Signage: the 24-Hour Salesman

Imagine that your company has just hired a new salesman. This guy never gets sick, never takes a day off, never goes on vacation. He is quite the social butterfly–wearing your company’s logo everywhere he goes and recommending your brand to everyone he meets. Sounds like the perfect salesman, right?

From posters and displays to dasher boards at ice arenas, signs are your 24/7 sales force. They communicate the best of your company to the public, promote your brand and aid in customer recall. But like any salesman, your signs need a little guidance to ensure maximum effectiveness. Here are a few tips for reducing clutter and ensuring a clear and effective message:

Business Signage

Business SignageThe signage at your business identifies your location, provides information your clients need (e.g. hours open) and sets a welcoming tone. It should not overwhelm or confuse potential customers with superfluous details. A pleasingly simple and elegant design shows a respect for your clients that they will appreciate and remember.

Ice Arena Dasher Boards

With ice arena dasher boards, simplicity is the best strategy. A simple tagline, a good logo and (at most) a website will be enough to brand your business with confidence. Signage: Dasher board As fans attend hockey games throughout the year, they will notice your dasher and associate your business with their team. Your dasher’s presence endears them to your company and can be the difference maker between you and your competition.

Posters and Displays

Signage: Posters and displaysPosters and display art typically require a little more creative juice than dashers, but the message must still be simple and clean to have an impact. While posters and displays allow for more text and photos than dashers, your designer must keep your message focused with attractive graphics and large, easy-to-read typography.

Resist the temptation to pack in as much information as possible, as this will overwhelm your audience and dilute your message. Even the wildest designs will have the biggest impact with a focused idea, consistency, balance and clarity.

At their best, signs are direct, simple and impactful. While they can brand your company to the public like no other medium, they require a disciplined approach and an understanding of your audience and their environment. With an uncluttered design, a powerful message and a great location, your team of signage salesmen will persuade new and repeat customers time and time again.

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Check out this cool Channel 12 feature story starring our very own Marilyn Bina. Marilyn loves her job here at Prime and has no plans to retire anytime soon!

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After a very strong finish to 2015, we enter 2016 full of anticipation. To kick things off, we’ve assembled our top predictions for the New Year.2016 predictions

  1. Industry statistics suggest smartphones and tablets account for over 60% of all online traffic, making the significance of search, content and responsive web even greater in 2016.
  1. The importance of custom and direct mail print products will continue to evolve in meaningful ways.
  1. Just when we think we made it through one of the mildest winters on record, we’ll get buried by a massive snowstorm.
  1. As more companies understand the importance of social media and web analytics, “ready, fire, aim” will be replaced with “ready, aim, fire.”
  1. The use of images and video will continue to increase from the existing staggering numbers. Taking YouTube as an example: there are 1 billion YouTube users and 4 billion YouTube video views per day, yet only 9% of small businesses use YouTube.
  1. I may have put more revolutions on the wheel of my branded pizza cutter last year than on the tires of my SUV, and in 2016, quality promotional items that are useful in daily life will continue to be intelligent marketing tools.
  1. We will experience further recognition that all websites are not created equally, responsive is pretty much a requirement and that design is only one ingredient in the important recipe for a successful website.
  1. Tank the office dog will add a mid-afternoon nap to his already scheduled afternoon nap.
  1. Less will be more. Distilled marketing messages will be simpler and cleaner.
  1. As business gets more competitive, the successful people will continue to be generous. This idea comes from a blog post on Addicted 2 Success about a best-selling book, The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. In the book the authors share five “laws” for achieving success in business:
  • Value: Your worth, professionally speaking, is determined by how much more you give in value than what you take in payment.
  • Compensation: How much you get paid is a result of how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  • Influence: Your influence grows as you place other people’s needs first.
  • Authenticity: It’s difficult to provide great value if you have no passion for your work. Successful people are genuinely excited about what they do, get excited about what they do, or they find something else to do. They don’t fake it.
  • Receptivity: If you don’t know how to comfortably receive from others, you don’t understand how to give value effectively.

And there you have it, our top 10 predictions for the year. Best wishes for a healthy and successful 2016!

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When the marketing industry looks back at 2015, it will be viewed as another innovative and exciting year. And for those of us here at Prime Advertising & Design, we couldn’t agree more. Web and search technologies reached new heights, custom print opportunities continued to evolve and photography and videography experienced record use. As 2015 winds down, we take a quick look back on the trends and times that helped define 2015 both within our own office as well as across the marketing industry.

Settling In

2015 was Prime’s first full year in our new office and we couldn’t be happier with the larger space which has allowed for necessary expansion. As our staff has grown, so too has the space for offices and work stations.  A new conference room dedicated to promotional items is a favorite meeting space for clients who can size their clothing, select color schemes for office items and maybe even give that branded Frisbee a toss! Our in-house video and photography area has also expanded, and from the front to the back door, 2015 proved to be the year we used nearly every inch of space in our new home.

The Year of Search, Were You Lost or Found?

Dubbed Mobilegeddon, one of the first major announcements of 2015 came in April when Google created a great deal of buzz and consternation by releasing a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. This change means that websites with responsive design are favored in Google’s mobile search results, which heightened the awareness and needs of businesses to take their website into the new frontier.

Super Social

With more than 1 billion people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, implementing social media into a marketing plan is a must for businesses of all sizes. We found 2015 to be a year when many businesses stepped up their effort to not just have a social presence, but to invest in it with regular content-rich updates. We enjoyed a successful year of our own in the social media realm. We published our Prime blog on a weekly basis, which attracted a nice audience by providing insightful, entertaining and engaging content.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Our staff at Prime is dedicated to helping our clients improve and grow their businesses and we take that responsibility very seriously. We also love to unwind as a group and, throughout the year, gathered for a variety of activities ranging from barbecues to bowling. A recent favorite was our build-your-own omelette breakfast courtesy of The Lookout Catering. We also enjoyed participating in community events which included handing out candy during the Maple Grove Days parade!

As we close the book on a great year and look forward to the first chapter of 2016, be sure to sign up for our new Prime Pulse email newsletter. This will be a short and timely collection of project updates, industry insight and, of course, some entertaining photos and videos taken along the way of our journey in 2016!

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The Prime team enjoyed a wonderful night of great food and great company at Buona Sera Italian restaurant on Thursday. After dinner, our receptionist Suzanne won the grand prize: a 40-inch smart TV! All in all, Mark & Marilyn’s annual holiday dinner was a huge success. Thanks to Addy for documenting our evening with these photos!

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Prime’s recent all-company breakfast and benefits meeting was full of egg-citement thanks to Mike from The Lookout Catering and his gourmet omelette station. Delicious food, important project updates and plenty of laughter made for a fun and productive meeting. We’d also like to thank Austin for capturing these great photos!

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We would like to take this time to say “Thank You” to all of Prime’s Clients & Partners.

Prime Advertising will be closed Thursday & Friday, November 27th & 28th, so the Prime team can spend time with their families. May you and your loved ones have a safe & Happy Thanksgiving.

Prme Thanksgiving Graphic

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The Prime Team had a blast hosting the I-94 West Chamber of Commerce Business Seminar Series. We had a great turn out, and a special thanks to everyone that attended.The topic was “Improve Your Business’s Google Ranking & Online Reputation,” stay tuned for the announcement of the next seminar.

Below are some photos and video of the event, featuring DJ Hartley, President of the I-94 Chamber of Commerce, Mark Murray, President/CEO of Prime Advertising and today’s speaker, Leila De la Fuente, Marketing/Social Media Consultant.



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Grab your cameras and start shooting! The Maple Grove Moments Photography Contest is a great way for you to show how special our community is! Everyone is encouraged to participate — residents, business people, and students attending school in Maple Grove.

Entries are accepted starting June 1st, and the contest runs through July 17th so you can also share your Maple Grove Days photos.
A 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize photo is selected in each of the four categories, as well as recognition in the youth category for those under age 18!  Photos must have been taken in Maple Grove in 2008 or later and can depict any of the four seasons.

Going Together (people, neighbors, friends, family–talking, working, learning, playing, living, volunteering—e.g., kids in the backyard, birthday parties, shopping, volunteering, eating out, working in the garden, students getting on the school bus, neighbors talking in front of their home)

Going Strong (celebrating our community with events/activities/recreation/ arts/culture —sports, community celebrations, gathering places—e.g. Farmers Market, Town Green, Maple Grove Days events, National Night Out block parties, art fairs, plays, concerts, sports games, any recreation)

Going Natural (parks, landscapes, plants, flowers, weather/sky)

Going Wild (wildlife, birds, animals, including pets)

The City is proud to partner with Prime Advertising & Design, Inc. for the contest. Photos submitted may be used on our websites as well as in area-wide publications such as City newsletters, Parks and Recreation brochures, Residents’ Guide, etc.

Monetary prizes will be awarded in each of the four categories with winners being invited to a future City Council meeting to receive their recognition. In addition, all photographs will be displayed at the Government Center and on the City of Maple Grove website. Winning entries will be published in the fall 2013 City of Maple Grove newsletter.

The complete photography packet is available on the City of Maple Grove website , call to request at 763-494-6002; or pick up at the Maple Grove Government Center, 12800 Arbor Lakes Parkway.

Check out Last Years Winners:

2012 Winner in the Going Wild Category by Connie Garritsen

2012 Winner in the Going Wild Category by Connie Garritsen

2012 Winner in the Going Together Category by Jennifer Bourn

2012 Winner in the Going Together Category by Jennifer Bourn

2012 Winner in the Going Stong Category by Rich Moll

2012 Winner in the Going Stong Category by Rich Moll

2012 Winner in Going Natural Category by Stephanie Sauer

2012 Winner in Going Natural Category by Stephanie Sauer

2013 Youth Winner by Amiyah Boradway

2013 Youth Winner by Amiyah Boradway

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Barrier Exteriors is a Minnesota based exterior construction company that provides services such as siding, windows, stucco, stone, roofing and exterior design in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs.  As a company that provides high-quality, innovative and reliable services, Barrier needed a website that would reflect these attributes.

Barrier came to Prime Advertising with several goals for their new website. First, they wanted to better showcase the four main exterior services: roofing, siding, windows and accessories. Prime achieved this goal by integrating a large photo slideshow into the homepage with high quality photographs of each type of service. Each slide links to a page where customers can learn more about the service of their choice. We also dedicated several areas to showcase remodeling and renovation ideas from finished Barrier projects, using photo galleries to exclusively highlight past exterior projects. Second, they wanted a website that was easily navigable, where customers would not have to “dig around” for information. Prime included three main highlights on the homepage that draw attention to three services that we believe differentiate Barrier from their competitors. A large “Request an Estimate” area on the homepage makes it easier for prospective clients to contact a Barrier Exteriors representative without searching for a specific webpage to submit inquiries. Thirdly, they wanted a warm, classy look and feel that reflected the high quality of work that Barrier Exteriors provides. To accomplish this, Prime’s designers chose a tan background accented with a stone background that is more common in higher-end homes.

Barrier Exteriors was also set up with a WordPress blog and email template through vertical response, which Prime recommended as channels to share projects and industry news within the community, attract a regular audience and establish a larger internet presence. Prime designed the blog and email template with the same warm, clean theme, as extensions of the website.

Since the launch of the new site earlier this year, the number of visitors has more than doubled compared to the same time last year. We are also seeing a higher international presence, specifically from website visitors located in Canada. Barrier Exteriors continues to provide customers with professional, modern, client-centered service and now their new website does the same!

In an effort to create a consistent branding theme, Prime also designed and produced print materials for Barrier Exteriors, including a new brochure for sales and presentations, branded folders and sharp new business cards. To view the new marketing materials, click here.

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