Choosing a signage supplier

Free Standing Signs that work

Choosing a signage supplier

How Can SignForce Help You With Signage?

Navigating the world of signage can be challenging, but at SignForce, we’re here to guide you through every step. Whether you’re a new business looking to make a bold first impression or an established brand aiming to refresh your image, understanding how signage can help is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll explore how SignForce assists you in creating impactful signage that aligns with your business goals and needs.

Understanding Your Vision

The first step in any signage journey is understanding your vision.

What message do you want to convey?

Who is your target audience?

How do you want your brand to be perceived?

What do you want YOUR sign to achieve?

At SignForce, we begin by listening.

Our team of experts will discuss your objectives, brand identity, and design preferences to ensure your signage aligns perfectly with your business ethos and your desired outcomes.

Design and Customization

At SignForce, we believe that every sign sign investment mus be a piece of art that reflects your brand’s unique identity. Our design process is collaborative and iterative. With state-of-the-art design tools and a keen eye for aesthetics, we create custom signage that makes your brand stand out. Whether it’s a vibrant storefront sign, an electronic billboard, an elegant office plaque, or dynamic vehicle branding, we tailor every aspect of your visual communication to your specific requirements.

Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

The longevity and impact of your sign heavily depend on craftsmanship and the materials used. At SignForce, we use only high-quality materials that ensure durability so your sign will have a long life together with visual appeal. Our skilled craftsmen combine traditional techniques with modern technology to produce signs that are not stunning and also withstand the test of time.

Compliance and Installation

Navigating the regulations around signage can be complex. SignForce takes the hassle out of this process. We ensure that all our signs comply with local zoning laws and regulations. Our installation team is highly experienced, ensuring that your sign is safely and strategically placed for maximum visibility and impact.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance

Our relationship with you doesn’t end once your sign is installed. SignForce offers ongoing support and maintenance to ensure your signage continues to shine brightly. Whether it’s a simple clean-up or more complex repairs, we are just a call away.

Why Choose SignForce?

Expertise and Experience: With over two decades in the business linked with a deep understanding of marketing, we understand the nuances of effective signage.

Custom Solutions: SignForce provide advice and tailored solutions that reflect your brand’s unique story.

Quality Assurance: High-quality materials and craftsmanship guarantee a lasting impression.

End-to-End Service: From conception to installation and maintenance, we handle it all making your experience hassle free.

Your sign is often the first point of contact with your physical audience, making your signage a crucial element of your marketing strategy. At SignForce, we do more than just create signs; we craft powerful communication tools that elevate your brand. Let SignForce help you make a statement that resonates with your audience and stands the test of time. Reach out to us today, and let’s bring your vision to life!


If you or your business are in the market for signage – regardless of the size of the sign and the size of the job – SignForce is available to assist.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsaApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

SignForce’s reputation

 

SignForce

What you see is what you get with SignForce

How SignForce built our Reputation

In the competitive world of signage, having a stellar reputation isn’t just beneficial—it’s essential. At SignForce we have always been – and are – aware that our reputation is the collective perception of our business, formed by the quality our work, customer service, and the overall experience that we at SignForce provide, remembering that we are ALWAYS dealing with PEOPLE. SignForce’s reputation is the intangible yet powerful force that sets SignForce apart in a market flooded with choices.

Understanding Reputation: At SignForce we have built our reputation on providing ADVICE on SIGNAGE and MARKETING, with our focus being on ensuring that ANY money spent on signage MUST BE AN INVESTMENT. At its core, SignForce’s reputation is about being acknowledged for excellence, reliability, and our ability to positively influence our clients’ businesses – we get the feet through your door!

SignForce’s reputation has been built through consistent delivery of high-quality signs, innovative design solutions, and exceptional customer experiences over more than two decades under the current management. We would love to say we don’t make mistakes but that would be a lie. What we can say with 100% honesty and great pride is that our ‘mess up’ rate is significantly less than 4.3% and in all our years we have only had three jobs that we had to walk away from because we could not make good.

SignForce’s strong reputation means that when our existing client’s need signage services, SignForce is the first sign business that comes to mind.

Building a Reputable Status: Achieving SignForce’s reputable status has been and still is a journey involving continuous improvement and dedication. Building and maintaining SignForce’s reputation requires a keen focus on excellence in every aspect of our signage business – be it design, material quality, or customer service. Consistency is crucial – SignForce want our clients to know they can rely on us for top-notch work every time.

Equally important is how we at SignForce make our clients feel – appreciated, understood, valued, and SATISFIED. At SignForce we believe that positive experiences lead to positive word-of-mouth, which is invaluable in helping to build our reputation.

Long term Perspective: At SignForce we adopt a LONG TERM approach, unlike Keynesian theory in which it is stated that in the long term we are all dead so nothing matters.

At SignForce we believe out long term view is vital in building and sustaining our reputation – as well as the reputation of our customers – or as we see them, our business partners.

This long term perspective emphasizes consistent quality and engagement over time, rather than quick, short-term gains. For SignForce this means investing in quality materials, innovative design capabilities, a strong, experienced team and building strong, lasting relationships with our clients. At SignForce our goal is to create a cycle where quality work leads to customer satisfaction, which in turn drives our customers growth and hence greater demand and further business opportunities for SignForce as well.

Practical steps to choosing a signage partner:

Any potential buyer of signage is advised to follow the following steps in order to give them the best chance of having a successful, smooth experience when ordering their signs.

Where possible the buyer should evaluate the current standing of your potential signage partner – possibly talking to existing current clients, with the intention to get an understanding of where the your potential signage supplier stands in terms of reputation, ability to fulfil your job and meet your signage requirements. It may also be helpful to gather feedback and check reviews.

In order to ensure a SUCCESSFUL signage process it is imperative that the buyer is able to DEFINE your requirements – clearly define how you want your business to be perceived and define what, to you and your business, would be define as a SUCCESSFUL implementation of signage. Having clearly defined expectations is probably the safest way to confirm that your chosen signage supplier can and will deliver on and to your requirements.

One question you can ask is do the values and attributes of the proposed signage supplier align with our brand.

If you or your business are in the market for signage – regardless of the size of the sign and the size of the job – SignForce is available to assist.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsaApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Where does SIGNAGE fit into your business

Where does SIGNAGE fit into your business

Today I was reminded that Sales, Marketing as Branding are NOT all the same tasks, and while they may all have the same objective – improved turnover – they are not necessarily achieved by performing the same or similar tasks.

According to Bing.com Branding, marketing and sales are different but related aspects of a business. Branding is all about creating an image or identity for a product or company. Branding and marketing both use strategies to reach their goals for the business, while marketing focuses on boosting sales branding focuses on increasing the organizations recognition and loyalty.

Marketing is about uncovering and connecting with audiences most likely to benefit from any long-term ‘promises’ that a business makes, especially by using branding..

Sales is the ultimate objective of all branding and marketing, culminating in an exchange of value between the buyer and the seller.

When assessing signage in relation to branding, marketing and sales, one should figure where signage should fit in and what the sign should deliver in order to be considered successful.

Signage such as store name, vehicle branding, isle markers and product identifiers can all be considered part of the BRANDING mix. This is because these type of signs can relay a specific message at the same time as creating consistent BRAND awareness while keeping the BRAND front of mind.

Signage can be used as part of the MARKETING mix by reminding the viewer of the promise that the branding is committing to.

Signage at point of sales can be in the form of visually impactful bobbers or standardizing the signage of the store, constantly reminding the person of where they are and how they got there.

If you or your business are in the market for signage, SignForce has decades of experience and is available to assist.

Contact SignForce not on info@signforce.co.za

What is a CLIENT or CUSTOMER – and when is a ‘client’ neither a client nor a customer?

Printed Sandblast Effect Vinyl

Impressive Printed Sandblast Entrance Sign

What is a CLIENT or CUSTOMER – and when is a ‘client’ neither a client nor a customer?

As one walks into a Stew Leonads physical stores (https://www.stewleonards.com/) there is a large rock at the entrance which states the store’s policy. It reads, RULE 1: The CUSTOMER is ALWAYS RIGHT. Rule 2. If the customer is ever wrong read RULE 1.

This is an amazing policy and a great focus on superb customer service, especially for the retail market. (For those of you who have never been to the store it an EXPERIENCE of note).

But is the saying true and valid for businesses that are not retail based? I suppose the truest answer is YES and NO. Yes, as it is a great target for customer service, and NO because since customers are also human, there are times when they too will NOT be right.

As a designer, manufacturer and installer of bespoke, customized signage, SignForce is NOT a retail distributor, and while we strive to follow the policy of Stew Leonards, there are times when we have to question if the policy that seems to work so well for the retail distributor can work equally well for a manufacturer that also falls into the category of service provider of signage.

A simple Google search (http://www.google.com) of the word CUSTOMER says the following:

customer, noun, a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business.

On the other hand Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer) defines a customer as:

In sales, commerce and economics, a customer is the recipient of a good, service, product or an idea, obtained from a seller, vendor or supplier via a financial transaction or an exchange for money or some other valuable consideration.

In this writers opinion the Wikipedia is the better definition as it does not limit a customer to an INDIVIDUAL – the vast majority of customers, especially in SignForce’s business of supplying signage of all sorts, are businesses and corporates or institutions, NOT individuals.

What BOTH definition’s imply – or flat out explicitly state – is that a customer enters into a FINANCIAL TRANSACTION – meaning the customer receives something of value to said customer from the supplier who will receive FINANCIAL GAIN (read that as MONEY) for the goods supplied, so when a supposed customer does not pay for the goods, are they still a customer, or rather a liability and an expense?

I cannot speak for the world outside South Africa – but at the time of writing South Africa is a failed state (although many ill informed politicians and their cronies and ilk will argue otherwise) run by a poorly organized mafia (with no respect) known as the anc.

The once disciplined, moral and effective freedom fighters – or terrorists depending on one’s position (remember they are the two sides of the same coin) – did well to displace the apartheid government and have since failed dismally to show any morals or back bone or integrity or will or ability to build a nation – rant over.

The point being made is as a failed and further failing state – South Africa under the anc is doing all it can to follow the economic downfall of Zimbabwe and Venezuela, meaning doing business in South Africa is becoming increasingly difficult and costs of materials in South Africa, even when converted at US$ 1 to R20, are still prohibitive, making it extremely difficult for South African businesses to compete in the international market.

In 2023 many signage products can be acquired from China (no surprise) or America or Europe or the middle east (all big surprise) at lower cost than the can be made in South Africa .

As a South African based business this is scary as it makes a country, even with an atrocious exchange rate less competitive and will most likely only lead to greater job losses and more imports. A recipe for continued economic destruction.

When one is operating in such an environment – dare one say a war zone – this is sadly true as there are currently more violent deaths per day in South Africa (as a result of crime) than there are in most war zones in the world. This writer is not a statistician so please feel free to fact check my comments – one needs to ensure that ALL work time is compensated for, which once again comes back to wolves disguised as customers who are more than happy to prey on businesses that believe that turnover is more important than profit.

Part and parcel of the writers experience of of the signage industry over more than two decades is for people to ask for the world – based on an idea – and then over time refine the ideas until they come to a place where they are happy with what they see – both in vision and in associated cost.

As a signage supplier the typical South African attitude of I can do it myself, better and cheaper, comes at a huge cost in time (and often money). This includes prospects who are not yet customers requesting multiple ‘minor’ changes in design, revision in quote, etc., as even every ‘minor’ change requires a rework that can take hours. As such a quote that may take three to five changes can take longer to produce than the production of the signage, and this is all expected to be done at the signage suppliers cost.

So now assume there have been three changes to a quote and the graphic, and the client then decides that either they do not have the budget or they shop around using your intellectual property (IP) to get ‘competitive quotes’ – (remember they have not paid for your time that you are entitled to charge for) this is a topic of an entire book, not only a blog, and surprise surprise, they can get it CHEAPER.

When this occurs is the CUSTOMER or CLIENT still a customer or client as they are not paying for any of the sign suppliers input – both time and intellectual property (IP) – or are they an expense and liability that needs to be dropped for good – or in the thinking of this writer, charged for time if ever they approach the supplier again with the carrot (or promise) of potential future business?

Another question is at what point does the signage supplier disengage with ‘customers’ with all commitments of the supplier falling away. If a customer is with-holding final payment (we assume no business will be prepared to work without receiving an up front deposit) because some possible ‘snags’ are not being addressed, is it to be assumed that the signage supplier MUST make good and then fight on to get payment or should the client pay in full to fulfil their part of the financial transaction and then hope the supplier will make good?

Why is it that the often smallest cog in the value chain is expected to cover ALL the costs of prospect’s multiple mind changes and revisions, and is expected to not charge for their IP and time?

Sometime people we consider to be customers need to be fired so we can focus on PAYING customers who do not expect suppliers to work for free.

This writer is asking anyone WHO believes they may have answers to the various questions and issues to please contact the writer who will gladly take anyone who can give practical ideas for a cup of coffee in order to generate new ideas on how an industry which is seen so poorly so as to be on a par with second hand car sales, can educate clients sufficiently for them to get a grasp of value that they receive from their professionally made business signage.

SignForce is a full service signage supplier

If you are in the market for signage that will get feet into your business contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about the services SignForce offer by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

What goes into making a 3D sign

What goes into making a 3D sign

There are two basic models of 3D sign

FULL 3D

The first, and most common 3D sign, is referred to as a 3D fabricated sign or a pan fabricated sign or a revere pan fabricated sign or pan sign. The 3D sign is a sign that has a face with solid sides to give the sign depth (referred to as a RETURN in the trade). This makes the sign look almost like a BOX. This is great because the 3D elements can accommodate lighting or if there is no lighting it ban make the sign stand out and look powerful.

3D signs can be manufactured using a number of materials, with the most common being metal (Aluminum) or Acrylic.

3D signs have the advantage of being able to be illuminated THROUGH the face – in which case the face must be a material that allows for light to flow through it, as well as being able to be HALO illuminated – where the light will either shine out the sides (returns) or from behind.

The benefits of light coming through the face is that the sign can illuminate in COLOR and when the sign is being viewed at a distance, the illuminated text (sign) is more legible than when the sign is halo illuminated.

PARTIAL 3D

The second type of 3D sign is what we at SignForce refer to as PARTIAL 3D. In the case of partial 3D signs, the 3D element is not created by a return (solid side) but rather by ‘pins’ that hold the face of the sign away from the backing structure. The 3D element can be enhanced using lighting where shadows will add depth and character to the sign.

Partial 3D signs can be illuminated with HALO illumination where the light is BEHIND the sign and the light is reflected off the backing structure.

Disadvantages of halo illumination include the color of the face being lost (not always as it depends of the face color, the depth of the 3D, the color of the lighting and the distance from which the sign is being viewed.

If you or your business are looking for 3D signs SignForce is the partner you want

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

When EVERYTHING that can go wrong DOES go wrong

 

3D illuminated letters

Illuminated 3D signs

When EVERYTHING that can go wrong DOES go wrong

In the signage business, as I am sure with almost every other surviving and thriving business, things tend to go well most of the time (say 95% of the time) BUT when the 5% happens it ‘feels’ like the entire world is collapsing.

When things go wrong, the superstitious will be looking for the 3 things because ‘bad things’ happen in threes. It may not be 3’s, but from our experience when things go wrong, it definitely seems that they go wrong on more than one thing.

I have often heard people say EVERYTHING that could go wrong DID go wrong, but this is seldom true. In reality we don’t know what we don’t know, so the chances are that while a number of things went wrong, there are most certainly other things that did not but could also have gone wrong – things that were not even on the person’s radar.

Now to the point.

There is always a potential for things to go wrong. It doesn’t matter how well you plan, one cannot plan for circumstances beyond one’s control. This made me think of the recent floods in South Africa. The writer read a call for help where foreigners were trapped away from their base, and were running out of time to exit the country. No amount of expert planning could have prevented them from being isolated, as the weather forecast was not expecting the anomaly that occurred.

When things do go wrong, it tends to be HOW the events and the aftermath are handled that are more important and remembered for longer than the actual event. As such it is when one feels that the world is falling apart that it is most important to keep a cool head, analyze the situation and do what one can to make good and move forward.

SignForce has years of experience and we play comfortably in the signage industry, but sometimes things still go wrong. It is then that the guarantee we offer, our reputation, our established network and our years of experience make the small additional fees we may charge seem like a very good investment.

If you are in the market for quality signs at a fair price contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware

 

Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer BEWARE

A simple Google search of the term caveat emptor returns the following result: the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

Caveat Emptor is a fairly simple concept where the BUYER is ultimately held responsible for any purchase.

Many years ago I heard this concept stated slightly differently in “He who pays, says”

Regardless of how it is stated, the concept places ALL RESPONSIBILITY on the purchaser to make an informed and ‘decent’ decision when making a purchase.

Now while I 100% agree with the concept of Caveat Emptor (AKA Let the Buyer BEWARE), I also empathize with buyers who DO do [extensive?] research and still end up being fleeced, or feeling they are being ‘ripped off’, or are simply unsatisfied with their purchase – possibly because they did not know the correct questions to ask and or were not well informed when they did ask the correct questions.

It seems that the concept of Caveat Emptor applies equally well across ALL suppliers, trades and products. It applies to the doctor or therapist one CHOOSES to see – because not all doctors or therapists are a great fit for every individual – as well as to car manufacturers (not everyone will want to or can afford to buy a Lamborghini or Rolls Royce or Ferrari) with different buyers having different needs, but equally not all car buyers would want a VW or a Fiat or a Dodge either. I have personal experience as my wife’s practice http://www.inneressence.co.za also experiences the same concept. Caveat Emptor even applies to signage.

One of the challenges SignForce have as a supplier of signage is that we (I am referring to the South African market as this is where SignForce is based) tend to want to always get a bargain – even for those that can afford to and are prepared to pay FAIR price. Because we tend to be bargain chasers the normal process when purchasing a high ticket item (such as a sign) is to do a Google search, request three competative (and hopefully comparable*) quotes and chosing either the lowest or middle price and placing the order.

In our experience it is not common for new sign buyers to ask about SignForce’s facilities, capabilities or for proof of completed work or samples**. I am not sure if a lack of thorough vetting is a direct result of lack of time, lack of desire, being overly trusting or some other reasons, or even a combination of all listed (and I am sure many unlisted) reasons. The outcome of the lack of research can be a double edged sword as while some great but not necessarily well experienced or established suppliers may be overlooked, there is also the possibility that the client may find out too late that the signage they purchase does not meet their expectations or requirements.

I am talking about Caveat Emptor again – I am sure for the umpteenth time – because of a site SignForce recently visited where a client who has had a less than desirable experience and are looking to replace their sign after it has only been up for one week.

The client returned the sign and the sign company remade it, but the second (acrylic faced) sign has already cracked after one week, and is not portraying the client’s business in the professional manner they are striving to achieve.

SignForce did not ask so we are not sure how many quotes they client received, nor what the criteria they used to make their final decision to purchase, but being a financial business who are in the business of researching finance and carrying out due diligence’s, I have the feeling (yes, dangerous to proceed on feelings alone) that the company DID the correct research, however, for whatever reason the chosen supplier cannot produce or deliver.

The ringer SignForce is being put through to show samples, give references and prove we can deliver is also an indication that the client has been burned BUT learned from the experience.

Please people, do your research and USE companies like SignForce where we have years of experience and even if you are not going to ask us to quote or to do your signage, consider paying a consulting fee which will be a far less than any cost of redo’s and will allow you to tap into years of signage experience.

At SignForce we strive to give the best possible advise from a signage and marketing perspective with the objective of ensuring our clients signage is an INVESTMENT.

If you are looking for advice on signage or signage that works, SignForce is the signage business to work with.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

* In many ways signage has and will always be a creative purchase. From the origins of signage where artists would use their creative talents to assist their clients in order to create attractive signs, to today where those same concepts are still being practiced. In the modern world of signage the ranges and depth of materials, processes and finishes has amplified. Practically this AMPLIFICATION allows for greater choices, however with depth of choice comes a greater need to be acutely aware of one’s requirements, how one wants their sign to look, what one wants the sign to achieve, the potential costs involved and the buyer’s associated budget. Because of the depth of possibilities unless EXPLICITELY stated in a quote it is extremely possible that while the buyer thinks they are comparing apples to apples that they are not in fact doing so, and are rather unknowingly comparing apples to banana’s.

** Samples are a great way of assessing what a company is capable of producing. That said in South Africa more often than not the client EXPECTS samples to be custom made to scale and are not prepared to contribute towards said sample. While it is understandable that a client would not want to pay for a poor quality sample, there are costs involved, and it is not always practical or equitable, to expect the sign supplier to carry the cost of said samples.

Seven Important Benefits of Non-uniform Signage

non-uniform signs that work

Non uniform sign that catches attention and promotes your business

 

Seven Important Benefits of Non-Uniform Signage

Many – if not most – of us human animals tend to appreciate and enjoy visual stimulus being “uniform”.

I am not referring to people who are OCD and everything HAS to be PERFECT, but even for those of us that are quite chilled and un-phased, seeing a painting hanging skew, or a sign that just doesn’t ‘look’ and ‘feel’ right can be anything from a slight irritant to extremely off-putting and upsetting.

The thing is sometimes we as marketers can and SHOULD take full advantage of these predicatable and almost universal traits, as often, that feeling of discomfort helps a viewer look again and again and again – either in an attempt to see what is WRONG, or to find closure and not have to look again or to wonder what other ‘ERRORS’ can be found or to try and figure what FOOL could get the signage SO WRONG!

The reality is that there are a number of benefits to non-uniform signage. In fact any marketing material that can get the viewer to look again and again, especially when the medium is static, has definitely helped improve the client’s investment when measured by engagement for consistent views or time per view.

Seven of the most important, seldom considered benefits of non-uniform signage are:

  1. Increased visibility – Non-uniform signage can be more visible than uniform signage, especially in highly areas highly populated with signage. Non-uniform signage can thus help attract more customers to your business

  1. Cost-effective – Non-uniform signage can be a cost-effective form of marketing for businesses that have limited marketing funds because they can make their professional sign get more views simply because of it’s placement.

  2. Increased reach – Non-uniform signage can increase the reach of marketing campaigns due to increased visibility. Think of a television or social media advert. Chances are the one’s you remember the most either made you laugh or irritated you.

  3. Easily catches attention – A non-uniform sign can easily catch the attention of target customers and passerby. There is a saying that there is no such thing as negative publicity. While this si debatable – think of politicians worldwide – from a business perspective the higher one’s visibility, the greater the chance of being front of mind and hence the greater the chance the customer will remember, relate to and feel comfortable with your brand.

  4. Differentiates from competitors – Non-uniform signage can promote brand identity by using unique designs and colors that are not commonly found on other signs. This helps make your brand stand out from the competition AND is also a great step in brand identification and creating greater awareness of your brand.

  5. Customizable and Increases customer engagement – Non-uniform signs can be customized to your specific businesses brand or unique campaign which can and does increase customer engagement by providing a unique experience that is not found elsewhere.

  6. Promotes creativity – Non-uniform signage promotes creativity by allowing businesses to use unique designs and colors that are not found on other signs, and subconsciously lets your prospects and customers know you are available and open to different ideas.

SignForce is in the business of making custom signs. We design signs that WORK! Work can depend a lot on your specific requirements, which is why not all signs are the same and our customized sign designs do not have a one size fits all approach.

SignForce has been in the signage market for over three decades, and have built our reputation on giving the best possible signage advice and producing quality signs.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsaApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Where is the VALUE in your SIGNAGE?

Illuminated Signs

Custom, old fashioned, illuminated signs

Where is the VALUE in your SIGNAGE?

Ever stopped to contemplate where the VALUE in your SIGN is?

What about your sign makes it an INVESTMENT versus an EXPERNSE?

I was recently reminded that as people we tend to focus on (1) NOW, and (2) diminish ourselves. Stated differently, when we focus on NOW we tend to focus on where we are CURRENLY in a specific place, we project that we will ALWAYS be in the same place – literally – even if we know we will physically be in a different place tomorrow. A different way of stating we DIMINISH OURSELVES is that we tend to elevate others and put ourselves down. A simple example of this is forgetting the skills we have – to change a light bulb, fix a car, post on the internet – whatever – because we believe that if I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN DON IT. This is not true. Every one of us has at least ONE specific skill that very few other people will have. Also, too often we BELIEVE the AMRKETING that is presented to us – so we BELIEVE that everyone else has a better life, something we don’t – so we don’t see how we can add value to anyone else.

You may be wondering WHAT all this has to do with SIGNAGE – so let me explain.

When you purchase a sign, you may believe you are ONLY getting the physical sign that gets delivered and or installed, because that is what you SEE. However, in reality the delivered END PRODUCT is exactly that – the END PRODUCT. The END product is what comes after EVERYTHING before the end product – all the design, the planning, the manufacturing without which the end product would either not exist or not be as it is.

Why should this interest you, and more to the point, why should you be be concerned about the process as much as the end product?

Have you ever heard about a Friday Alpha Romeo, or a Monday Alpha, or a Mercedes, or a Rolls Royce? Why do all of these names ring a bell? They all ring a bell because people see them, because they have PERCEIVED value and because of the PERCEIVED STATUS attached to each of the named products.

What about DeLorean, Bahia, Badedas, South African Airways and South African Railways. If you have not heard of these businesses it may be that you are not in South Africa, or it could be because they are all BUST, BROKE and going out of business, many due to lack of qualified management, but some because the products they sold were not up to scratch or they were not competitive in a world where competition is everywhere.

The latter list tended to focus only on the END RESULT, but did not give sufficient attention to the PROCESS, the list of little steps that are needed for the end product to exist.

For signage one of the PROCESS elements is the sales person, the person who makes the suggestions as to what type of signage you require to MEET YOUR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS. If the business sign you order and receive is almost free but does NOT achieve your objective – whatever your objective is, it does not matter what the sign cost, it can be considered an EXPENSE as it cost you money but is not generating the money you hoped it would generate – in which case the sign or signs would qualify as an INVESTMENT.

At SignForce we have over two decades of experience in signage, keeping abreast of the local and international trends as well as what materials are available, not only in our primary market in South Africa, but also internationally.

Another benefit of working with SignForce is the years of MARKETING experience that we have acquired over the years in the signage business. But that is not all. The main sales people at SignForce also have years of marketing experience that comes from studying marketing and practical psychology, AND putting those studies into practice.

When you come to SignForce for SIGNAGE you are privy to our years of experience in making and psychology which is why we can design and produce signs that WORK and can thus be considered INVESTMENTS.

Now one concern we do have at SignForce is that we are often perceived as being expensive. This may be because a competitor may be able to produce a sign at a lower cost than we can. The issue is the INFORMATION CAPITAL that comes with the signs that SignForce design and manufacture, because, while signage is a simple industry, it is only simple for simple signs, and when it is not simple it is very quick to become overwhelmingly complicated.

At SignForce we strive to keep the system SIMPLE for YOU, our client.

If you are looking for signage that works, SignForce is the signage business to work with.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

What are you ‘buying’ when you choose a sign company?

What are you ‘buying into’ when you choose a sign company?

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign  – do you notice how the top left seems unattached?

It seems the standard method used to purchase a sign (and many other high ticket items) is to decide what you want, or at least have a rough idea of what you want or are looking for, or what you want to achieve. This applies to signs as much as it does to purchasing appliances, cars or televisions, all considered high ticket purchases.

Well that is only partly true. While cars and the other listed purchases (especially in South Africa) are definitely almost always seen as high ticket items – even for entry level models, signs and SIGNAGE are very often seen as a cheap after thought – that is, until quotes are received.

But I am digressing so back to the standard method of purchase.

  1. Have an idea of what you are looking for

  2. Hopefully have an idea of what you want your purchase to achieve (I know this sounds obvious, as you purchase a fridge to keep your food fresher for longer, DUH, but not everyone knows or understands WHY they purchase a sign.)

  3. Look on Google for a possible keyword – lets use signage or pylons or cut out letter signs.

  4. Wait – generally less than 1 second – for Google to give you a list of suppliers you can contact. ** This is where the fun begins and will require it’s own paragraph

  5. Call, WhatsApp or email the suppliers listed on Google to give them an idea of what you are looking for and ask for a price.

  6. Copy and paste the same message to all the possible suppliers listed on the first page *** of Google. Not sure where to mention this but are you aware that the top and bottom (of every page) few sites listed or ‘recommended’ by Google are paid sites – what Google refers to as sponsored – also known as paid adverts. This is only a FYI comment but is worth noting as there are possible additional benefits and costs linked to businesses that do and do not use sponsored adverts.

  7. Wait for feedback from the potential suppliers you emailed or called, or follow up the email with a call to make the potential sign supplier aware that there is an incoming email.

  8. Get quotes from the potential suppliers who respond to your request for a quote

  9. Assess the cost from each supplier making the assumption that ALL quotes are for the same ‘thing’ ****, especially as you sent the same request to all potential suppliers.

  10. Choose a supplier based on cost and possibly on a picture they have provided. *****

  11. Delete all correspondence from the alternative suppliers

** When you get the list of possible, potential suppliers, you are doing a wide range, generic search. Your search has no specifics and doesn’t necessarily tell you much about the businesses you are approaching. A cursory search of the proposed supplier’s website should give you a little more information, but please always remember that we live in a world of INFORMATION, and not all information is necessarily true, so a general rule is to do a little more digging (formally known as due diligence), make a call and see what response and ‘feel’ you get.

*** How often do you search beyond page 1 of any Google search? How often do you look at the number of responses Google provides – and the time it took to get the list. For example, a simple search of cut out letters took 0.6 seconds – well under 1 second – to provide a list of 2,120,000,000 web sites that MAY provide a good match for the simple search. This is an overwhelming number and is why almost every business strives and pushes to be on page 1 of the world’s largest business directory – Google!

The challenge comes in that for this specific search only 2 of the listings on the front page MAY fulfil my requirements. As such I tweek the search to CUT OUT LETTER SIGNS. This search took 0.4 seconds and provided a list of 925,000,000 possible sites. A great reduction of over 1 billion sites, The refined search has made it simpler to find what I am looking for and thus made it very simple to find at least one supplier on page 1 that should meet my requirements, so why go to page 2? The reason is due to the limited retail territoryavailable on page 1. Only a limited number of potential suppliers can be listed on page 1 (or every page) so there is a high likelihood that good suppliers may also be found on pages that are past page 1.

**** making the assumption that ALL quotes are for the same ‘thing’”

When you contact multiple potential suppliers you will most likely assume that because they are listed on Google that they are capable of doing the job. What you have no idea of is if there is any additional service or benefit you can get from any of the suppliers. In order to find out if the suppliers can provide any additional ‘services’, a number of questions need to be asked. History shows asking these questions while TALKING to a person tends to give great benefit.

***** If you are making the decision of which supplier to use based purely on PRICE (and a possible picture) you may be doing yourself a great disservice, as you may be expecting to get the same quality and same sign from all the potential suppliers, but you would be shocked to learn how many different possible interpretations there can be for the same sign brief, and as such you may not be getting the full benefit of any or all the suppliers.

A case in point is a recent request by one of SignForce’s longest standing and largest clients. The request seemed a little strange at the outset, but made sense later on when all the elements fell together. The request was for photo’s of premises, information about staff, a list of machines on the premises and a few other VERY PERTINENT questions. It turns out our client’s client was requesting the information, possibly as a means of doing part of a due diligence. The other points that may be lost when only looking at cost is quality and cost of material to be used, expected lifespan of the signage, type and quality of paint and if the sign that you have requested is in fact the BEST sign to achieve your intended outcome. At SignForce we have the benefit of a number of years of experience (as well as the formal qualifications) to provide input regarding your marketing strategy and what signs would best suite your needs. This information is not charged for, although our signs may sometimes ‘cost’ more than a competitor, but the added value is definitely there to be taken advantage of.

Which brings us back to the question of what you are buying when you choose a sign company.

It goes without saying you expect the company to produce a sign. You may expect them to design and install the sign as well. It is possible that you know exactly what you need and how it should be made in order to get the most beneficial results from your signage, but it is highly unlikely that you would know as much about signs, their benefits and cots and the best placement to maximize your investment, as the sign producer, especially one who has years of experience, and possibly some formal qualifications in the field.

Trusting your signage manufacturer means you believe they have some knowledge you don’t have. In addition you are not only looking for a sign, but if the signage business is a decent one, they will make sure that your purchase is an investment so that your sign helps to generate more income than it costs. In order for this to happen it means that you also value the experience of your supplier, you value the expertise of your supplier and you are quite right to expect a level of after sales service. The question from the sign suppliers perspective is what is the commercial value of these additional – add on – benefits, and what, if anything, Is my client prepared to pay for these benefits.

At SignForce the senior management have a depth of knowledge and experience in signage – as can be expected after more than 20 years in signage – but also have a depth of knowledge in marketing, visibility, design and project management, which means that when you use SignForce you are investing in a team that will gladly take on and supervise your signage project with the intention of making you look good, ensuring you signs work and your deadlines are met.

Contact SignForce now on info@sgnforce.co.za or call 27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 for all your signage requirements as well as for advice on signage and what signage will work best for your unique business.

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za