Best Practices in Garnering Attention for a New Storefront

Question: I just opened a retail store on Cape Cod. What best practices can you share with me regarding attracting attention to my store?

Answer: One of the real challenges for all business whether you are in a retail storefront in a strip center, a stand-alone establishment, a mall kiosk or store or any other type of business is getting attention in this “blur” society we live in. We are bombarded with marketing messages every day. The average adult receives 1500-2000 marketing messages a day. On top of that getting a buyer’s attention is a full-time task. Signage is one-way retailers can capture buyer’s attention. The keyword to promoting your message through signage is FOCUS.

Plan your promotions. First, decide what message you want to deliver and second, what is the call for action? What do you want them to do once you have their attention and they take in the sign’s message? Buy today. Stop now. Small Business Saturday Specials. Get Ready for Summer Special. Choose your Meal from our Gluten Free Menu.

Tie your brand into the signage. Your brand communicates who you are, what you do and what are the values your business represents. Include your brand image in the signage to deliver a complete message.

Integrate your signage. You have to have an integrated approach to marketing your business so that every time someone sees your brand and your messages they receive the same message. You need consistency in message delivery to achieve memorability and for buyers to take your call for action.

Visibility. From what distance do you want potential buyers to view your signage? If they are drivers motoring at 30 mph along Route 28, the distance might be 20 ft. If they are strollers along the sidewalk in Dennisport, the distance might be 10 ft or less. A good rule of thumb is fonts should be san-serif and at least 3 inches in height.

Location, Location, Location. Where is the signage? In the front window? On light posts in the parking lot directing potential buyers to your store? On a sandwich sign along the street? You need to do a line of site analysis to see where the best location is for the signage so buyers can see it and then take your call to action.

Think about using 3D signage. If you want a viewer to see your signage from head on only, then the two-dimensional design is OK, but if you want a passing driver to see your signage 3-D might be in order so they can see it from a distance and in both directions.

The background matters. If you want passers-by to see into the store’s interior, then make the size of the sign appropriate to view the store’s merchandise. If not, make sure any signage has a solid background with contrasting color fonts. Use the KISS approach to design. The simpler, the better so buyers can focus on your specific message.

Remember the word FOCUS. Make sure there is a focal point of your signage, so the viewer’s eye is directed to the message or the image to deliver your message.

Light the signage. If you expect visitors to receive your message day and night, light the graphic so your message is delivered independently on the time of day.

Signage is an important part of your promotion plan. Take the time to determine what you want to communicate, how and where you want to communicate it and what vehicle will you use to deliver your targeted message?

To learn more about small business signage check out

Rieva Lesonsky.


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