Two grocery stores located on the same side of the street, in the same plaza, which are literally right next door to each other. Talk about a toe-to-toe battle for shoppers and parking lot supremacy. What’s a retailer to do?
The most obvious answer is signage. But that’s not exactly how this scenario is playing out. One retailer has a ginormous sign near the edge of the road that’s virtually impossible to miss. The other has a sign that plays second fiddle to a larger Jo Ann Fabrics sign that still isn’t half the size of their competitor.
In fact, if you look at the photo above you can’t even make out the sign that appears directly under Jo Ann Fabrics. Not even if you move an inch away from your screen.
What’s the key takeaway for small business owners?
It’s not enough just to “have” a sign. If you want to stand out and get noticed, you need something that’s easy to read and recognize and something that’s large enough for prospective customers to actually see.
I totally get that you need to follow all of the local ordinances and get the proper approvals from the town council, municipality, landlord, or whoever else gets to make the final decision—but once you jump through all of those hoops it’s game on.
I’m not saying you have to lock horns in some kind of small business signage standoff. You just want to make sure you’ve got a sign that isn’t getting completely overshadowed by a direct competitor—especially when they’re in the same parking lot.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I would be totally pissed every time I drove into work and had to look at a sign that, from my best guestimate, is at least twice (if not three times) as big.
No matter what line of business you’re in, there’s a pretty good chance it’s already super competitive (and getting more competitive all of the time).
Customers have a lot of choices as to where they’re going to spend their money. You can’t afford to get your ass kicked by something as simple as roadside signage.
Always keep an eye on your competition. And always, always, always make sure you’re not overlooking the obvious. It’s just good cents!
By: Shawn Graham