Any smart business owner knows that it takes more than just a great product or model to operate a successful company. The true driver of success is sales, and sales stem from good advertising and branding. Focusing on these core competencies is a fundamental way to drive business that grows your bottom line, which in turn results in success.
The cornerstone of every successful brick and mortar brand is a great piece of store signage. Business signage is important for so many reasons—namely because it sets the tone for your storefront, creates brand association, attracts attention, and serves as an informative tool. There’s an immense amount of importance placed on your business’ signage.
Let’s take a look at 8 truly eye-opening figures that illustrate just how integral business signage is to store success. Keep these facts in mind the next time you’re looking up at your own business’ sign:
- When surveyed, exactly 50% of in-store shoppers named “on-premise signage” as the reason for their visit. Simply put, it means they saw the sign and decided to stop in! Your sign could result in half of your store’s foot traffic on any given day.
- Studies show that good signage directly boosts a business’ profits. Monument signage can drive sales by 9.3%, pole signage can add up to 15.6% to your bottom line and larger storefront signage may boost sales by up to 7.7%.
- The average storefront sign is seen 50-60 times per month by anyone living within 5 miles of your location. This could be responsible for as much as 85% of your monthly walk-in sales!
- Business signage is your foremost advertising tool. Seeing a sign is far and away the biggest reason customers know your business even exists. 35% of shoppers surveyed cited a sign as the reason for knowing about a local business.
- It’s estimated that a good business sign is as effective as 24 full-page newspaper ads. Consider this comparison in a cost sense and you’ll get an idea of just how powerful on-premise business signage can be!
- Looking for new customers? About 12%of people move each year, which means you have an annual opportunity to capture a portion of these people as new customers via attractive storefront signage.
- If you think your signage needs an upgrade, you might be right. One study showed positive increases in business after changing the design or enhancing the visibility of signage. This includes boosts in overall sales, transactions, and profits, with an average increase of about 10% across the board.
- Finally, let’s not forget that your investment in good storefront signage is one that will provide 24/7/365 benefits to you. It doesn’t matter what season or time of day it is, your sign will be prominently displayed as a marketing tool at all times.
All of these studies—conducted by major organizations like the International Signage Association and reputable institutions like the Economic Center at the University of Cincinnati—point to the same conclusion: there’s no substitute for great business signage. If your business is lacking effective storefront signage or is overdue for enhancement or upgrades, it’s time to start thinking about how your bottom line may be impacted. Consider the above stats and ask yourself if new signage could give your business a reinvigorated sense of success.
Want to start getting noticed in your local market? Contact your AlphaGraphics Middleton sign team to get your project started today!
Statistics and data taken from several sources and studies including:
When it comes to decorating your commercial space, you face a variety of decisions to make. What colors should you use? What kind of accents should you have? What materials will work best? In the face of these decisions and more, most choose to simply paint their surroundings in their brand’s hues.
But why paint when you could do something more unique? We’re talking about wall graphics and floor graphics, and the many benefits they bring with them. Take a look at 6 reasons surface decals and graphics are a smarter choice than plain old paint.
1. Graphics Save You Time, Money and Effort
Wall and floor graphics offer significant savings in both time and money. Whether you hire professional painters or complete your paint job as a DIY project, you’re committing financial and manpower resources to the job. Painting also requires a lot of prep-time, work-time and clean-up time. Depending on the size of the space, it can require a hefty amount of paint as well. Tape, drop cloths, brushes, rollers and other supplies boost the total even more. You’ll have a large bill from the painting company or a long receipt from a commercial paint store.
Or, you can skip all this cost and hassle by choosing wall graphics. Simple to apply, you don’t need extra supplies or a team of professionals to get it done. You’ll save on decorating costs and free up funds for other areas of operation.
2. Graphics Enhance Your Brand Appeal
With wall and floor graphics, the possibilities are endless. What image do you want your brand to convey? How do you want your organization to stand out? Use custom graphics to send the message you desire.
Be as unique as you want to be with graphics that tell the story you want them to. More than a simple paint color, graphics offer the opportunity to share your logo, slogan or motto, as well as depict the exact designs you want for individual spaces. Your custom-designed wall and floor graphics are the ideal solution to differentiate your building from every other organization.
3. Graphics are Better-Purposed for Applications
Wall and floor graphics take decorating to the next level: they make it functional. Decals not only beautify your space, they offer multiple methods to share messaging, allowing you to think outside the paint can. Use an entire wall to display an ad. Guide visitors through your facility with way finding floor graphics. List your mission statement on the wall for all to see. The practical applications are limitless!
4. Graphics Offer Exceptional Value
Wall and floor graphics are easy to replace. For large graphics, you can reprint or replace small parts if damaged. To change the look of your space, simply apply a new graphic. This is much easier and more cost-effective than repainting that same space. Made to last, quality floor and wall graphics will stand the test of time and prove to be a valuable investment.
5. Graphics Keep Your Facilities Clean
Wall and floor graphics offer a crisp, clean look for your space. While painted walls get dingy over time and are hard to keep free of dings and scratches, graphics are easy to clean. Simply use a wet cloth and mild soap to keep your graphics looking sharp. You’ll always be able to present a spotless environment to visitors and clients, while maintaining a reputation for quality.
6. Graphics Improve Your Environment
Did you know you can use photography, art or text for your wall and floor graphics? Imagery can include anything you have in mind. Turn your naked walls into inviting images of your choice—be it decals of your flagship product, a creative design or a portrait of your campus. Offering people more than a solid, single-color wall of paint can improve the mood and atmosphere of your space in a dramatic way.
Take Advantage of Surface Graphics
AlphaGraphics has extensive expertise in wall and floor graphic design and applications. If you’re looking for a way to deploy these decals in your commercial space, AlphaGraphics Middleton today. We’ll help you harness the benefits above, to give your surroundings the boost they deserve.
Personalize With Variable Data Printing
Fall is the gateway to winter and, by extension, the heralding force before the holiday season. If you’re part of a charitable organization, you know all too well the potential that the season of giving has when it comes to collecting donations. It’s no coincidence that fall is the prime time of year when many not-for-profit causes send out ask letters and donation solicitations! Find out how variable data printing can improve these results below.
Asking for money is never easy and, in fact, for charitable organizations who solicit donations, it’s often an uphill battle to collect for your cause. Too many attempts can be off-putting, too few attempts can leave people forgetting about your efforts, and an improperly-worded ask letter can leave people soured on giving.
To be truly effective in bringing in donations, you need to find a silver bullet: a single letter that inspires people to donate and feel good about doing so.
A Personal Touch
Variable data is the first step towards creating a donation solicitation that’s truly effective. Nothing will send your letter to the circular file faster than a generic tone or a “fill in the blank” quality that makes the recipient feel like you’re just after their money. Personalizing core elements of your ask letter can immediately set the tone of your plea for donations:
- Variable printing the name of each recipient lets them know that you recognize them. “Dear sir/ma’am” or “to whom it may concern” will never be as attention-grabbing or meaningful as “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Hi, John.”
- Use past information to generate a unique ask. Something simple such as “last year you donated $50 to our cause” or “will you match last year’s pledge of $100 this year” will let them know you remember and appreciate their past generosity.
- Pair accomplishments with a recipient’s donation for maximum effectiveness. “We enjoyed seeing you at the Jones Park BBQ in July” or “your contribution made the South Shore Movie Night a huge success” are ways to connect further with potential pledges.
The more information you have, the more you can make it work to the fullest by incorporating it into your ask letter. Variable data printing makes it possible to customize a basic ask letter in such a way that by the time you send it out, each copy has its own personalized touch that makes it unique to the recipient.
It’s important to use variable data to bring your ask letter full circle. This means not only customizing a letter for each recipient but also creating a way to reap more information and see your return on each mailing.
- Use variable data printing to print unique donation QR codes on letters. When recipients scan codes to donate, you’ll be able to track who’s donating, how much they’re pledging, how many days after the mailing they donate and more.
- Print return envelopes for check donations that already have the recipient’s address, your address and prepaid postage on them. In doing so, you’ve removed all barriers from the donation, while also ensuring you can track who’s sending a donation back, how much, which addresses are incorrect/not up to date, etc.
Variable data printing has immense potential to raise the bar for your organization’s next ask letter or donation solicitation. Instead of sending out a basic, uniform letter and hoping for the best, consult with AlphaGraphics Middleton today to turn each letter into a unique and meaningful appeal.
Let’s get personal – that is what customers and prospects are expecting from companies and notably the marketing from a company. Now more than ever, the ability to be more relevant with your marketing is not just a reality but an expectation. Prospects and customers are expecting companies and sales professionals to have done their research and to leverage that research and data in their marketing. In fact, if it isn’t relevant or doesn’t show some personal attention, it is more likely to be ignored, trashed, deleted or even generate some adverse response to the company. Consumers are no longer impressed when you “Get Personal”, they just expect it. The data is available and, more importantly, the technology to use it in all your marketing efforts makes it possible. The “New Norm” in marketing is “Get Personal”.
Direct Marketing is a key area for “Getting Personal” with your marketing. This includes essential areas, such as direct mail, email, and targeted ads. While not every company or agency can keep up with the technology required to be personal, those that can are helping companies gain market share and, more importantly, get the right customers for their company. To make this work, you need a print and marketing partner that can leverage data, customize content based on that data, integrate it for seamless execution, and track it to measure success.
7 Customer Reasons to “Get Personal” with your Marketing
- 31% of surveyed consumers say they wish their shopping experience was far more personal than it currently is (Infosys Research)
- Only 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the current level of personalization they receive (Segments State of Personalization Report)
- 57% of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts (Salesforce)
- 62% of consumers say it is acceptable to send personalized offers/discounts based on items they have already purchased (McKinsey)
- The highest ranked area of interest for personalization was similar product to recent purchase, products related to interest, and updates on availability and price (McKinsey)
- 53% of shoppers sign up to get personalized offers (McKinsey)
- 63% of respondents said they acted on a personalized message (McKinsey)
It’s important to balance “Get Personal” with privacy. Keep in mind, while consumers are more willing to provide relevant marketing data, only use it with proper permission. Getting personal with a consumer who doesn’t want it or expect it can be dangerous. Always leverage the data slowly and as the consumer allows so they are a willing and interested consumer and not looking for the opt out. Use technology to properly manage the opt in process and again only be as personal as they want and modify as they request.
If you would like to learn how AlphaGraphics help customers “Get Personal” through print and marketing services contact AlphaGraphics Middleton today.
Trade show season is a big time of the year for many businesses. If you operate within an industry that has product launches, noteworthy industry news, or massive exhibitions, chances are you’ll find yourself attending one or more trade shows throughout the latter part (Q4) of the year. And while you might be learning a lot about your industry happenings and competition, you should also be using these opportunities to market your business.
Invest in Custom Promotional Products
More than business cards or tri-fold brochures about your company, it’s important to consider the power of custom promotional products as a chief marketing tool for use at trade shows. Promotional products are far and away the best products to bring to any trade show for a wide variety of reasons:
- Promo items are intriguing and often useful, making them less likely to be discarded
- They’re a clever way to provide value, while also marketing your brand or company
- They can instantly set you apart from competitors and make your booth a destination
- Promo products can be repurposed across shows for a low-cost marketing solution
The list of benefits goes on. The chief idea to remember here is that promotional products give you the most bang for your marketing buck in a space that’s going to be convoluted with marketing collateral from a wide range of competitors and industry rivals.
The Best Possible Promo Products
There are two schools of thought when it comes to picking the best possible promo products. The first is simple: choose promo items that are relevant within your industry. For example, if your attending a convention for therapists or massage professionals, a simple branded stress ball might be an excellent investment in marketing collateral.
The second school of thought is to provide the most general value by generating promotional products that are universally applicable. This means providing promo products people are likely to see as valuable—shirts, water bottles, USB flash drives, earbuds and so on. The more “usable” your promo item is, the more it’s going to appeal to people. And, the more appeal you offer, the more exposure you’re going to generate at your trade shows.
Promo Product Ideas
Still not sure of what promo products will help you stand out at your next convention? Take a look at some of the most popular options that have proven successful at trade shows in the past:
- T-shirts, hats, and other branded apparel items
- Water bottles, coozies, water bottles, and other drink-inspired products
- Desk items such as stress balls, USB flash drives, and more
- General promo items like tote bags, keychains, pens, and golf balls
- Edibles like branded candy, bottled water, or gourmet chocolates
The important thing to remember is balancing the appeal of a free promo item with the potential for grassroots advertising. Do people want what you have to offer? Will they relate the value they’re getting with your brand? Will these promo items make them further consider your brand, beyond the free item they’re getting?
If you need help understanding how to leverage promo items at your next trade show or industry convention, consult with the experts at AlphaGraphics Middleton today. We’ll help you narrow down what items may help you generate buzz for your company and help you make an appeal that stands out from the crowd!
As we near the end of the year, business owners shouldn’t delay in getting started on their new-year marketing plans. You have to act now if you want to put your brand’s best foot forward in 2020!
Taking time to plan your marketing efforts now will help ensure that everything is primed and ready to go once the new year starts, so your business won’t fall behind and allow the competition to entice your customers.
Here are six tactics to help you prepare your business and enter 2020 with confidence.
1: Review and Update Your Website
Your website is one of your brand’s best marketing tools in today’s modern and connected age. For this reason, it’s imperative that you keep it up to date and visually appealing to encourage customers to browse and learn more about your business. A clunky, out-of-date or unappealing website can deter customers. Your goal should be to catch their attention immediately, then keep them interested.
Start by reviewing your existing website and look for areas of improvement. Use analytics to determine what pages are visited the most and understand how users travel through your website. This can show you which pages are most important to update and keep fresh.
You’ll also want to examine the website’s content. Does the site showcase all of your products and services accurately? Add any missing services so customers get a full understanding of what your brand has to offer. Be sure to include keywords and optimize each page for SEO so your website gets more traffic.
Additionally, make sure it’s easy and entertaining to navigate your website. Do pages load quickly? Are all your images and descriptions appearing in the correct places? Is the design relevant and interesting? Adjust these things as necessary to ensure maximum visual appeal.
2: Purge Out-of-Date Collateral and Create New Materials
In addition to your website, be sure to review your marketing collateral to make sure it is on brand and up to date. Out-of-date marketing collateral hurts your brand in more ways than one. Not only can it create confusion in your customer base, but it can harm the trust you work hard to build between your brand and your customers.
You want your business to look professional and on top of your marketing efforts with fresh, new collateral that sends the right kinds of messages.
This is also a good time to brainstorm what additional collateral can be added to your business’s repertoire to deliver your brand’s message. Try one or two new pieces in the new year, such as vehicle decals, stickers or branded promotional items.
3: Gather Customer Testimonials
In today’s marketing climate, word-of-mouth marketing and consumer trust are huge. Testimonials from satisfied customers can be a powerful marketing tool, so if you don’t have any or haven’t put them to good use, now is the time.
Reach out to loyal customers or customers you’ve provided services to in the past month to obtain testimonials. Then, incorporate these positive reviews into your website, emails, social media and marketing collateral.
4: Review and Refresh Your Branding
Over the past year, your brand has likely grown and innovated. Because this can happen quickly, your branding may have fallen out of line with what your business truly stands for. Examine your current branding and determine whether it accurately represents your brand and the unique things it has to offer. If it doesn’t, now is the time to give it a refresh to help you reconnect with customers in 2020.
Additionally, as your brand changes, you can quickly lose sight of who your target customer base should be. Without a clear direction on who you’re looking to serve, your marketing efforts can come off too vague or misdirected.
Alongside your branding refresh, think about who your “dream 50” customers are for 2020. Look at your sales data from this year and see what characteristics your top 10 customers share. These characteristics should be present in your dream 50. Understanding your target customers will help you cater your branding efforts more appropriately to their interests, resulting in better customer response and higher sales.
5: Create a New Year Marketing Campaign
Once your website, collateral and branding are realigned with your business’s goals, it’s time to start 2020 off with a bang and get people talking about your brand. Kick off the new year with an engaging marketing campaign targeting your dream 50 customers.
Identify a theme that aligns with the excitement of the new year and develop multi-touch assets that communicate how your business can help customers achieve their 2020 goals. You may even consider offering a promotion, such as a contest or giveaway, to generate more excitement and spread the word about your brand.
Enter to Win an AlphaGraphics Makeover!
Do you want to ensure your business is the one everyone’s talking about in 2020? Submit your entry now to be in the running for an incredible brand makeover worth over $10,000 from the marketing experts at AlphaGraphics! Visit win.alphagraphics.com to enter.
Many businesses—especially small to medium-sized businesses—leverage the interconnectivity of different technologies to improve day-to-day operations. And while using smartphones to keep up with social media followers or collecting in-store signups for an email newsletter are great ways to keep your business’ marketing machine moving forward, there’s a simpler, more encompassing technology that needs to be taken into consideration: a customized Web-to-Print portal.
AlphaGraphics Middleton has always worked hard to help bolster the successes of its local area business clients and now we’re taking it one step further with the advent of agOnline: our Web-to-Print portal solution. Through agOnline, we’re helping our clients leverage the convenience of digital technology to get the superior quality printed products they need for marketing, advertising and regular business operations.
How does it work?
agOnline is simple to understand and even simpler to use. Take a look at how we’re able to introduce a streamlined, simpler way to order printed materials into your business environment:
- AlphaGraphics will build an online storefront for your business that will serve as your web-to-print portal. Your storefront website can be designed with your logos and colors so that it’s completely unique to your brand.
- Your authorized employees are assigned secure login credentials to access your storefront, and we set up the account structure with your customized internal order approval and billing/payment processes. You’ll be able to control who’s ordering and how payment is made, creating accountability for your business.
- AlphaGraphics will work with you to populate your storefront with all of the branded documents, marketing materials and miscellaneous printed product you need to keep your business running. From business cards, stationery and sales collateral, to forms, signage, displays, banners and even branded clothing and promotional items, if it can be printed, we can add it to your storefront!
Once your Web-to-Print portal is up and running, the printed materials you need are always a few clicks away. Whether you just need a way for your sales team to order the frequently-used materials they rely on or you’re looking for a way to streamline ordering amongst several store locations, an agOnline portal is the simplest, most effective solution!
Web-to-Print portals aren’t a new invention but if not done right they can be more of a hindrance than a help. That’s why AlphaGraphics has taken the time to perfect the process: to make sure your experience with agOnline is one that benefits your business to the fullest.
agOnline is a high-value, all-in-one solution that supports both variable documents and static user-submitted documents. What this means is that no matter if you’re ordering the same thing month over month or you’re customizing materials for specific uses and purposes, agOnline will make it incredibly simple to get what you need. And don’t forget: AlphaGraphics has a powerful backbone of print production and workflow automation technologies that makes all this possible.
At AlphaGraphics, the motto has always been “easy, fast, secure,” which is why so many of our clients have found success in our agOnline platform. To see for yourself how this technology can streamline your business’ workflow and improve productivity, contact your local AlphaGraphics center today and ask about setting up an agOnline Web-to-Print portal.
Trade shows are a critical venue for your business to increase its visibility. Whether you’re new to the scene, pitching a new product, or simply keeping up with industry trends, it’s crucial to create an alluring, memorable trade show presence. And it all starts with your booth.
Your booth is your base of operations at any trade show. It’s also your home turf when you’re surrounded by competitors. And, most importantly, it’s a central destination for visitors who want to learn more about who you are and what you have to offer.
Preparing Your Trade Show Booth
Because your custom trade show booth plays such an integral role in your success at a trade show, it should be your first and foremost focus when planning. Think carefully about how you can optimize your limited space for maximum visibility:
- Banners and table runners are a ground-level way to brand your booth. These iconic trade show staples need to boldly display your company name, brand concept, and contact information. Make sure banners and runners are free of any convoluting imagery—their sole purpose is to identify your booth to passersby.
- Flags and pole signs are an optimal way to utilize the vertical space of a convention center. Vertical signage enables your booth to draw attention even when it’s not directly visible. These signs can also add to the branding of your booth and establish it as a landmark in a crowded convention space, continually drawing people back.
- Backer signage within your book is a great way to complete the aesthetic and allure of your booth. It’s large enough to include powerful imagery, bold branding and captivating visuals that speak to passersby and attract them to your booth.
Gathering Tabletop Materials
Standing out at your next trade show means going beyond just putting together a cohesive booth presentation—it’s also about stocking it with takeaways and accessible information. Standing out means nothing if attendees don’t remember you after they walk away! Printed tabletop materials will ensure they have a tangible reminder of your booth and everything it had to offer:
- Business cards are a must! Never attend a trade show without your business cards. This is going to be the easiest way for you to get into someone’s contact list and likewise for you to generate leads.
- Brochures are the easiest, most organized, most cost-effective way to encapsulate information about your brand or product. Having brochures instantly available on your tabletop gives you a talking point and a takeaway, all in one.
- Postcards are a great way to promote products, information, deals, contact information, etc. They’re simple, straightforward and easy to give out.
- Nothing draws a crowd at a trade show like custom promotional products! Give people a reason to visit your booth and make sure they leave with something branded. From stickers and stress balls to pens, canvas bags, buttons and beyond, swag is easy to print and a cost-effective way to get your brand noticed.
Don’t Skimp on Trade Show Prep!
Trade shows are your chance to shine alongside other companies you might be competing with or at odds with. Taking the time to prep your booth and print up the right materials means giving yourself an edge and giving people a reason to choose your booth instead of someone else’s.
If you’re gearing up for a trade show in the near future, consult with your local trade show team at AlphaGraphics Middleton! We’ve helped businesses like yours win trade shows with exceptional print and promotional products, no matter the industry.
Is Social Media Right for Your Business?
These days, social media is everywhere. It’s not just Facebook and Twitter, either—it’s Snapchat and LinkedIn and Instagram and many more! Look around on the Internet and virtually everyone says your business needs a social media presence to stay relevant.
Certainly, many companies have used social networks to engage customers successfully. But does that mean you should do it too? Here are some pros and cons for small businesses who might be thinking about expanding their social presence!
Shows Corporate Responsibility
Social networking is an ideal way to show your customers that you care about the community. Any time your employees are involved in volunteering or otherwise engaging the community, you can share that with current and potential customers.
Localization of social media is key to having an impact. You can create content that is intimately linked to your locale, and your company, to show that you’re more than just a business.
Develop a Strong Brand Image
By being present in customers’ everyday lives, you have an opportunity to show them what makes your company stand apart from the competition. Emphasize the unique products and solutions you offer and leverage these intricacies to build your brand.
Through social networking, your store can become known for offering professional services and products of the highest caliber—not just because you say so, but because current and former customers say so publically as well.
Engage in Two-Way Communication
It has never been easier to talk directly to customers and potential customers. Responding to individual customer concerns on social networking sites demonstrates that you’re doing your best to put the customer first.
Remember that customers have no problem complaining via social media. Having a public forum for complaints is bad enough, but handling a customer complaint poorly could damage your reputation. Ensure that you handle every criticism—no matter how ridiculous—with respect.
Integrate Into Today’s Communication
Customers, especially millennials, expect your company to have a social media presence. It’s how customers learn your story. For better or worse, social media is the way people interact with the world now. Those who don’t embrace it risk being left behind, however those who embrace it poorly could actively be doing damage to their business’ reputation.
Requires Clear Goals and Metrics
One of the biggest problems with marketing through social media is that it’s time-consuming. You need to find out how best to reach your customers and keep close track of how engagement efforts are proceeding.
Without clear objectives for what you want social media to do—such as an increase in sales in certain sectors or engaging customers of a specific demographic—you risk wasting your precious time.
Before you start building a social media presence, ask yourself if it’s something you should be doing or if it’s a task best left for someone else. Consider the power that comes with a good social media presence and the damage that can come from a poorly maintained one. Above all, make sure you’re thinking critically about everything you do when it comes to social media, since this is the most transparent vehicle for your company to build a brand with.
The bottom line is that if you’re going to embrace social networking, you need a comprehensive strategy. You should look to enhance the brand while meeting specific goals for your own shop. Ultimately, each small business will have to decide if social media is right for them.
Don’t have time to manage your social media accounts? Find out how your AlphaGraphics Middleton marketing team can help you succeed on social media!