The Importance of a Good First Signage Impression

Purdys- blade sign, Ontairio

Outside of the positive impact on your business growth, why else should you consider quality an important signage factor? Because it is the key to a positive first business impression. And a first impression can make or break a retail business. This applies to all signage types – not just channel letters.

Why is a first impression so important? As stated in this recent study by Dr. James Kellaris at the University of Cincinnati, consumers are sometimes drawn into unfamiliar stores based on the quality of that store’s signage. The signage is a key metric in the decision to enter vs. not to enter – and it is an important component of a good first business impression.

However, there is another good reason to generate a positive first signage impression. According to this article, people tend to remember negative information more readily than positive information. If a consumer is observing a business for the first time, a major component of that first impression is signage.

If the initial “signage impression” is bad, the consumer will remember it. Bad impressions are quicker to generate and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones. So a good first business impression is very important – and high quality signage can help your customer get it. And the foot traffic that follows.

The study also points out bad events tend to “wear off” more slowly than good ones. That applies to signage as well. If people observe low quality signage on their initial review of a business location, they’ll remember that negative feature. And that poor first impression will be difficult to shake off in the future.

High signage quality can generate a strong first impression which leads to the consumer making a “quality inference.” That quality inference leads to foot traffic, and foot traffic leads to higher sales. That is a “positive circle” that you want your customer to have – and they’ll get it through high quality signage.