Archive for October, 2013

The Trader Joe’s Effect: Crafting Clever Signs that Get Noticed!

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

mr tea creative signageOne of the signature moves that Trader Joe’s (TJ’s)perfected was the clever sign.  Placed throughout the stores’ aisles, one might find a play on the movie, “Attack of the 50-foot Woman”, or “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, or some other cheeky pop culture reference.   Whichever came first, revolving café signage or TJ’s, cafés have a reputation for clever signage as well.  In fact, the signage that is so distinctively TJ’s uses the same basic components cafés use – a black chalkboard and multi-colored chalk.

A recent post on showcases some very bright signage created by the tea purveyor David’s Tea.  Great one-liners are the standard; “Hello? Is it tea you’re looking for?”, is paired with a handsomely drawn likeness of Lionel Richie.  Another sign shows a realistic drawing of the actress Meryl Streep, but the “r” has been omitted from her last name.   The article’s author believes that this is one way that independent coffee (and tea) houses can distinguish themselves from their more mainstream competitors, e.g., Starbucks.

Blue Pond Signs has a similar philosophy about creating signs – we believe custom and creative are two sides of the same coin!  When Blue Pond Signs (BPS) worked with Equator Coffee and Teas, we met with them, surveyed the site, and created exterior signage that used their logo to reflect their distinctive brand and company philosophy, namely, that coffee and tea can be produced sustainably, fairly, and taste great!

Signs can be iconic or they can be ordinary, the difference really comes down to how much time is invested in their craftsmanship and durability.  While indisputably clever, the signs at TJ’s are by design temporary.  To create signage that will draw customers or clients, embody the spirit of your company, and have lasting appeal beyond current pop culture trends, we recommend working with our seasoned team of signage professionals who can help you craft a sign that expresses all you wish to say about your company today and tomorrow.

Piggybacking Your Way to the Top!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

How to Hitch a Ride with Your Sign…

turtles piggybacking

Piggyback the big guys to get yourself to the top!

Is your business a household name?  Right on par with YouTube or McDonald’s?  Then you really don’t need to do anything special to gain immediate recognition; everyone knows the “golden arches”.  But if you’re the proud owner of a baby business or one that isn’t quite as familiar, you might want to consider leveraging the more recognizable businesses around you to gain greater visibility, and hopefully, generate new business. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Special Events

Most metropolitan areas have regular music, arts and culture festivals, like Austin Texas’ renowned SXSW.  Each year, thousands of people converge to attend the festival, which appeals to a broad cross-section of consumers.  An enterprising small company saw this is an ample opportunity to leverage that traffic by placing a simple sign next to the event asking people to “friend” them.  What special events (conferences, festivals, etc.) can you use to promote your business by some well-placed signage?

Location, Location, Location

If you can’t bring to the Mohammad to the mountain…  Going where your audience is already doing business is another great way to seize opportunity from the jaws of obscurity.  If, for example, your clientele is predominantly shopping for certain specialty products, go to where those are sold and place signs for your business there (e.g., you might want to promote your specialty wines at a restaurant catering to people who tend to buy them by table signage, etc.), rather than sticking with catalog, newspaper, or sponsored ads, which may or may not be clicked.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join ‘Em!

Your biggest competitors can also help your business. How?  By allowing you to piggyback on their brand recognition.  One successful example of this is Groupon.  One of Groupon’s main competitors is Living Social – a well known daily coupon provider.   Groupon took advantage of the positive association attached to Living Social’s brand, by renting ad space next to its offices!  So, every time someone saw the Living Social headquarters, they also saw a very attractive and strategic sign for Groupon, which immediately conveyed that they were in the same sphere to unfamiliar consumers.

Include Your “Digital” Address

Twenty years ago, a sign without a 1-800 number prominently displayed was inconceivable (and a sign of a poor advertising strategy).  The same goes today for a sign without a URL.  Whether the sign is a bumper sticker or a building-size billboard, a company’s URL says “This is a legitimate business and you can trust us” and that’s a message you cannot afford to overlook.