Buildings That Mean Business
Retail shops, restaurants and other enterprises that depend on patronage from the general public have forever been transformed. Brick-and-mortar stores were losing considerable marketshare to online purveyors before COVID-19 forced closures and intensified financial challenges. Restaurants were forced to pivot to primarily or exclusively carryout operations and significantly cut staff.
According to a December 7 Bloomberg News article, more than 110,000 U.S. restaurants, or approximately one in six eateries nationwide, has permanently closed their doors. In a similar vein, a January 28 CNBC article cited a Coresight Research study that forecast more than 10,000 shops would close in 2021, compounding the nearly 9,000 stores that closed permanently in 2020.
The challenges facing surviving businesses are substantial. How can they best position themselves for success? In a word, branding. Given the crowded marketplace and saturation of media outlets constantly bombarding viewers with messages, consistent and intentional effort is required to win the attention, and ultimately the purchase, of consumers. Digital advertising might persuade a customer to visit your location, but it’s still essential for a store’s physical presence to provide curb appeal. At the point, there’s no more compelling brand statement than an engaging sign package. Signs inform and direct, but they also stoke brand recognition. Branding and profitability are as inextricably intertwined as peanut butter and jelly.
With the abundance of products on the market today, there are numerous opportunities to turn your windows, floors, and walls from dormant square footage into vital messaging components.
We Do Windows
There are several ways in which window graphics can benefit your business:
- Stand out in a crowd. In a congested urban environment, it’s difficult to differentiate your business amid its surroundings. Your windows provide an ideal backdrop for conveying a brand message to a hurried population. Interior films with frosted and other architectural finishes simulate the effects of beveled-finish and other specialty glass – without the premium price.
- Prime square footage. In many local codes, square-footage limitations imposed on structures bypass any restrictions on windows. Check your local regulations to verify your allowable space for graphic decorations on your windows. Perforated window films allow you to fully decorate windows while still allowing natural light into your space.
- Long- and short-term options If you have a constant rotation of new products and specials, vinyl-cling materials allows frequent graphics turnovers that any employee can install in minutes. If you have brand icons that you want bedecking your windows for the long haul, there are plenty of choices. As media continues to improve, color retention and UV-light resistance are continual enhanced.
- Cost-effectiveness The cost varies based on a print’s complexity and size, but a good rule of thumb is $8 per sq. ft. on short-term material (in place one year or less), or $12 per sq. ft. for long-term media.
Money on the Floor
As our collective attention becomes increasingly engrossed in our phones, we’re looking down more often. Make your floors command their attention with compelling graphics. Grocery stores have long benefitted by tailoring printed floor graphics with advertising messages that paired well with aisles where shoppers browsed store shelves. Today’s broader repertoire of media conforms to ASTM anti-slippage standards, and allows floor messaging on a greater array of surfaces – including concrete, asphalt, and other exterior surfaces.
And, given the onset of COVID-19, public health and safety are paramount concerns, and are likely to remain long-term concerns. Floor graphics are helpful reminders to maintain social distance from other patrons, and to direct traffic by marking the direction of traffic flow. And, of course, the ubiquitous reminders to “mask up”. As with other vinyl-graphic types, floor signage provides a cost-effective and durable way to convey advertising and public-safety messaging.
In addition to being economical, floor graphics enable creative content. Want to attract attention in the cleaning-products aisle? Create a “spill” with your floor graphics to remind them to look up to find all-purpose cleaner. Got a new beer on tap at your restaurant? Install a floor graphic that grabs attention when guests are on their way to the bathroom. Or, build team spirit with logo graphics on the concourse into the stadium or arena.
Driving Revenue Up a Wall
Buildings are no longer mere structures housing a place of business. Today’s consumer now expects every facet of a store or restaurant’s physical space to help tell its brand story. Once upon a time, the only options to activate wall spaces were to pay a mural painter handsomely to ply his trade, or use a heavy-duty vinyl that could withstand UV-outdoor degradation, but needed considerable prepwork to adhere to the wall’s surface. Removal? Well, it was an adventure. Today, materials designed for walls and other textured surfaces enable economical advertisements that take your message to street level.
Wall graphics allow shop owners to set the tone outside their front door. A candy-store owner can decorate his walls with images of sweets that will make kids drool. A shoe store can tempt shopaholics with supersized images of elegant heels or trendy sneakers that will captivate the imaginations (and loosen the wallets) of customers. Inside, shop and business owners can reinforce company culture with colors and imagery that reflect innovation, tradition or whatever company or institutional values you want to emphasize.
Constant industry improvements in ink, media and overlaminates have made graphics brighter, more durable, and increasingly cost-effective. Installation technology has improved thanks to air-release liners that make flawless, long-lasting installations routine – or, if you prefer, easily removed adhesives that enable temporary or reusable graphics. Design-software sophistication helps graphics professionals and their clients unfurl their imaginations and create ad content that connects with audiences.
It’s a jungle out there. Unfortunately, the current climate has decimated our economy and forced many businesses to close. Don’t become a statistic. Fight for what you’ve worked to build. Tell your story – above, below, and around – with the full complement of architectural-graphic products at your disposal.