Looking for Low-Cost Ways to Make Your Street Presence More Visible?


Looking for Low-Cost Ways to Make Your Street Presence More Visible?

When I saw a lady named Judy call out on Facebook for suggestions on how to improve the street presence of The Letter Lounge Café and Gifts I jumped at the chance to use this as a perfect case study for this Smallville article.

Located on busy Windsor Road, Red Hill, Judy has thousands of cars driving by every day.  Unless traffic has slowed to a stall, they will all be busy looking at the car in front of them, so she has just a split second to communicate her offer.

Judy’s business is unique.  I can see that from her website.  It’s a coffee shop, a meeting room and a unique word themed gift shop all in one. But how can she possibly communicate all that in a split second?

Here are 5 low-cost ways to make your street presence more visible and clearly communicate your purpose in a split second:

1. Colour and Movement

The cheapest, quickest way to achieve this is with balloons.  Choose really bright colours and replace them as soon as they start going down.  Every time Judy changes the balloons, she should replace them with different colours and place them in a different location.  On the awning poles, at the entry, on the side of the building.

Big bold balloons such as this confetti balloon placed on the outdoor tables would be eye catching.  Not every day though.  If they are placed on the tables every day, they become part of the scenery.

If the budget permits Judy could have normal sized balloons in solid colours printed with her logo and web address and, if safe to do so, give them away as incentive for passing traffic to encourage them to stop and call in.  Remember that kids rule.

2. Removable Banners

Advertise week day offers with inexpensive removable banners.  Think of 5 separate offers and promote just one on each banner:

  • Monday – $2 coffee
  • Tuesday – open 6.30am weekdays
  • Wednesday – meeting room $100 off (or FREE meeting room with lunch?)
  • Thursday – Double Shots – $4
  • Friday – $5 Friday 4-6
  • Saturday – open 7.30am weekends
  • Sunday – $7 brekky

Judy should hang the banners in a location where her passing traffic can see them for the longest time (i.e. 2 seconds instead of a split second).

3. Mannequin

Okay so the blow up doll might be tacky, but what about a mannequin?  High quality and relatively cheap used mannequins can be found on Ebay or at the local op shop. Dress it up.  Change it’s outfit every day.  Theme to suit the occasion.  Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, School Holidays, Christmas.

Judy’s gift lines are themed around words.  She could run a competition to name the mannequin and have it display a daily prolific message, capturing the attention of school teachers and students from the nearby school.

4. Opening time (text and collect)

The small writing on the signage on the side of the building would be mostly illegible from the road. Judy should replace the copy in the white space with opening hours and keep wording to a minimum and the font as large as possible, yet remain in keeping with the subtlety of the existing signage.

  • 6.30am M-F
  • 7.30am S-S

Judy should also advertise in a prominent location ‘Easy street parking’.   People won’t necessarily notice there are plenty of parks around, but may notice the sign.

5. Happy Hour/VIP event

Judy could promote a weekly happy hour with limited numbers. My thoughts are to hold the happy hour on a weekend.  Judy could promote it on her removable colourful banners and also have flyers in store to hand out to existing customers.

My thinking is to get weekday customers back over the weekend when they aren’t rushing and have more time to absorb her unique offering. It’s a great location with lots of potential customers driving by.  Judy’s challenge is to just get them to look her way as they drive by.

Once she gets them in store, she needs to deliver great food, great service and a ‘call back soon’ special offer to keep them coming back.

One final tip

Grab that bus seat signage space as soon as possible.  If the current advertiser has a lease on it for too much longer, Judy should approach them to see if she can negotiate to take over the sign before their lease expiry and perhaps partner with them on a mutually beneficial event or ongoing promotion.

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