Customer-Involving Signage and Selling

Here's some easy ways to create signage that will attract, not annoy customers (and local government agencies that regulate signage):

1. Since movement always attracts attention, any banner, sign set of a pole that might move with the wind or electrically-turned sign will stand out from the static messages around it.

2. A retailer could become known for catchy sayings, advice, or questions (that are answered in the next day or week's sign message). Messages may or may not be directly related to the store's products or services ? but they should appeal to the store's kind of clients. For example, a beauty salon may have hair-related sayings ? or simple quotes on beauty ? and wit.

3. For 24-hour involvement, consider videoing local notables (from mayor to sports columnist) and attention-getting people (cute kids, beautiful adults, etc.) using or discussing your product/service.

Creating a continuous feed video loop of the short vignettes and put the video in a TV monitor inside the store for viewing ? and/or another on a stand in the window, facing out with the sound piped out from above peoples' heads (where vandals cannot damage the site where the sound is sent outside. That way passersby can watch.

We are all voyeurs. We like to eavesdrop or see each other in action, especially in fun, odd, inspiring, humorous or other human situations. So-called "reality TV" has proved that.

4. Do a variation of the Burma-Shave signs of America's past where people driving through long stretches of boring desert or other unchanging landscapes. The sequence of signs had progressive rhyming lines to pull people into the message.

A set of stores on a block could co-create a continuing set of signs, with messages about their stores in a continuing theme. Each side of the signs, set out perpendicular to their storefronts, could be read, sequence, by the passersby in their car or on foot, depending on the sign placement.

Adapt your selling to make prospects comfortable in these less-certain times What kinds of online and on-location marketing will attract more shoppers, spending and buzz in this New Normal world?

Consider consumers desire for comfort, security and personal recognition ? and exactly how you will serve those largely unspoken needs:

1. "Time-Starved Culture"

Both bricks and mortar and 'only online" stores could offer the opportunity for shoppers to fill out a shopping list online of their gift recipients' names and mailing addresses . . .

2. "Need to be Known in a Relationship-Diminished World"

. . . Then enable the customer to write a personal message to each of her/his intended gift recipients . . .

3. "Worried About Money"

. . .then offer, upfront, a "special savings" if your customer spends at least a certain level of money on the gift list (thus encouraging great per-customer spending, with less labor and marketing costs for the retailer)

4. "Seeking Value"

. . or, rather than offer a "special savings", cross-promote with another retailer who also reaches the same kind of customer and agree to give one of your gifts to their biggest spending customers (coming to your store to pick up the gift) in exchange for your cross-promoting partner to give a gift of the same value to your biggest spenders.

Thus the SmartPartnering retailers gain access to each others' most lucrative kind of customer in a credible and cost-effective manner, while offering their customers an enticing reason to spend more.

Kare Anderson is the author of LikeABILITY (see Grand Store at http://www.SayitBetter.com), Make Yourself Memorable and SmartPartnering. A popular speaker on SmartPartnering and on how to be more frequently-quoted to become your kind of customers' top- of-mind choice, she also publishes the SayitBetter newsletter, with 32,000 subscribers in 28 countries.

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