“Marriage is not for you.”
The bold statement on the church marquee sign was a clever introduction to the week’s sermon about the purpose of marriage. The pastor went on to explain that if everyone went into marriage intent on making their spouse happy and selecting someone who be a wonderful parent to their future children our society might come closer to understanding the permanence of the vows.
Turns out being able to summarize the week’s sermon in few enough words to fit on the church marquee can be a challenge. So much so that it has become an unofficial contest as members of the staff compete to come up with the best phrase. And while everyone enjoys the friendly challenge, no one argues about the value of the message’s placement. The simple white sign that stands barely four feet tall serves as an invitation to anyone who drives by.
Although churches are not necessarily in the business of advertising themselves, the fact that church marquee signs allow for changes every week is one small example of how important signs are in today’s world. Especially if they are located along a busy street where cars find themselves stopped while waiting for a light to change, they are often read frequently without intent.
Think about it. When was the last time someone asked you where the closest jewelry repair shop was, or some other obscure request, and you instantly responded with the name and location of a place that you had never even visited? Signs have a way of doing that. They announce an event or a business, and seen frequently enough, can unintentionally become part of your memory.
Did You Jump Down and Read This Headline First?
Research about visual habits indicate that our eyes gravitate toward bits of text that are small enough to “digest” in a single glance. The same reason that you likely read the above question before ever finishing the blocks of text above that is proof that signs matter.
In fact, 35% of people admit that they would not have discovered a business if it did not have a sign. Have you ever tried to find a business or service in a strip mall that does not have a sign? It’s tough. Our eyes are trained to jump from one sign to the next and even though an address may be visible, without a sign naming the business you will likely have a difficult time finding what you are looking for on the first drive through the parking lot.
Outdoor church signs may be important for reminding people about service times and upcoming events, but the same kind of signage is essential to almost every business. Consider the following statistics:
- 76% of consumers indicate that they have entered a store or business they have never visited before because of its signs.
- 75% of consumers indicate that they have told others about a business simply based on its sign.
- 68% of consumers indicate that a business? sign reflects the quality of its products or services.
- 67% of consumers indicate that they have purchased a product or service because a sign caught their attention.
- 60% of consumers indicate that the absence of signs can keep them from entering a store or business.
We Are Accustomed to Visual Clues
A few minutes looking at our computer screens or even our televisions provide immediate reminders about how visual our society is. In fact, our world has become so visual that a single screen now has several headlines or blinking headlines competing for our attention.
What kind of visual clues are you giving your current and potential customers? If you are letting them idly drive by hour after hour or day after day without noticing the name of your business you are missing out on a prime advertising opportunity. Whether you are a small local church using a a church marquee or a large pet grooming store with neon signage, if you are not shouting your name to your customers you may go unnoticed. Out of sight, out of mind. Make sure that you take advantage of prime sign locations to advertise to customers.
You scanned to this last headline, a written sign, before reading the rest of the text, didn’t you?