Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

No matter if you are a new start up business, relocating an existing business or just needing a face-lift, Signs are always an afterthought. I have reviewed many architectural or building drawings of for new business developments and guess what they all have in common. No plan or budget allotment for signage.

Most recently was a church in southern Minnesota. They worked for years to raise funding and financing for their new facility, to the tune of over $3.5 million. Budget was very tight, so the general contractor had to follow the project plan to the letter and manage the costs to the penny. Suddenly the city was asking to see their plans for highway signage and parking lot directional signage. suddenly the light came on and not one dollar had been budgeted for signage.

Well the project came to a complete stop. Plans had to cover vehicle traffic in a safe matter. Then there was Handicap Parking Signs, door signs of cut vinyl for hours and emergency contacts. Interior signs included ADA, Rest Rooms, Elevator operation, Floor Plan Maps, so on and so on, the list continued. Suddenly they were over $40,000 and no plan for payment. Major delays on the project to say the least.

photo, pylon sign, sign repair, lighted sign, flat double sided

Double sided Pylon Sign

If your potential customers have this view as they pass your business, what do you think will happen?

There are basically two purposes of a sign. 

1 – Attract attention, … or

2 – Deliver a message

If you haven’t planned for signage or the proper signage given your situation, you are doing neither. May not sound like that big of a deal, you can always add signs once you have the money, Right? Maybe not the best choice. Remember this, a sign can increase sales by an average of 35%, over the same business without proper signage.

Starting up, moving or running a business can push your available time and attention beyond your breaking point. Engaging a professional sign company like Pillar Signs can offer a great advantage. Project Schedules and budgets can be met, competitive advantages achieved with a focused professional signage. You might even be able to gain a few hours to focus on running your business.

If this is what your business looks like, maybe you should rethink your strategy. Something to think about, McDonalds actually has all of their signs on order before they even break ground and start building. Why do you think that is? Signs pay!

Image of Store Front

Business Store Front

Don’t make signs an afterthought, is needs to be part of your business plan and we can help you with the planning, design and installation.

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Ok, the year is fast coming to an end and I always ask, “Where did it go and how did the business perform?” Businesses are reviewing year end results, where did you revenue come from? What worked and what can you do to make more money next year?

Like myself I review our costs of doing business, everything from wages, material costs, advertising and general marketing activities. What were the costs and more importantly, what revenue was generated by each expense and activity? basically, what was the ROI?

Now lets back up a little and look from a higher level, to review what each of these revenue sources cost you on an annual basis? We commonly lose touch with the real revenue drivers, especially when we look at our annual sales and revenue, then look at monthly costs and expenses to generate those dollars.

What did you spend last year on short and long term signage? Was this part of your Marketing Budget? Basic signs can increase your revenue by 15%, with very common increases of 30% or mare when LED message centers are installed.

Based on a Signtronix Survey, How did customers find the business?
46% Business signs
38% Word of Mouth
7% Newspaper Ads

Part of your Marketing Plan needs to address signage. What about your location and how is your signage working? What can you do to increase your ability to get noticed and increase revenue?

1. Window Graphics – Add neon, LED or graphics to your windows.
2. Sidewalk Signs – “A” Frame signs can attract walking traffic.
3. Banners / Flags – Considered as Temporary Signage for special events or sales.
4. Vehicle Graphics – Add Graphics and park it near the street.
5. Wall Signs – Refocus from Identification to Advertising.
6. Lighted cabinets – Change up the graphics to include images.
7. Pylon or Monument Signs – Install one, Add lights or change the graphics if you have not in the past 3 years.
8 LED Message Center – Increase revenue and lease time as another revenue stream.

You don’t always have to more to a new location with more effective exposure. Visit http://www.pillarsigns.com for more ideas and contact us for a free site assessment.

Pillar Logo

The Sign Industry has been looking at the ability to use white and metallic inks for many years. Not until recently, has the equipment technology and ink chemistry started to catch up. Offset printing has used white ink for many years, but has not been the focus for the Sign Industry.

The Digital Sign Industry has used white medias or substrates to overcome the inability to print with white ink. White ink allows printing on a colored substrate, which normally will bleed through images and change the final colors. Not a good idea! The cost of white ink can be three times that of the other CMYK colors.

Then there are the Metallic Inks, just starting to surface in the Sign Industry. Metallic ink requires specialized printing equipment and again the cost is very high. Add to this, metallic ink slows the printing process by 85%, reducing output and adding cost.

White and Metallic Inks are now available for the Digital Printing Industry. Are they viable options at this point considering the added cost verses the benefit? The interest is there for some very specific application projects, but the additional costs are difficult to justify for many applications. That will change in the next couple years as technology and demand help reduce costs. Until then, be patient and create with proven alternatives.

Did you know that we can print to specialized metallic vinyl substrates? Faster turn around and more cost effective.

Printing Technology has progressed and evolved over the years, from type setting each letter for printing, to hand painting signs. Offset and Screen Printing have greatly increased efficiencies, helping reduce costs, but little improvement of set-up costs and image quality.

Welcome to the world of Digital Printing. the sign industry has advanced more and faster in the past 5 years, than in the past 25 years. So what are the primary benefits to Digital Printing?

  • No or very low set up costs.
  • Fast turn around capabilities. What took days or weeks can now be accomplished in hours if needed.
  • Amazing Colors.
  • Photo Quality Prints and Graphics.
  • Able to do small quantities, even stickers at affordable prices.

So what does this mean for you? Those cool and creative ideas you had in the past, can now become a reality. Technology allows us to print on over 300 substrates or materials and the costs are no longer a constraint as in the past. In fact in today’s business arena, you will be left standing alone if you don’t have the latest and greatest signage.

At Pillar Signs and Graphics, we can help take you to the leading edge of Digital Printing. Get Noticed!

There is something to be said for customers with exceptional artwork. And here it is…Wait for it…Wait for it… Wait for it…AMAZING!

But not everyone has the tools for the best artwork. And there comes the challenges for the sign companies or anyone in as industry where Vector and high-resolution artwork is needed for the best possible product.

Here are some of the best artwork tips that you can bring to the table:

  • High resolution photos (for photo printing) Dpi of 300 and dimensions of over 1000.
  • If you have an advertising company come up with your logo and concept, MAKE SURE to get your files in a vector format, the PMS colors (if used) You paid for your logo and the time it took to create it so make sure you get a copy. Demand the best quality from your designer. Period!
  • Vector artwork, even if it’s going to be printed is the ABSOLUTE best type of artwork to give to a sign maker, embroiders, etc. We work with lines and lines make everything crisp.

Pillar Signs and Graphics can help you create your logo. Our designer is fantastic!

Of course a website is not always a primary requirement for every business. This can depend on your products and services you offer, including your Target Markets, demographics and other key Marketing or strategic factors. As for Pillar Signs and Graphics Inc. our business is very visual and driven by emotion and impulse.

Being a visual and graphics based company, a quality website with cool and colorful graphics is very important. Potential clients need to see examples of projects, to help make that decision to make that initial contact. After which may come a showroom visit or an in person visit at their location to further solidify the project details.

Lets back up a second and look at how the website can help us. We support businesses and individuals for that matter, all over the lower 48 states and Canada for that matter. A quality website needs to attract our potential clients, based on pre-determined potential search options. These are known as keywords or phrases the web searcher is looking for, hopefully matching key words we have used and loaded into our website. Banners, Vehicle Graphics, Fleet Graphics, Window graphics are a few examples.

So what is the relevance and timing of this message? Pillar Signs has actually had a couple of website versions over the past couple years. They did the job, somewhat, but as the people and internet grows and develops, so must our website to keep pace. This also includes mobile devises from smart phones to iPad, so stay tuned we will talk on this capability at a later date.

So we are proud to announce that our new website has just gone live. It is really cool! Thanks to our new Webmaster Jeremy Anderson at Minneapolis Web Marketing. Check Jeremy out at http://www.minneapoliswebmarketing.com to start you new technology journey.

Here is the website link:     Pillar Signs and Graphics Website

Happy Web Surfing!!!!