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Is Road Signage Still Important?

According to the most recent data from the Pew Research center, 96% of American adults between 18-29 years old and 92% of adults between 30-49 years old own a smartphone. Even among adults between the ages of 50-64 who did not grow up with such tools for Location Intelligence, 79% own such a device. Those over 65? Still over half, 53%, own a smartphone. Given the ubiquitous presence of these devices and the numerous mapping applications that come with them: Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze (owned by Google), Mapquest, Yelp, etc., not to mention the mapping applications embedded and integrated into many businesses’ mobile websites and apps, how important is road signage to businesses in today’s market?   I mean, when was the last time you were driving down the street, saw a pylon sign, and said, “Oh, there is an E.T. the Extra Terrestrial-themed nail salon. Let’s stop in.”?

Perhaps this scenario plays out at a higher percentage on highways, when you are perusing exit signs for a gas station or Waffle House or Cracker Barrel, but what about on an average street? Especially if you’ve never visited the business before, chances are you relied on your phone to guide you to the front door or at least planned your route ahead of time.   Especially if your business is a destination location, why would anyone actually risk certain death by looking for a sign while driving, when they can simply say, “Hey Siri. Take me to the nearest coffee shop”? And don’t even get me started on location-based services: “Hey Siri, remind me to buy eggs when I leave work today.” Or, “Hey Siri, when I get to Safeway, remind me to buy dog food.” Yes, that’s a real thing. Fine, I’ll admit it. Some signage, like the one below we saw while conducting Site Selection work in Georgia, catches your eye. But does that signage convert to actual customer visits? Sales?

So what is the value of signage and frontage today? Does the amount of traffic passing in front of your business really matter that much anymore? How much of an impact does your signage have in drawing in customers to your location? Does it even aid in building your brand? If your answer is yes, how do you know? Do you have a mechanism in place to measure the return your signage is providing? We can answer these and many other questions. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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