The Evolution of Signage and the Role Signs and Banners Play in Advertising

Home - Sign Industry - The Evolution of Signage and the Role Signs and Banners Play in Advertising

The sign industry is a $50 billion market, and for good reason: signs work. Not only do they act as guideposts that lead people to a business and help attract the attention of new customers, but they also raise awareness of a brand and convey its standards to the community at large.

sign industry

The Evolution of Signage

A sign’s primary function is to identify a business so that consumers are able to locate it. Beyond that, signage is used to trigger a consumer’s impulse to make a purchase, which in turn allows a business to thrive. Flourishing businesses play a vital role in local economies and contribute to a stable tax base.

While their main purpose may be to increase sales and revenue, signs and banners can also be used to enliven downtown commercial areas, encouraging people to give patronage to local businesses and gather at attractive dining and drinking locations. Through the creative use of color, light, and other visually interesting elements, signs make a consumer’s experience that much more enjoyable.

As long as there have been businesses, there’s been a need for signs. From those swaying wooden plaques during Revolutionary times to the Burma-Shave billboards of the 1920s, brands have relied on signage visibility to stay in business. A perfect example of this are the businesses that rely on highway or major thoroughfare traffic: fast-food restaurants, hotels and motels, and other consumer-oriented services.

The Importance of Signs & Banners in Advertising

Today, banner advertising tends to be understood as it applies to the Internet. But physical signs and banners have been used for centuries to promote events, restaurants, services, and stores, and there’s no minimizing just how important they are for:

  • Increasing customer traffic. Placed outside shops and businesses, signs and banners made from a variety of materials encourage potential customers walking or driving by to stop, take a look, and come inside. When placed at community events, they are powerful marketing tools for creating brand awareness and driving new traffic.
  • Selling specific products. Banners and signs in storefronts are ideal for promoting a specific product. Just as online inbound marketing offers customers a solution to a need or problem, physical signs can serve the same purpose.
  • Attracting attention. If you ever wondered if those signs being held, twirled, and moved in all directions by employees really work, yes they do — we all look! Signage used in high-traffic locations can lead overflow traffic from a competitor’s business to the one using that sign.
  • Announcing specials, sales, and discounts. Most businesses use promotions to increase revenue. They also know that in order for those signs and banners to be effective, they need to change frequently. Otherwise, customers tend to be skeptical that a special is really that special at all.
  • Enticing potential customers to websites. When brands add their website URL, social media sites, or QR codes to physical signs, they increase their chances of being discovered online.

The Role of Sign Companies

There are approximately 30,000 sign companies in the U.S. today, a figure that goes to prove just how much importance businesses place on their signage. The sign industry provides a valuable service to a diverse customer base.

From small businesses to major contractors, the sign industry offers brands a variety of unique and interesting products, such as vehicle wraps, which help them attract new customers and improve their bottom line.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can take advantage of our incredible business model and get involved in the fun and supportive signage community by taking advantage of our sign franchise opportunity, contact us today.


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