Today we’re asking the question: What’s a sign worth? This may seem to be a simple ask, but the answer is more complex and drives much deeper than “however much did I paid for it.” Any business owner will tell you that budget and priorities change based on goals and needs. We talk to A LOT of potential clients about their budget, what kind of signage solutions we can offer for that range of pricing, and the type of longevity to be expected based on those recommendations.

But what tends to get overlooked in the face of budgetary restrictions or production concerns are the extensive benefits of on-premise signage that help determine the true value involved when investing in a sign package. Worth is determined by both tangible and intangible factors. These benefits range from perceived quality of products and services to wayfinding to maximizing your customer base to its full potential. It’s easy to put a dollar value on the final fabricated sign based on material costs and durability, but what’s the TRUE value and return on your investment?

Well-designed signs bring in new customers. Is your sign easy to read? Does the look and feel of it accurately represent offered services and products? Do the visual aesthetics of the sign reflect your brand and desired customer? Are you using a variety of sizes and materials to your advantage?  Studies* show that consumers infer store, product and service quality based on the signage representing a business or service. It is a “silent salesperson” and one of the first impressions you make when someone walks by, or drives to your location. A study conducted by FedEx Office** found that almost 80% of American consumers have walked into a new business simply based on its signage. Foot traffic increases, and so do your sales. Well-designed signage is visible, it stays on brand, and it informs potential customers in a number of ways.

Wayfinding. Did you know over 50% of American consumers have failed to find a business due to insufficient signage? Sign visibility and conspicuity is massively important. How many times have you driven right past a business or simply kept going based on the condition, quality or lack of signage identification? On-premise signage is the method by which you are found; unless your gimmick is to knock three times on an unmarked door to gain entry, most consumers will keep moving on (to your competitors) who are concerned and invested in making sure you can find them. Make sure all entrances and exits are marked, parking designations are clear, and your sightline is visible.

On-premise signage works for you 24 hours a day. Research* indicates that 85% of customers live or work within five miles of your business. Driving, using public transit or walking along the same routes during a standard week means that there is the potential of a customer seeing your sign up to 50 or 60 times in a month (multiple times a day, five to six days a week, four weeks a month). In larger terms, that’s up to 300 times a year. Per person. Are you maximizing that potential to repetitively brand yourself to those who live and work closest to you? How can you appeal to this demographic most effectively? Make sure you’re communicating your business hours consistently, and make it easy for the customer to plan a return when you’re closed.

Maintenance and longevity. The depreciation of your sign package over time is greatly affected by proper maintenance, reasonable updates and replacements when necessary. Studies* cite 60% of businesses report average sales increases of 10% by adding or updating their existing sign packages.  Why? If you update your branding/business logo/hours/services, then your signage needs to be updated as well. Taking good care of your basic business identification is a non-verbal communication of how you maintain other parts of your business. If your sign is cracked, missing information or lacking consistent branding, then your customer is likely to infer quality issues from how you maintain your signage. Maintenance and reasonable replacement measures matter. Read more about our tips to stay on top of routine maintenance here.

Signage is a marketing tool. Your on-premise signage works for you more directly and consistently than billboards, print ads, television commercials or radio spots. Signage should never be an afterthought, or the last thing you budget for. As we’ve outlined above, it’s the most non-verbal means you use to communicate your brand, services, and location to prospective customers. There’s a famous quote that says “A business without a sig is a sign of no business.” Above we alluded to a survey** that linked new customers to signage. In the same survey, nearly 75% of people reported that they’d recommended a store based on its signage alone. Word-of-mouth advertising (referrals) is the original social media marketing, and in this case, all it costs you is a solid investment in your signage.

So, what’s a sign worth? A quality sign package that represents your brand accurately doesn’t have to have a ton of bells and whistles to capture the right kind of attention. But it does require thought and planning as your business evolves. Consider making updates to existing signage that’s outdated, and talking with a sign professional before you determine your budget. Here at United, we’d love to help you maximize your signage investment. Contact us for a free initial consultation.


*Study information cited from a number of resource documents on Sign Research Foundation at

**FedEx Office Study/Survey link