Home / Resources / Ink Differently™ / March 2016 / Get Your Piece of the Interior Signage Market

Get Your Piece of the Interior Signage Market

Posted: 3/15/2016

Interior signage makers have a tremendous number of potential clients they can target to build and grow their own businesses. After all, every organization - from cafes and offices to schools, hospitals, government agencies, nonprofits and beyond - has a need for interior signage. As a product decorator with a sublimation system, you are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this niche market.

Sublimated signs have huge money-making potential for several reasons. First, is the ease of applying images to a wide range of creative substrates. There are lots of different types of substrates that can be used to deliver a message, promote a brand, provide instructions, identify a location or showcase a product. A little creativity and active marketing can go a long way here in delivering value to existing customers and winning over new ones.  

Second, the versatility of sublimation is such that any sublimator can easily add sign making to their list of advertised services and products. Even a Virtuoso Desktop HD Product Decorating System with an SG400 printer can be used to make full-color name plates for doors, directional signs in hallways, POP signs at cash registers, table top signs (table toppers), small flags, etc. The larger the system you have, the more possibilities there are for products you can offer.

Third, the quality of sublimated signs is typically much higher than other forms of signage production, as the technology allows the application of vivid graphics and high-definition photos. Other types of signs - such as vinyl lettering, etching and engraving - cannot match this. This is a significant advantage, as images typically have a far greater impact than text when it comes to effective communication through signage.

Finally, sublimated prints will not chip, crack or peel. This means the final product can withstand a significant amount of physical contact, another feature that sets it apart from other sign products. All of this adds up to a product that has a higher perceived value, yet costs less than most other forms of sign production. For you, the end result is higher margins and happier customers.

It’s important to note that sublimation printing is most appropriate for interior signs, since sublimation prints are not UV resistant. However, you can can also offer exterior signs, provided that your customers fully understand that the images will fade over time.

Getting Into the Game

If you already own a sublimation system, there is not much you have to do differently in terms of production to offer interior signage. Your focus should be primarily on market research and sales strategy. Follow these steps to get moving in the right direction:

Step 1: Analyze The Client / Market

Gain an understanding about what the market is all about, what products or services they offer, how they interact with their clients, what kind of staffing they might have, what kind of facilities they have, what happens within their facilities, etc.

Step 2: Create Product Ideas

Brainstorm on the information you gathered in your analysis, and then list every conceivable interior signage product you can possibly think of that provides value to those customer. Don’t limit yourself. Just jot the ideas down as they come to mind, not matter how big, small or insignificant they might seem.

Step 3: Produce a Sample Set

Take your list of product ideas and narrow it down to a creative, but effective list of samples that you can produce. This will be much harder than creating the initial idea list, as what you choose will become your sales tools. Choose items that you think will make the right right impact on potential clients.

Where possible, the samples should tell a story or deliver a cohesive message. Think about how different products can complement each other, so that the client might feel compelled to buy multiple products. Stay away from a random collection of unrelated products. Also, think about products that appeal to the market as a whole, not just to one client within the market.

You might also consider producing samples that are not client-specific in terms of logos, images and text. A good practice is to create a fictitious organization complete with names, logos, slogans, graphics, etc., and then use that to produce your entire sample set.

Step 4: Develop A Sales Pitch

If you have done your research, then putting together a sales pitch shouldn’t be all that hard. Understanding needs and delivering solutions is a big part of selling. Focus on doing just that with everything you say and show a prospect. If your sample set is truly effective, it will do a lot of the selling for you. Keep that in mind, as you will probably need to refine the samples as you gain experience with your sales pitch and your market.  

Learn More

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about breaking into interior signage markets, you’re ready to dig in a little deeper. Start by downloading our Making Money Guide – Interior Signage, which includes downloadable graphics to use to make a complete sample set for your business.

You can also get more in-depth with this month's free webinars:

For the latest updates, tips and news, make sure you’re following Sawgrass on Facebook and Twitter, and are subscribed to our monthly newsletter.