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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Ho Ho Ho – Holiday Signs Already Here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at

Signs of the holiday season range from retail shelves stocked with red, green, silver and gold ornaments, to the bell-ringing collection canister outside every retail establishment and the holiday music blaring from store speakers before Thanksgiving. But the literal signs that communicate to holiday shoppers are most important.

You need signs in your retail location to help customers have a satisfactory holiday shopping experience. All too often during the frenzy of holiday buying, customers go to the wrong line, find an item that is mis-marked, or simply can’t find what they’re looking for because there is no signage in the store communicating to them. The result: a frustrated customer who won’t return or who will tell his or her horror story both at holiday cocktail parties and on social media.

Whether you choose to use large digital monitors or attractive easel-back point-of-purchase signs, get your communication started. If you have a hot item, or a deal of the day, use a sign to highlight it and guide customers to its shelf. If you have sale items, clearly communicate the sale price with signage that is unmistakably associated with the item. Signs should be on the correct fixture, next to the correct merchandise and clearly spell out the sale. Is it 50 percent off the original price, or 50 percent off the current marked price? It makes a big difference. Save your staff a lot of time by having signs in the right places. Also, mark your check-out lines. If a line is express or a specialty line, make it clear with friendly signage.

Finally, your staff should be both identifiable and available. Identifiable means in a uniform with nametag or store logo on it. Customers shouldn’t have to ask, “Do you work here?” and risk asking someone’s Aunt Mary who just happens to be browsing the shelves today. The easier you make the shopping experience, the more likely you are to have repeat customers and referrals.

Happy signing!

Outdoor Digital Signage Gives a Community Feeling

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Investing in outdoor digital signage for your company is not only a good business move from an advertising and promotion standpoint, it’s also a good way to become a part of the fabric of the community.  Digital signage gives you the opportunity to advertise special deals, offer products with special sales or showcase new bargains that are constantly changing.  The flexibility and nature of digital signage makes it easy to change the message either daily or throughout the day.  Your sign professional can work with you to provide the most flexible digital signage hardware and software for your individual needs.

In addition to the obvious promotional opportunities, digital signage can also help you to develop a relationship with your local community.  By using the display for more than just pricing or advertising, you give people a reason to look for the sign every day.  Daily greetings and messages along with the temperature, weather forecast, or information about town activities are all nuggets of valuable information for local residents.  One small business owner in the Midwest used his digital signage software to store everyone’s birthday in town and the sign displayed it on their special day.  He also used timely greetings like, “Happy Mother’s Day,” and “Happy Valentine’s Day.”  If that didn’t make him an integral part of that small town community, then nothing ever will.  People will begin to identify with the sign, and before you know it, your business is a household word.

Digital signage will pay for itself tenfold in customer loyalty and word of mouth when people feel someone is paying attention to them. 

Making Signs Work for the Holidays

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If you’re in the retail business, these weeks leading to the holidays are crucial for sales and profitability.   You can and should use signage to drive sales, but have a plan in mind.  Some tips:

  • Communicate your holiday specials or sales using bold, colorful signage that stands out from your normal signs.  Use outdoor banners, easel-type signs or point-of-purchase signs that all have a uniform look.  Your Maryland sign company can give you some ideas on holiday-themed signs.
  • Communicate sales both outside the store and inside.  Whether it’s a banner, a lighted sign or a flag, use something to get customers to take notice and enter the store.
  • If your holiday specials will be changing throughout the season, select a signage material that can also be easily changed – both from a logistics standpoint and a cost standpoint.  Consider adhesive signs or posters, or even starbursts that attach to existing signage.  This is where digital signage can really show a return on investment.  It is flexible and eye-catching, and customers readily look to it for updates, because they recognize that the technology allows for real time changes.
  • If you have small items that can be last-minute buying decisions while customers are waiting in line, label them clearly with a holiday sale sign that includes price and a call-to-action, like “Try this for a last-minute gift!”
  • If you’re supporting a local charity this season, have special signage.  Eligible merchandise should be tagged with the information, signs should call attention to it, and employees should be versed in answering questions.  In fact, they should wear buttons promoting the sale or charity that maintain the same graphic design as the floor signage.  

The more you communicate with signs, the smoother your holidays will be.

Seven Weeks and Counting…

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The countdown is on…or at least it should be if you’re considering promotional items for holiday gifts.  Yes it’s true.  The Big Day is only seven weeks away.  Timing is everything this year, so get organized and determine your time frame – it’s a lot less than seven weeks.  Let us explain.

Promotional gifts for clients or branded holiday items for prospective customers are great ideas.  You’ll want your customers to receive their gifts before Christmas.  It’s on a Tuesday this year.  That means a high probability that many people will leave their work places on Friday, December 21, and not return until after the New Year.   They will likely leave early, at that.  The legendary holiday rush for shipping will be well under way by December 14.  If you’re mailing bulk, seven days is not nearly enough time to get there by December 21.  You can see where this is going.

Sounds like you need to do some serious gift selecting this week if you hope to have gifts in hands by December 14.  While anything can be done for a price, who can afford to pay rush charges on printing and delivery from Maryland sign companies?   

Start by confirming your quantity and budget.  Select from items within that price range – whether they are wearables with your company logo, branded pens or etched paper weights.  If you need some help deciding what might work best, visit our online promotional products catalog, or call us to discuss some options.  Meet with your professional sign company and enlist their help in designing the right product for your holiday message.  Get a time line for proof approval and product delivery.  At the same time, make sure your labels and/or cards are being done so everything is ready to go out the door when the product arrives.  

Now, relax and let your professional Harford County sign company do the rest! 

Signs of No Returns

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It’s the holiday inevitable: returns. You’ve undoubtedly already established your return policy if you’re a retailer. But how do you insure that a customer returns? (comes back, that is!)

Considering that many customers may be new to your store simply because they are returning a gift, you’ll want to give them your best service. Clear, readable signage can help. Describing your return policy in a sign right next to the register makes it handy for reference. Directional signage from the front entry to the return lines keeps traffic flowing smoothly and gives the customer a hassle-free experience. Temporary signs for employees to separate returned merchandise by aisle or section right at the return counter can make inventory accounting easier. Attention-getting point-of-purchase signs for exchanges or sale merchandise will help you get some additional sales, despite the returns. And, encourage cheerful employees – their smiles are the best signs that you want a customer’s return business!

Prepare for the store return rush today: contact Blue Water Signs about purchasing any of these types of signs for your business.

Signs of Good Cheer

Friday, November 18, 2011

You can prepare your business for the holidays with plenty of inventory, great specials and seasonal decorations... but your communication is the key to success. From your outdoor sign to your employees, you can spread good cheer with a little attention to detail. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spruce up your outdoor and window signage with a good cleaning or paint touch-up to make it sparkle. If you feel you must add seasonal decoration to it, keep it simple. A sprig of pine or some plain white lights will send the message that you’re in the spirit, but won’t detract from your image.
  • Inside, make your store or office a haven from other harried environments. Think about the little nuances that would make your guests feel relaxed – whether it’s a tray of cookies and hot chocolate as they browse, or added sales help to make their visit more efficient. Communicate these amenities both with a personal greeting and clear, eye-catching signage.
  • Double-check all indoor signs to be sure the offers or instructions are clear. This will minimize confusion for both guests and employees, and speed up service.
  • Have employees check any “Bah, humbug” attitudes at the door. A smile begets a smile, and you want your visitors to leave your establishment feeling cheerful. After all, the message your employees send to customers is just as important as the messaging on your signs!

Ho, Ho, Ho-liday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The holiday season is upon us. The crowds are gathering, and signs are screaming “Bargains!”

Is your signage ready? If not, don’t feel like you’ve missed the sleigh ride. You still have options and a little time. Some attractive lawn signs will work wonders to draw customers into your store. Simple point-of-purchase signs will also communicate your messages clearly. Both can be done quickly, easily and at a reasonable price.    

Of course, if you have a digital sign, you’re living the holiday sign dream. This is the most cost-efficient, updatable medium of communication, and holiday time is the time to cash in on these benefits. You can change the signage with the change of specials, inventory, new offers, and more. As we mentioned in our last blog post, the flexibility and technology really bring you the ROI. Whether you sell toys, show tickets or Santa photos, with some easy-to-use software, your message is at your fingertips. And with that worry aside, you can spend more time spreading good cheer with satisfied customers.

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