be limited to the actual product.  It can also be realized through graphic design.  However beyond all of this, the innovations must reflect what was discovered in steps 1 and 2 in order to accomplish the end-goal.  If not, they then serve no purpose.

Step #4 – Execute

With the product(s) now specified through steps 1-3, it now comes time to execute.  This includes, but is not limited to, fabricating the pieces and assembling them, printing the applicable graphics, packaging, shipping and installing in the predetermined area that was discussed, all within the timeframe that was provided at the beginning of the process.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to guide the process, minimize “wasted” time, exude confidence, meet deadlines and most importantly exceed customer expectations.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Give us a call today at 888-235-2579, email us at info@origindisplays.com or contact us here!