In most ways, advertising does feel like a tug of war. On one hand, advertisers struggle to stay above the noise. On the other hand, consumers are busy ignoring these efforts. But signage is a big break from that, especially with the advent of neon signs. When displayed correctly, it’s impossible to ignore open signs even from far.

And now, with marketing expenditure continuing to go up, and an even bigger portion is being dedicated to business signage. So what makes the signage industry to have such a good momentum? How can you take advantage of this to your business?

The Concept of Signage: Why Does it Work so Well?

Research shows that using signage can up brand awareness by as much as 47%. It also improves the average purchase amount by almost 30%. Also, good signage can improve customer experience and even increase loyalty and sales. So how does a simple sign do that? Here is the explanation.

Relevance to customers

According to Digital Signage Today, one of the most crucial advantages that good signage brings to your business is its relevance. Signage lets brands to communicate the right message to the right prospect, at the right time.

Consider this. A Point of Sale signage advertising a perfume in a shop is more relevant than when that perfume is advertised on print media. The signage is contextual, which makes it even more impactful. This is even truer where you are using digital neon signs.

Flexibility and personalization

Neon signage is flexible in the sense that it lets you adapt to your consumers. For example, digital roadside signage could have a different message to commuter traffic than mid-morning traffic. Also, you can change in-store signage based on footfall. This shows that signage is more personalized than a general traditional advertising. It is also more effective when it comes to meeting the needs of your consumers.

The bonus of unfamiliarity

Humans perceive messages in a selective manner because they are overloaded. There are millions of stimuli surrounding us and we cannot just absorb all of it. What happens is that humans filter these messages. With so many advertising mediums, people feel completely oversaturated.

But where signage beats the other mediums is its relative unfamiliarity. You can’t get be bored seeing signage. This gives it a special ability to capture and even hold the attention of people. This is also backed by data, which shows that 75% of people will recall seeing billboards in the last month. The same data show that 55% of people were highly engaged.


Traditional advertising is considered a broadcast medium that imposes upon the consumer. But with signage, the consumer is allowed to take control. This is best explained by research in which 7-inch digital screens were used in different venues in Texas.

Viewers were allowed to move the screens away or even choose the content they wanted to watch. The response was hugely positive, with up to 93% of the consumers indicating that they liked the signage.

It demonstrates that when you give your consumers choices also gives them control. Your advertising won’t feel like an imposition. When you reduce the negative emotions that come with pushy advertising, your consumers will be able to directly interact with your content based on its merits.

Customer experience

When you take in the factors of personalization, control, and relevance, you get a medium that creates the best customer experience for your customers. According to a study, many consumers, 72%, believe that is strategic open signs are a cool way of advertising.

At the same time, the urge to improve customer experience is one of the main reasons for investing in business signage. Therefore, instead of sending irrelevant messages to consumers when they are not interested in hearing them, the signage lets you be truly interesting and at the right time. It informs, educates, and also persuades. Traditional advertising misses a certain subtlety. It doesn’t earn attention but demands it.

A Few Tips to Make Your Signage Look right


With the right consumer profile, it’s easy to choose your display location. If you want to market to professional females in the age bracket of 30-45 years with audio content, you will need a different placement compared to when you are targeting unemployed males age 18-25. Traffic volume can be a misleading metric as it hides the relevance factor. Often, high footfall isn’t equivalent to effectiveness. Instead, you may want to consider demographic alignment. Also, think carefully where you are going to place your signage in your chosen location. Accessibility is critical more so for open signs. People should be able to see, read, and even interact with it.


The signage design needs to always complement the message. In the Stroop Effect Test, participants are presented with a list of names of colors written in conflicting colors. For instance, the word “red” could be written in green color. According to the study, interfering with colors in this nature split the attention of participants, which causes delays.

While interruption isn’t entirely a bad thing, it should be easy to understand. Remember that your time is already limited so comprehension should not be slow.


The rule of thumb for any signage is that it should be simple. You need to have one message and one focus that asks for one response. The average attention span for humans, according to Attention Span Report research by Microsoft, is just 8 seconds. If you are too complicated, people will just move on. We live in a world where all that one can afford is a glance. If you don’t catch their attention during that time, you lose out. 


Timing is about getting it right between location and medium. Static signage tends to be better suited to places with low viewership like roadside. However, longer dynamic segments could be more effective in places like airports. If you cannot get the balance right, your consumers might become frustrated at seeing one message over and over. They could even miss the message altogether. You will want to play with timing to get attention. For instance, you could time your signage at the same pace as that of a moving walkway.


In the wake of the modern methods of advertising such as SEO and social media, signage was supposed to be dead in the water. But why are they still effective? Why do businesses even increase their budgets on this traditional form of advertising? It’s because it has some unique characteristics that other types of advertising mediums miss.

It is more personalized, gives consumers better control, and provides a greater level of relevance. To get help with your signage, contact