Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. Signage is often the first impression customers have with your company. Branding inconsistencies raise questions that affect your business:
The signs look different than the other stores so am I at the wrong location?
Looks like they just don’t care about their image so what else do they not care about?
What do your employees and prospective employees feel about your culture when they see that it’s OK to cut corners on the company brand?
An effective branding program requires focus and hard work. It’s more than just having a consistent logo and colors on your signs. If the signs are illuminated the lighting must be working properly. Signs can be damaged by storms and normal weathering. You must have processes in place to monitor and respond to maintenance issues.
Create a centralized branding team that is responsible for store signage. They should visit each store regularly to audit current conditions. A less preferred method is to rely on regional or local team members as their proxies but that may introduce errors and inconsistencies.
Companies are either serious about brand consistency or they are willing to accept the consequences. The most common excuse is how much money can be saved by replacing signs only when maintenance costs exceed the cost of new signs. If you rebrand every 7-10 years as most companies do, that shouldn’t ever be a factor.