Monday, January 11, 2010

The Yin and Yang of In-Store Signage: Digital & Traditional

I kind of doubt that the supermarket I shop in (pictured here) is the exception, more likely it is typical, but I happened to be taking in my surroundings while waiting in line the other day (or as industry folks might like to say, I was doing some serious dwelling), and no I was not compelled by the digital signage screens located at each check-out aisle, why? Perhaps the clutter of signs hanging everywhere overhead was to blame for me taking my eyes off the check out aisle screens but oh my gosh, there are static dimensional, backlit and printed signs hanging everywhere! Does this represent opportunity and promise of all that's good about installing digital signage or what is wrong with this picture I thought to myself? Supermarkets (or those managing the network) are spending thousands of dollars many times over on digital signage at the checkout aisle as well as in the deli and bakery areas now more than ever, but with all this extraneous static signage competing for attention, how effective and how well are they really doing? If I was spending to be on a digital-out-of-home ad network in one of these supermarkets I would give serious pause to my spend and its ROI, wouldn't you?

So how do you clean it up? I think hybrid, or a balance between static signs and digital screens. Those that change with X frequency go static and those that change with Y go digital. Granted there is a lot more to it then that like location, design, operating costs, procurement costs, install issues, just to name a few but the key objective in my mind is that there needs to be a balance between the static and digital to better communicate all this information in a clear and concise way, a kind of yin yang or best-of-both worlds approach. Any takers? Let me know, what do you think?