Concepts for Success: March 2011

Diane Chiasson
March 04, 2011
Written by Diane Chiasson
Proper signage and point-of-sale (POS) materials can help increase sales and impulse buys dramatically if you do a good job with them. Signage is also one of the least expensive ways to advertise your business and build your brand name. Good signage outside your operation will help draw in passing customers.

When customers walk around your bakery and look at all the different products you offer, it is up to your signage to let your customers know what the products are, why they should buy them and how much they cost. More sales opportunities await them at the cash register, where proper POS materials can help entice customers to buy extra treats and desserts, or even gift cards for your bakery. Try following these eight great tips to improve your signage and POS materials.

Convey a clear message
A big, beautiful sign may not necessarily sell your product. Hire a good marketer who will know what to put on your signs to sell your products. Use alluring adjectives to describe your baked goods. Sell the benefits and reveal the savings. For example, let your customers know how much they would save if they bought a dozen cupcakes or two loaves of bread instead of one. Be sure to spell out all the health benefits of your whole-grain breads. Don’t leave your customers guessing. Make it easy for them to make decisions.

Use the right size and position
The size of your signage and POS materials can make a big difference to the overall message you want to send. Signs that are too big can be overwhelming for customers. Signs that are too small may be hard to read. Your signs should be placed at eye-level so customers do not have to crane their necks to read your offer. For smaller POS materials, make sure your signs are placed next to the products you are selling so there is no confusion as to which products the signs refer to.

They also need to be placed in the right spot. If the name of your bakery is placed above a window or awning, it may not be visible to potential customers walking by. Consider putting your logo on the front door and hanging a banner perpendicular to the storefront. Banners will also move around in the wind, which helps attract attention.

Also, place your signs in unexpected locations such as the ceiling, restrooms, parking lot, stairwell or any other spot in your operation where customers are bound to look. However, don’t get overzealous with your signs. Be strategic.

Choose your fonts and colours wisely
Your signs and POS materials should all be cohesive and visually coordinated. They should be the same size and colour, use the same fonts and reflect the same images. If you use too many different sizes, colours and fonts, you will confuse your customers as to what message you want to send them. Use high-contrast colours to attract attention, but keep it simple and easy to read. Avoid handwriting your signs or using fonts that are written in italics, slants or all caps.

Entice with colourful pictures
Use photos that have been taken by a professional photographer. Tantalize your customers with pictures that will make their mouths water. Most people can’t resist buying an extra treat for themselves or for their family if it looks good enough.

Use signs to cross-promote
Since most people will visit a bakery when they are planning a celebration of a holiday or an event, use colourful signage and POS materials to create cross-promotional displays to sell items for upcoming holidays. Make sure that your signs reflect the colours of the holiday, but still keep in line with your brand.

Digital screens are the future
Digital point-of-purchase (POP) offers many benefits, mainly because it can be updated instantaneously. It is also more environmentally friendly as it eliminates the use of paper, which can also tear and rip easily. Digital POP can also provide more entertainment value to your customers, as you can create slide shows or even short commercials of your promotions. You can also create short cartoons or animation to attract the attention of kids.

Cleanliness is key
The sign outside your store is the first impression customers get of your operation. Make sure that your sign is clean, fresh and positive. If your sign is dirty, has missing letters or lights that are burned out, it gives the impression that your bakery does not care about itself, and therefore, will not care about its customers. Make sure that your signs are always updated and accurate. Market only those promotions that you are currently offering or will be offering in the near future.

Sell and resell your brand
Your logo should appear somewhere on all of your signs and POS materials (ideally, in the same place, such as always in the lower right-hand corner). The most successful companies use memorable images that help keep their brands dominant in the minds of consumers.

Review these easy-to-implement tips to evaluate how effective your current signs and POS materials are. A few simple tweaks may be all your operation needs to bring in extra sales.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit

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