“We love knowing that we have a line when other local cafes are dead,” says Vincent Zaba, owner of The Brick House Bakery in Cobleskill, NY.
Vincent opened The Brick House Bakery in 2016 and has continued to grow–even during COVID. We think it’s the bakery’s yummy home-made bagels, fresh deli sandwiches and fresh roast coffee beverages that are bringing people in, but Vincent says that at least some portion of the bakery’s success is due to its digital signage screens.
“The screens are light and bright. They create eye appeal. Without then, people might drive right by without noticing us,” Vincent said. “And the customers who come in and stay for hours, they always look at the boards.”
The Brick House Bakery has seven screens. One acts as a welcome screen that displays seasonal messages and specials. Four screens display the menu in the main bakery area, one screen runs the deli menu and the final screen displays the smoothie menu.
As he prepared content for his screens and listened to customer feedback, Vincent has learned a lot of best practices. Here are Vincent Zaba’s 11 tips for implementing dynamic digital signage:
Select the right suppliers
Vincent creates his own display content using a combination of Raydiant’s tools and PosterMyWall templates. For food images, Vincent uses a combination of images he takes on his iPhone and stock images and videos he pulls from the PosterMyWall stock image library.
Place your screens in a prominent location
Vincent says the signs do double duty because they are positioned where they are both visible to customers inside the store and visible through the store windows as people walk or drive by. “They really do grab attention,” Vincent said.
Vincent also noted that people like to have something to look at when they stand in line–even if they already know what they’re going to order.
Pick a branded visual style with personality
Although The Brick House Bakery uses digital signage, the look and feel of its graphics say “hometown” and “independently owned.” “We use a barn-board look or sometimes a blackboard so it looks rustic and home grown, even though it’s a digital sign,” Vincent said.
Vincent’s font choices, often brush scripts, also support the homegrown look. And he tries to make his graphics and videos as vibrant as possible. “You have to have color. That’s what catches people’s eye.”
Program your signage with audience in mind
Depending on your customers’ ages, they may or may not like flashing images or rapidly changing displays. “When we first installed our signs, we had the images change constantly and our older guests complained. They wanted the messages to stay in place longer ,” Vincent said.
The solution for the Brick House Bakery is that the menu boards show a single message and the specials board rotates messages about every 45 seconds. Vincent jokes that if his business were a bar, he’d be flipping his images constantly to showcase his drink menu.
Design to entice your customers to buy
“Sometimes our content rotates so the copy stays in place but the images change. This helps people understand what all of our food options are,” Vincent said. The Brick House Bakery employs this approach on the menus in its deli. This helps customers remain familiar with the bakery’s menu items.
Work with displays to get more attention
Vincent uses a variety of approaches to keep his customers interested. This includes listing his highest volume sellers at the top.
Keep your copy minimal
Vincent uses his product’s names but leaves their descriptions off of his digital menus. This is because many of his customers are in a hurry to get in and get out. “They don’t want to read,” he said.
Use video to attract attention
Vincent said that when The Brick House Bakery uses video on its display screens, his customers watch. For instance, a video of a pie helped make a $9.99 pie special a huge success.
Make it seasonal–or even personal
Because it’s so easy to create and update his visual assets, Vincent changes messages frequently. This includes seasonal messages. Sometimes, he even runs birthday card templates to greet his regulars on their birthday.
Another big hit was a video of a winter screen during the holidays. “We’re in upstate New York. It makes customers feel welcome when we show scenes that reflect the local outdoors,” Vinny said.
Don’t overdo the number of menu images
“What we learned is that having too many images on our signs sidetracks and confuses our customers,” Vincent said.
Leverage the assets you create
The graphics and video you create in PosterMyWall for your digital graphics can be repurposed for social media and email marketing with no or minimal adjustment. “We used an old-fashioned, retro-style graphic of an old neon sign to promote our ice cream business. It got several hundred views on Facebook,” Vincent said.
Vincent used PosterMyWall’s publish to social media tool to make it fast and easy to publish his designs direct to The Brick House Bakery’s Facebook page. You can also use retro posters to promote your own business.
When used strategically, digital signage can help establish your brand, drive traffic, and entice your customers to buy. Especially when you use the PosterMyWall menu maker to create great visual content.