Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 40

FROM THE FLOOR... Fun & Effective Store Signage Q&A with Gayle Beacock of Beacock Music By Andrew King D uring their “NAMM Top 100 Tactics” Idea Center session at The 2018 NAMM Show, Gayle and Russ Bea- cock, co-owners of Beacock Music in Vancouver, WA, shared some great ideas about creating fun, effective store signage. Here, Gayle expands on those ideas and offers more practical tips for retailers looking to enhance their approach to signage. CMT: Starting generally, can you give us a brief rundown of Beacock Music’s approach to signage in the store and how you came to adopt that approach? GB: Merchandising and arranging our store to create a feeling, atmosphere, or vibe – whatever term you like – has always been a priority for us. Before we knew what we were doing at all, we knew one thing: merchandise needed to be priced! That was our thing! Everything had a price tag. That is when we started focusing on signage. We found that the more informa- tion we provided, the more we sold of the product. We all know that good salespeo- ple are key, but we thought the more con- stant interaction with our customers, the better! In the early days, everything was hand-drawn with a Sharpie – clear, neat, and simple. Then computers came and we did what most did: printed our signs. But that didn’t last long. It looked so generic and cold. Ordinary. It served the purpose, but did nothing to help us create our iden- tity as a business in the arts. We discovered a staff member that was crafty, and began our “sign evolution.” We have our own look with materials, and we probably “over-sign” our store, but our customers like it! CMT: Outside of the obvious, like signage for the various departments or print music categories, what are some of the more creative or unique things you choose to promote or display on your custom signage throughout the store? GB: We love getting creative! Since our store has a little café in the centre of our showroom, we have many opportunities to change our signs often and promote different items – for example, a description of the coffee being served that day, or 40 CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE GAYLE & RUSS BEACOCK PRESENTING AT THE NAMM U IDEA CENTER DURING THE 2018 NAMM SHOW an explanation of a process of making a specialty coffee. We also like to combine our departments: I am looking at one right now that says: “All you need is coffee and a good song!” It is displayed next to our Beacock Music café mugs. We also love to promote the history of our store. We use great signs to share our story to our customers – the Beacock family and their contributions to the community, their humble beginnings, musical accomplish- ments, industry awards… Signage talks! What do we want our customers to know? Make a sign! CMT: How often do you change your signage and why? GB: Signage in our store is changing every day! Products come in, they sell out. Signs come down as events are concluded and new ones added. Displays change all day long. We also like to have signs outside of our front door. The identity starts before they come in. Examples can be as simple as “Welcome” or ‘Family Owned Since 1976.” Sometimes, we will have a sign outside listing all of the school concerts in the area, or it may be the café special of the day. We try to keep it ever changing and fun! CMT: Where do you recommend deal- ers be consistent with their signage, and where can they be more sponta- neous and creative? GB: I think that consistency is important for your store signage as a general rule. The materials used and the basic style should coordinate. Not exact, necessarily, but coordinate. We use chalkboards of ev- ery shape and size. We have been known to paint almost anything with chalkboard paint and use it for our signage – old doors, old ‘50s refrigerators, tables, chairs, windows… That makes it unexpected and fun. And the beautiful thing is that we can change the wording anytime we need to! CMT: Whether it’s tangible or more general, can you share some examples of how your approach to signage has been successful in engaging custom- ers and driving sales? GB: Engaging customers is the point of fun, informative, and decorative signage. It is now who we are. Custom ́ݥ)хЁͭՕѥ́)ȁЁѽɔȁᅵѕȁ͕)ѼݥѠͥѥȁݥ)ɑȁȵٕȁɕ܁ѕȁ͕ո)ͥ ́Ս̰q$ٔѼ)ЁѼ͕ݡӊéɽչɔ)ѽݻtɔ5䁉ɽѡȁ)$ɕѼɕєոɅɑ)ɥѡЁх́ЁɽѡѠ)̸MѡЁ́Ʌѥٔո)ձ䁡́ɕєѡձɔѡ)ѥѡЁݔ͕́́и