What’s Your Sign?April 11, 2012 By: Nancy Hadley
Editor's Note: The following is one in a series of blogs provided by the experts who have worked incredibly hard to make Spike TV's "Bar Rescue" reality program, starring Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer, such a success. The Bar Rescue Insider blog series will deliver tried-and-true tips and tricks to help bar owners, operators and managers solve common problems and increase their bottom line. Tune in to Nightclub.com every Wednesday for the next edition of Bar Rescue Insider!
How do you draw attention to your business and attract new and returning customers? Unless you are billing yourself as an exclusive, members-only speakeasy, you want to be extremely visible from the road.
On all of the bars I have re-designed for “Bar Rescue,” a Spike TV reality show starring Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer, team experts have had to address the establishments’ identities and signage. The name alone often is outdated, confusing or uninviting. It is important to brand your business so customers can make a quick association regarding who you are, what you serve and what your style is like inside. Use your interior design as a guide! Consistency in advertising and experience delivery will win you fans.
Angry Ham’s Garage in Framingham, Mass., eventually became Octane Bar & Grill after a visit from "Bar Rescue" experts.
One of the bars featured on “Bar Rescue” shared its name with a neighboring topless bar. This led the public to believe that both establishments offered a live nudity show. The bar lost customers — especially woman — significantly reducing potential revenue. By giving the bar a new name and sign, the businesses were separated and the number of customers increased. A different color palette was used to further differentiate the business fronts.
Avoid confusing references in your bar name. Another of the “Bar Rescue” establishments — the Canyon Inn — received phones calls on a regular basis from customers seeking lodging, a service the bar did not offer. The name of your bar and its logo are the first things a new customer will see; do not imply services you do not provide.
A sign’s size and legibility can draw new customers from the street. Take the time to design a logo that defines you. Make sure the lettering is large and easy to read from a distance. If you need to be creative, use a graphic that works well with your font style.
Be sure to have your exterior sign permitted through the city. Don’t waste money and time creating a fabulous sign only to have it pulled because you didn’t follow the proper permit channels. It is best to work within the your city’s guidelines. You not only will avoid unwanted hassles but you may gain some great new loyal customers and tourist referrals from the city’s office staff.
For more sign design, be sure to check out “Bar Rescue’s” second season when it premieres on Spike TV this summer.