Whether you have a few dozen locations or a few hundred, managing a brand signage rollout is no easy feat. Whether as part of a complete rebranding program or an energy-saving effort, here’s what to consider as you look to roll out this critical brand element throughout your footprint.
What’s being included in the brand signage rollout?
Signage exists in multiple areas at each of your facilities. Depending on your program, the brand signage rollout might focus on exterior signage (monument, building, pillar, and so on), or you might update interior signage elements such as lobby signs, graphics, wayfinding, ADA signage, and others. The important thing here is to pull back and understand what your overall goal is, then align that with signage at your locations to ensure everything is covered.
For example, if your program is part of a rebrand that includes a new visual identity such as a logo or wordmark, every point that doesn’t match the existing identity and its color palette should be replaced to ensure consistency. If you’re simply conducting an identity refresh and many of the visual aspects like colors will remain the same, only signage that features the logo will need to be replaced. Other elements such as wayfinding signage may not require an update.
Remember that a brand signage rollout is an opportunity to make improvements for the better. If your locations don’t have sufficient ADA signage, or if signage could be improved to make it clearer, this will be the ideal time to include those changes. Consider how your wayfinding signage is positioned, identifies spaces, or provides instructions. For any illuminated signage, consider its energy utilization: are there opportunities for improvements there?
What’s the process for your brand signage rollout?
To ensure a successful program, it’s important to map out the process fully to ensure time and resources are maximized and that you hit your target deadline. The level of detail is significant in a program of this magnitude, so ensuring every step is outlined, goals are set, and variables are accounted for will help to reduce surprises (operationally and financially), and keep work progressing smoothly. Key questions to ask pertaining to the process include:
- Who is managing the program and with what resources or partners?
- Is work being executed by site or simultaneously across many sites?
- What is the timeframe for completing the brand signage rollout?
- What is the timeframe for completing work at each location?
- What time of day will work be conducted? During the day or after hours?
- Will the program require working in a closed- or open-store environment?
- How will disruptions be minimized for employees and customers?
- How will materials be produced/sourced, shipped, and warehoused?
How is information being managed?
Even if you successfully map out the above details and launch the program, it won’t go smoothly unless you know where everything stands at any given point. There will be a number of contracts, estimates, quotes, invoices, permits, receipts, mockups, design files, plans, and other documentation for each site (and in some cases, even down to the asset level). Multiplied by the number of locations in the brand signage rollout, and you’ve got a stack of paperwork that no team can manage efficiently — let alone accurately.
The use of centralized, encompassing technology is critical here. Imagine having to quickly look for an estimate to match up to an invoice, a plan to provide to a municipality for a permit, or a schematic to get approval on — only to lose precious time sifting through files (electronic and physical). Having a centralized portal where all of this information is conveniently located, accessible 24/7/365, and organized according to each location will streamline access to information. An integrated system will provide you greater oversight, ensure that timelines are met and questions are answered, and the financial details are managed more accurately.
What will the impact of the program be?
As we alluded to above, a brand signage rollout is an opportunity to do more than simply update or replace signage throughout your locations. Often, there are energy-saving improvements that can be made to reduce your utilization and costs — the payback periods of which justify the upfront investment. For example, if your existing signage is using outdated components, or if your building isn’t making use of the latest control systems to align energy usage with facility usage, consider using this opportunity to make those changes. LED upgrades and retrofits are a great way to reduce energy consumption while also improving lighting conditions.
Not only do these improvements help you save on energy costs themselves, but you can also take advantage of utility rebates to further maximize your savings. Additionally, consumers today care about working with brands that prioritize controlling their environmental impact. These improvements serve as an opportunity to deepen your connections with those consumers.
How will your investment be protected?
Once your brand signage rollout has been efficiently completed, strongly consider implementing a preventive maintenance program to ensure these investments in your brand remain efficient, beautiful, and functional for customers and employees. Signage that experiences damage, an outage, or another type of issue sends the wrong message. By implementing a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual maintenance program, any issues are proactively identified and addressed before they become costly brand-impacting problems.
Examples of what can be included in a preventive maintenance program include the repair and replacement of channel letters on exterior building signage, installation of replacement signage and lighting components, repair services for illuminated signage outages, and even night surveys to see how signage and exterior lighting systems are performing.
Roll Your Signage Out with the Brand Implementation Experts
Stratus has been serving brands across multiple industries with all of their signage needs for more than a hundred years. As one of the largest brand implementation companies in the country, we understand how to take your brand signage rollout program and see it through from start to finish. Our team handles virtually every aspect on your behalf — from building the program and managing the details to routing materials and installing them at each site. With thousands of trusted and proven field partners nationwide, there’s no better team to help you identify the ideal solutions for your program.