Handcrafted, carved wooden signs and gifts
You might not associate something as simple as carved wood signs displayed outside your building being critical elements to your overall branding efforts, but here at SignsInWood.com, we believe that they are essential to the overall visual brand identity of your business.
Many people think of “branding” as simply applying the name and logo of a business to business print collateral like business cards, letterhead or a website, but branding is not nearly so simple. When you think about strong brands, companies like Coca Cola or Starbucks or Target, you realize that they haven’t just slapped their logo on marketing collateral and advertisements.
Rather, they are strong brands because when you see their logo, things come to your mind about what you expect to be true every time you visit those businesses or consume their products. They have gained what is referred to as “mindshare” in the minds of consumers. Their logos trigger conscious and even subconscious responses, because of what consumers believe to be true about their brands.
In truth, though it ends in the verb ending i-n-g, branding isn’t an action that you can totally control. Because the brand of your business exists in the mind of the prospect and customer, and is the sum total of all they believe to be true about you and your business. And you build on the customer’s perception of your brand, each and every time an interaction occurs (no matter where a customer or prospect interacts with your business – or with you).
Without question, no interaction creates as strong an impression in the customer’s mind as does the first impression. Every interaction that occurs after the first impression serves to either reinforce (and therefore build on the brand of your business in the customer’s mind) or to undermine the brand of your business in the mind of your client.
A recent brand loyalty survey reinforces the tie between the first impression, the brand and long term customer loyalty. In fact, the ClickFox brand loyalty survey respondents said that the first impression – the first interaction that occurs between you and a new customer — is actually the most critical moment for your business to lay the foundation for customer loyalty!
If the first customer touch point of your business is a building (a physical brick-and-mortar location), then to make a good first impression and lay the foundation for customer loyalty means that you have to start building positive brand impressions from the outside in. If you want to know just how affordable a quality hand crafted carved wood sign can be, use Signs in Wood’s Request a Quote form to ask.
Using carved wood signs which are branded and consistent with one another, beginning at the street side gives customers a trail of bread crumbs to follow right in to your business. What’s more, carved wood signs send a message of stability. They tell customers that you care about your visual brand identity enough to invest in quality wood signs to represent your business. And, let’s face it, carved wood signs are beautiful!
1. Start on the street. If new customers can’t find your building, because building numbers aren’t easy to find or easy to read, traffic on your street is fairly heavy or moves quickly, or there is not good signage in place, they might not stop in to see you at all. Make sure that you have signs street-side to make sure that people looking for your business address or who might be curious about your store know exactly where to turn in and where to park.
2. To mark the entrance to your building (or business). If you own your own building, you can use carved wood signs which are branded and in harmony with one another to lead customers right to the entrance of your building. Or if you are in a business park or shared space, customers will know they’ve found the right suite when your branded carved wood sign welcomes them to the right door.
3. To reinforce your brand. All of the signs of your business, from marquee on the street or building, to those on your doors and all of the signage inside your business should be consistent with your overall visual brand identity and with one another. Think about the example of Target; they use their bright red target emblem consistently inside and outside of their buildings. Think about Starbucks, whose logo and name appears in exactly the same colors, fonts and imagery not only inside and outside of their business, but on all their merchandise.
Your brand is built in the customers mind by laying a good first impression and then layering positive interaction after positive interaction on top of that foundation. When your logo, name and other elements of your visual brand identity are used consistently and become part of each and every one of those positive customer experiences, the positive feelings they have become intertwined with the elements of your business’ visual brand identity. That’s one of the reasons that seeing the logo of your favorite brands triggers positive associations in your mind.
4. To welcome people. Many businesses position greeters near their door, but this isn’t always financially feasible for every business, especially for small businesses. Create your own welcome station complete with a carved wood sign that says “welcome” which is mounted near your entrance or that sits upon a reception desk, shelf or is free standing, in order to set the tone for the client’s visit to your business.
5. To display a directory. When customer’s arrive you can display options for frequently asked questions or staff to direct them to the right office in your building, the right department (such as customer service), to your lounge, waiting area or restrooms. Your building directory can be displayed on a carved wood sign; not only will it be beautiful and practical, it also sends a message to your clients that your business is built on a solid, long-lasting foundation.
6. To list your hours of operation. Nothing looks worse or more temporary to a prospective client or new customer than to see unframed, copier paper (or worse, hand written signs) taped up on the door or window of a business with scotch tape. Display your hours of operation on a carved wood sign near the entrance to your building or business.
7. To list your experts and specialists (or specialties). If your business is a partnership or has more than one expert in residence (such as medical practices, dental practices, law offices, artist communities, craftsmen or other professionals) give each their due with a carved wood sign that displays the names of the professionals your customers might be specifically looking for. Not only will it make things easier for your clients, it is a sign of respect for and another way to give employee recognition to the professionals who help to bring clients to your business.
NOTE: Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company is located at 208 Sullivan Street, NY NY. The order for this sign included bracket and hardware needed for quick and easy installation. If you would like a quote for a customized or branded sign for your business, give carved wood sign creator craftsman Tom Watson a call at 253.348.7995 or complete the request form at www.signsinwood.com.