Banners – Simple Is Better!


If our fast paced world, most people are in a rush.  They simply don’t have the time to read a wordy banner.  Knowing the right way to appeal to your customers and keeping your message simple will help make your banner an effective marketing tool for your business.

For example…

Let’s say that there are two convenience stores across the street from each other at a major intersection.  Each store places a banner out front to attract new customers.  Which banner do you think is more effective?

First store is Sal’s Convenience Mart.  Sal’s banner says:

“Sal’s Convenience Mart

Gas / Drinks / Coffee / Snacks/

We Strive for Customer Satisfaction!”

The main point Sal wants to communicate is his service, which is why the banner includes the line “We Strive for Customer Satisfaction”.  Unfortunately, the main point is at the bottom of the banner…making it hard to get the entire message across to someone driving by…unless they were stopped at a traffic light.  And if they were stopped at the light,  it is still unlikely they would read to the bottom of the banner for two reasons.  1) their primary focus is on the light turning green, so the banner is quickly scanned to see if it strikes an interest.  and 2) after they read the first line “Sal’s Convenience Store”, they know what the business is and may not read any further.

The second store is Dolly’s Convenience Store.  Her banner says

“20 oz Mt. Dew : 2 for $1.”

Dolly’s banner has 4 words and 3 numbers, which is easy for the brain to scan at a quick glance. The banner is read in less than a second and has a compelling message for the customer.  People who drink Mountain Dew would consider this a very good deal, and be more likely to pick Dolly’s Convenience Store over Sal’s.  Customers who drink other Coke products or other drinks will know that Dolly’s carries those as well, because that is what convenience stores do.  And just by looking at the store and seeing the gas pumps out front, they know Dolly’s sells gas also.  So, Dolly’s banner says everything Sal’s banner says in fewer words and is much easier to read!

Using banners to attract customers

This theory can be used for any type of business banner.  Let’s take restaurants for example.  If two restaurants were on the same road less than a mile apart, they would be competing for the same customers.

Locos Tacos Restaurant has a banner with its name (even though their name is on the main restaurant sign) followed by a lengthy description of one of their dishes.  “Try our new fish tacos! Loaded with peppers and onions and topped with our zesty baja sauce it will make your taste buds dance!” Next to it is a picture of the dish.

The purpose of Locos Taco’s banner is to make passersby hungry for it and stop in.  But their banner doesn’t make people hungry for the dish– it just make them hungry for Mexican food.

Azteca Restaurante, down the road past Locos Taco’s has a banner up too.  Their banner simply says: “Lunch specials starting at $4.25.”

Which restaurant do you think people will go to? They are already in the mood for Mexican food because of the other banner, but Azteca has lunch specials for $4.25! So in the mind of the customer, they have the picture from the first banner and the price from the second banner. The second banner is most effective because it brought in more new customers and cost half of what is cost to make the first banner.

(Without looking, what did banner 1 say? Did you have to think about it? What about banner 2? Go back and look at it to see how close you were on the two banners.)

Simple banners are just plain better. They get the customer’s attention, are easier to read, get the point across fast, and in most cases, they cost less. When it comes to creating an effective banner, just remember to go against everything that was taught in school, and DON’T use your imagination! Keep it simple!

If you need help or advise in designing a banner for your retail location, let the experts at Signs & More help. Contact us today for a quote or just to talk.