How to Hitch a Ride with Your Sign…
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:
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.