Sign Maintenance- Expense or Revenue Generating Machine?
Stop brushing your teeth! Sounds pretty absurd, right? Nobody wants their teeth to rot and fall out. The same holds true for changing the oil in your car. Regular maintenance means you spend a little to save a lot, whether dealing with your teeth or automobile.
So, why do many companies neglect the most visible representation of their brand, on premise signs? According to an International Sign Association survey, exterior signs attracted approximately 50% of the customers for start-up businesses. Even more importantly, for established businesses the survey showed that as many as 35% of the people passing your business have never seen it before and could become first-time customers.
Fluorescent lamps lose up to 14% of light output over 40% of their lifespan. Ballasts and transformers have a 2% failure rate. That doesn’t sound like much unless you are a national chain with hundreds or thousands of signs. At night signs are poorly illuminated or not illuminated at all. Parts are falling off. Steel is rusting and paint has chipped. Plastic faces are faded or turned an ugly color of yellow via an unrelenting UV onslaught.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Either develop an effective on-call process to quickly respond to signage issues or get ahead of the curve with a preventive/scheduled maintenance program.
If sign maintenance shows up on your income statement as an expense, you are not recognizing the revenue generating power of effective and consistent branding.
For Immediate Release
The InSite Group Stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
(Knoxville, TN, June 26, 2014)- Since 1927, The Chinese Theatre has been the home of the most important, star powered red carpet movie premieres and special events, where Hollywood’s biggest and brightest talents have come to watch their movies. The InSite Group, based in Knoxville, has now become a part of that history.
Formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, China based TCL (The Creative Life), the third largest HDTV brand in the world, took over the naming rights to the Theatre in early 2013. As part of the naming rights deal, TCL invested in a complete renovation of the largest and most celebrated IMAX theatre in North America. TCL decided to replace the aging marquee adding two massive state-of-the-art 25’ LED displays. The InSite Group, a project management company based in Knoxville, was hired to design, manufacture, and install the frames around the displays. The Chinese Theatre also contracted with The InSite Group directly to design the marquee around the displays and act as the project manager of record.
Existing historical architectural elements and the appearance and "feel" of the theatre were carefully, conscientiously, and lovingly preserved with careful attention to each detail throughout the process.
Ed Britton, The InSite Group’s CEO, said, “The InSite Group dedicated its most experienced resources totaling well over 1,000 man-hours to design and manage this complex project. We pulled it off and, most importantly, the client is thrilled.” Heather Kogler, Corporate Partner Activation Manager for Chinese Theatre, LLC stated, “Congratulations on such a great achievement! The signs are beautiful!”
The project took place directly above Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, where 2,500 stars are embedded in the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard. The new displays now boast the brightest LED’s ever seen in Los Angeles. The new TCL Chinese Theatre marquee and displays add new brilliance to old Hollywood.
Neon was discovered in the 19th century and first used in commercial signs in 1904 with nearly 100 different color combinations. LED’s, (light emitting diodes) on the other hand, were developed at Texas Instruments in 1961 and slowly gained acceptance in the sign industry. But with the recent explosion of applications in the automotive and other industries, LED’s have become a cost-effective substitute for ancient neon, currently surpassing 90% of new channel letter shipments.
LED’s are solid state so there is no breakage in shipment compared to neon, which uses very delicate glass tubes. 20% or more of neon shipments can arrive broken, no matter how much care is used in packaging.
LED’s use standard 120 volt power supplies that step down the standard power to 12 or 24 volts while Neon requires transformers that step-up standard power to as much as 15,000 volts. Neon is much more dangerous to fabricate and install. Further, neon tubes filled with argon gas require a drop of mercury, which is highly toxic and may damage the brain, kidneys, and lungs.
Converting neon letters to LED’s, until recently, involved a wholesale replacement of the entire letter as well as wiring all the way back to the circuit breaker. Recent advances in technology have made it possible to utilize existing wiring and letter housings, while changing out only the illumination source. The savings on your electric bill generates a payback in 3 years or less, depending on local installation labor rates. A new warranty and a lifetime rating of 50,000 hours are attractive benefits as well.
Safer, greener, smarter… converting existing channel letters to LED’s is worth a look.