Thursday, December 11, 2014

Digital Signage, Need to Know: Your Digital Signage, an Extension of Your Brand



- T. Scott Hofheins

Branding in essence is just a symbol that everyone can immediately identify. While branding cattle is pretty much permanent, branding an organization or person is a much more fluid process, a process that needs to be updated and managed proactively over time. Extending your brand to digital signage is an important part of your approach that should not be forgotten. This is true for both indoor and outdoor signage.

While it’s easy to see successful branding efforts, it can be harder to see the others because they are...unsuccessful. Good branding will include as many outlets as possible including, print, radio, television, web, and digital signage. What tends to happen with digital signage, particularly outdoor, is operators forget to keep it updated and fresh. When it’s new, it’s exciting to use and program, but as time goes on it can turn into another thing “on the list” that get’s pushed aside.

When people see you, they want to feel comfortable that you are going to provide what they need:  food, car repair, A/C service, medical care, religion, and many more. Consistency in your message is key to this and why branding is so important. It shows your viewers that you are organized and care about your product, service and customers. Continuing your brand image onto your digital signage is important to maintain that consistency.  

Outdoor
This is your calling card to the general public, and may be the only way some of your potential customers are able to be reached. It makes sense to treat the sign as you would any print, radio, or TV commercial. This is sometimes hard to do because of the smaller format, but worth the effort.

  • Don’t be scared to simplify the message. Take the root meaning of your larger format ads, and bottom line it for the viewers.
  • Maintain the same colors and font types as your existing ads, but tweaked for the special nature of LED signs. Some fonts may look good on print, but too thin on an LED sign. Avoid white backgrounds to maintain the viewers focus on the message itself.
  • Trust the pros. If you have a graphic design team use them for the sign too, or use a content creation service. It’s worth it.

Indoor
These displays are a bit easier to extend your brand too. They are typically higher resolution (HD) and much of your existing advertising media can be converted directly, but there are still some important items to consider.
  • Keep them looking. In many cases, these viewers are already customers or have already made a decision to be one. Continue the branding and keep them happy, confirm that their choice was a good one.  
  • Continue to simplify the message. While not as drastic as outdoors signage may be, indoor digital displays still need to be to the point and readable. Make sure they flow with your existing branding.
  • More fonts and design approaches can be used. You've got a larger canvas, your media can be more content rich with videos and artistic flair to draw the viewers in.
  • Identify the role. Digital menu boards, point of sale displays, waiting room displays, and information kiosks, are some of the many ways you can use indoor digital signage. They all have different roles to play, make sure your content is displayed accordingly.
  • Trust the pros (again).   As I mentioned before, utilize your in house graphics team, or contract a service. Good content can mean the difference between a passive digital display and a powerful advertising tool.

Platforms
Make sure the platform you choose to create, manage, and schedule your content will allow you to fulfill your branding goals. To do this, the platform should provide an easy and logical way to manage your digital network, outdoor and indoor. My good friend Deacon Wardlow made a great point recently when we were discussing the subject. He compared it to a tool belt, where you have certain tools for certain jobs, some platforms work well for certain applications, while others work for different ones. The key (as we always promote on this blog) is to be educated.

Don’t Forget
If you pull nothing else away from this article, remember this: Don’t forget about your Digital Signage. It is truly an extension of your brand, and should reflect the image you have worked so hard to create. If you are new to digital signage, I recommend you take the plunge and look into the advantages of this technology. If you’re already in it, take a look at what you’ve got and see if you can make it more effective, consistent, and branded.

-TSH

I hope this post has been informative and helpful. As usual, I welcome ALL constructive comments. Please feel free to comment and add anything I’ve missed, or additional tips you may have regarding this topic. Please visit www.vantageled.com for many other resources, white papers, and of course: Great looking LED Signs!

**All posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

2 comments:

Aeldra Robinson said...

Hi,I want to install digital Signage menu board for my restaurant...how much does it cost?Thanks

Digital signage player

Deacon Wardlow said...

Depending on what you want to achieve with the menu board - you have a bunch of options. You're likely looking for an HD (high definition) display option using LCD. I recommend contacting either www.zm-media.com or checking out www.gallerydigitalsignage.com as they're both trusted partners we work with and have had excellent feedback from people who've worked with them on projects.

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