Sign of the Times: How to Use Signs to Build Your Brand

Signs have now become part of the new normal. They’re everywhere – in the workplace, public buildings, at the train station, the airport, in the shops, and on the street. They inform us, guide us and enforce rules upon us. However, signs can also evoke emotions in us.

Take a look at the signs below. How do these make you feel?

Stand here!

Wait there!

Keep your distance!

If you ask most people what they think about the signs they see in everyday life, they are either neutral or negative about them. This is understandable, signs are functional items. But what if we could take this opportunity to use signs to make a positive impact?

Despite the current ubiquity of signage, many businesses are missing the opportunity to use signs to reinforce their brand image and promote their corporate culture. A positive corporate culture not only improves customer loyalty (especially in difficult times) but it also improves employee loyalty and ultimately helps you attract new people to your business. Take a look below to see how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

How can signs build my brand?

1. Be Different

The rules have changed. It used to be good practice to keep the message short and simple, but now people spend longer waiting by a sign to go into a shop, restaurant or bank. So, give them something interesting to look at! Maybe mention the specials in your shop or just take their mind off the fact they are waiting. Give them a quiz question, a puzzle, the first line of a song, and give the answer when they are further down the line.

2. Use Humour

Research has shown that humour gets attention, increases memorability, overcomes resistance, and enhances the persuasiveness of the message. Air New Zealand knows this.  You expect a safety video on a plane to be functional and factual – have you seen Air New Zealand’s safety videos? Whether they are recreating Middle Earth, involving the All Blacks Rugby Team, or highlighting conservation, they are fun, topical, and memorable.

3. Reflect Your Company

We understand that there has been a lot to do to get your business covid-ready and adapt to the ever-changing covid and post-covid landscape. But now is a great time to reflect on what your business’ signs say about you. Have you just photocopied ‘Wait Here’ on a piece of paper? What does that say about your company?  Think of your signs as your branding, your advertising, and make them reflect your company image.

4. Use Courteous Words

When creating an informational sign adding words like ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’, ‘We Appreciate You…’ makes a huge difference psychologically.  In today’s world people are more anxious than ever before and signs that shout instructions do nothing to put people at ease. Creating a friendlier environment will relax your customers, increase your business and add a bit of joy to the world.


We Appreciate You!

Thank You.

What other tips do you have for using instructional signage to your advantage? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch to discuss how STC can help you implement large-scale cultural changes that will bring long-term benefits for your business.