Sunday, 15 November 2015

Why this week's The Apprentice (and a shopping trip) leaves me fuming

I hate homemade signs. I hate handwritten signs even more. I REALLY hate badly-made handwritten signs. After watching The Apprentice last night I despair even more!

Mergim felt the need to make a signs for their handyman business. I understand his motives but the execution was never going to win any design awards.

I've been out in a local town centre today conducting some mystery shopping (I talk about my mystery shopping in this blog) and I spotted loads of homemade and handwritten signs, complete with poor formatting, bad handwriting and spelling mistakes. I don't know what goes through retailers heads! The effect is unprofessional and does absolutely nothing positive for your brand, store or products.

The retailers I saw these signs in today included-
  • A gift shop
  • A nail bar
  • Boots
  • Holland & Barrett
  • A sweet shop
  • Several caf├ęs and restaurants
So it's not an independents disease, nor that of a certain type of retailer. I really can't see any excuse if you're working for a major retailer. Every piece of marketing material is approved and provided centrally, it's even something that I've been asked to check up on during the mystery shops I carry out. If you want to know more about my mystery shopping and how you can become a mystery shopper then check out my blog-

Even independents can move quickly enough in their feet to avoid this. Having a good marketing, design and/or printing company to hand is a simple solution. Even getting training on design or using a friend with design skills will be better than handmade. By planning ahead and putting as much time as possible between thinking of the sign and using the sign gives you time to get the materials produced.

If you don't have the skills yourself or know anyone who can help you out the could provide you with an answer. It's an online community of freelancers that can produce one-off items for the low, low price of $5. Provide an outline of what you want and a timeline of when you need it and you'll find a willing designer to produce a file for you to print or have printed. Give it a look and you may find your answers.

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