Attracting customers has always been the Holy Grail of marketing campaigns and advertising. Ever since the first trattoria* in Ancient Rome put up a carved wooden sign on its doorstep to attract hungry plebeians* with a savory plate of testaroli* and pecorino romano*, business owners have tried to lure potential customers to their store. The narrow streets of European cities in the Middle Ages were littered with signs, posts and banners, advertising everything you could imagine, from family run bakeries and drug stores, to individual law practices and shady pawnbrokers. Although the banners were crude and often quite dangerous to passer-byes, they did their job and they worked basically the same as they do today: the most glamorous, smart, funny or controversial designs attracted the most customers.
Visibility is, and has always been, the main thing that sets you apart from the competition, before the customer even has a chance to experience your products. That’s why the outdoor banner and sign industry has grown exponentially during the last decades. Now, business owners have a huge selection of flags, signs, posts, inflatable figures, stands, poles and pop-ups to choose from. Creating an outdoor visual identity for your business has never been easier and attracting attention to your establishment is not a problem anymore.
Car dealerships are often located on busy highways and attracting the passing traffic is crucial to the success of the business. Let’s see how outdoor signs and banners can help you out:
Have a special monument sign in the parking lot
Some advertising professionals call it a Star-sign or a Monument, and it works like a huge, first-hand representation of your brand as a whole. Think about the McDonald’s sign, or the Walmart sign. They are big, flashy, and visible from the road, even if you are driving at 90 mph. These signs are custom made, and can be quite expensive, but if you want your brand to be easily recognizable, it’s something you need to have. You will need to hire a special advertising company to design the monument and a company to build it, but it’s all worth it in the end. What’s more, if the signs look great, it will help you create a complete look for your other signs and banners (the same range of colors, designs or fonts). Keep in mind that most cities require building permits for them.
Light pole signs, flags and inflatables in your parking lot
We are talking about a car dealership here, so the parking lot is a showcase for your product. Just by driving into the parking lot, customers are already inside the store, so you’ll have to use some signage to lure them to the lot. Light pole signs, flags, and inflatables are your best bet. Light poles work great during the evening, and flags are awesome during windy, sunny days. The flags come in various shapes and sizes – and you should build a flag to highlight certain areas, but don’t go overboard with it. For instance, tail feather flags should be mounted on the outer perimeter of your lot; kahuna flags should direct the customers to the dealership and pennant flags should complete the outdoor parking lot’s look.
Inflatables are also an excellent choice; they are unique and not many car dealerships go for them, which can be an advantage to you, especially if you know how to place them. Generally, inflatables should be placed in key areas, for example near the entrance or near a newly launched car model.
Your logo should be on every sign and flag in the parking lot, together with a short slogan. Always use the best materials available, as these signs will stay in the sun for years to come. High quality plastics and state of the art printing technology ensures that they will look great even after decades of use.
Decorate your walls and windows
The windows, the walls, and the roof are great opportunities to advertise your brand, your slogan, and your offers, so don’t overlook them. You can make your building immediately recognizable and attract even more visitors to your establishment. Make sure you pick some attractive colors and materials, but don’t overdo it, as you can easily mess up the whole facade and make it look chaotic. Go with a minimal, decent, yet exciting look to your building.
Use portable signs
Portable signs, also known as curb signs, attract visitors who drive slowly or passing pedestrians. Although they are not your usual clientele, you shouldn’t neglect them. They work great if your dealership is on a “slower” road. Also, if they are well designed and easy to read, these fairly cheap outdoor signs can become quite effective.
Outdoor banners are fabulous ways to attract potential customers to your car dealership and they are ideal ways to create a brand for your business. They can showcase your products and services to a huge number of customers and can establish you as a leader in the industry. Even though an excellent outdoor advertising strategy is just a part of a complete marketing strategy, getting it done right will help you in other areas as well. Customers will know about your brand and services while wanting to know more. And that’s what advertising is all about.