The Sign Depot

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2019 Will Be The Year to #StepUpYourSignage

New Year Marketing Mix - Business Sign - The Sign Depot

Start Planning For 2019 Now

One month from now we will already be into 2019 which makes it the best  time to start planning your signage for the new year.  The City of Kitchener has already posted that their sign permit regulations will change effective January 1, 2019 so you will want to get your sign permit application in within the next few weeks in order to adhere to today’s standards.  We think this makes it a perfect time to #StepUpYourSignage.  Our expert sign designers and sign fabricators are here to help you through the process.  Whether you need interior wayfinding signs or exterior business signage we can help with sign permits, sign design and all of your  OOH advertising.

What’s The Buzz Around OOH Advertising

The term OOH Advertising has had quite the buzz recently.  The meaning of OOH advertising is Out of Home Advertising.  In other words it is advertising that reaches people after they leave their houses each day.  Signs play a big role in the OOH advertising mix.  They are a critical part of your business branding and are a necessary component of your marketing plan.  In a recent article by THE DRUM it was mentioned that brands that chose to spend 15% of their marketing budget on OOH advertising had a significant increase in their social media channels and improved brand trust.


Crafting unique signs that leave a lasting impression is what The Sign Depot is known for.  We can create memorable signs that will keep your brand top of mind with potential clients. Your exterior business sign serves as a 24 hour advertisement for your establishment and is often the public’s first impression of your company.

Start 2019 Off Right

The best way to start off 2019 right is to visit our CONTACT US page and let our expert sign-makers know that you want to STEP UP YOUR SIGNAGE with a custom sign from The Sign Depot in 2019!



Ways To Make Business Signs Part Of Your Marketing Mix In The New Year

New Year Marketing Mix - Business Sign - The Sign Depot

Managing Modern Marketing

With the New Year just around the corner, now is the time to decide how your business will move forward in the coming year.  Many business are finding it difficult to maneuver their way through a modern marketing plan and are looking for ways to update their marketing and advertising campaigns.  We want to ensure your branding is at the forefront of your marketing mix, so we have put together a plan that is simple to incorporate and meant to elevate your business.

A Business Sign Is Your Best Branding Tool

An outdoor business sign is a 24 hour advertisement for your business.  Make sure it represents what your company stands for and properly brands your establishment.  It is best when choosing your business sign to select something that is highly visible.  This mean it can be seen by both vehicle traffic and those passing by. You also want it to be memorable and create buzz around your business.

Custom Sign - Curiosa - The Sign Depot

Is It Instagram Worthy?

Will it make it to IG? Did it get liked and shared on facebook? How many times was it re-pinned? Did they RT it? When it comes to modern marketing, nothing has changed the game the way social media has.  It is important that your signage makes to masses, as many people spend a good part of their day on at least one social network.  It is a way to get your messaging across many platforms to connect with both current and potential clients.

#Repost @pripocarrara (@get_repost) ・・・ Celebrating friends!!

A post shared by dels (@delsenoteca) on


Your Influencers Can Be Found In Your Client List

Influence marketing is one of the best ways to keep your business current and on trend.  All it takes is the right people talking to your target audience to create online buzz and potentially media attention.  Often the influencers you need are already on your client list.  Be sure to engage with your customers online by sharing their content and quite often they will reciprocate by sharing yours as well.  They may even talk about your services and products online and refer others to you. This is a great way to get your brand in front of their audience and bring your business to those who may be unaware of it.

These are just a few ways that your business sign can used in a modern marketing mix.  If you have other ideas or insights, please let us know by leaving a comment below.



It Can Be All Fun And Games – Custom Promotional Products

Come On Down

When Heffner Toyota came to the expert signmakers here at The Sign Depot with the idea of creating a PLINKO game for them, it brought up memories of Bob Barker calling contestants to “Come On Down” during The Price Is Right.

Custom promotional products are a great way to increase brand awareness and take your marketing to the next level. As you can see this PLINKO game has already managed to garner a lot of attention.

Creating The Custom PLINKO Board

By having the PLINKO board custom built, lots of choice was available.  Height of the custom game, graphics for it and the text applied to it were all set to fit the clients’ needs. Take a look below to see how this project came together.

It began with CNC cut crezon, followed by a custom paint finish, vinyl graphics and acrylic pucks made to fit between the pegs of the PLINKO game.

PLINKO - Custom Promotional Products - The Sign Depot

PLINKO - Custom Promotional Products - The Sign Depot

PLINKO - Custom Promotional Products - The Sign Depot

PLINKO - Custom Promotional Products - The Sign Depot

PLINKO - Custom Promotional Products - The Sign Depot

We gave it a few trial runs here in the workshop.

Did this project catch your attention? Creating opportunities to raise brand awareness is what smart marketing is all about.  Keeping your company at the top of mind for potential clients and keeping everything fresh for loyal customers shows that your business is listening to what consumers want. Adding an element of fun to the mix gets them curious about the business and all that it has to offer.  Want to give the Heffner PLINKO game a try? Be sure to follow Heffner on twitter to see how they will be using this custom made promotional product.  For more information about custom crafted project for your business be sure to visit our CONTACT US page.


Build Your Business With JR Waddell

This month The Sign Depot is featuring a few of our Sign Depot Demo Day attendees that are in the Business Marketing Industry.  When we and issue with our industrial dust collector we called on the assistance of JR Waddell.  He and the team at Hogg Mechanical made recommendations that were best for workshop. We chatted with JR Waddell of Hogg Mechancial about the changes in advertising and marketing over the years.

Get To Know JR Waddell

JR can you tell us the nature of your business/job description at Hogg Mechanical and how you got started?

Hogg Mechanical is a 138 year old full service HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) company spanning the era’s of wood/coal/oil/gas/geothermal/solar. We help residential and commercial properties with all of their heating and cooling needs by providing the perfect comfort level!

My title at Hogg Mechanical is Business Development and Communications which is a somewhat fancy name for sales and marketing. Business to Business sales for commercial buildings and marketing for residential houses. I met Ryan vanDyk (Sales and Operations Manager at Hogg Mechanical) in my previous position at the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce. Hogg was aggressively looking to grow their business and knew that online/social media was becoming a huge presence in the area. They wanted to capitalize on this fast paced emerging trend and we came to a mutually rewarding agreement. With this Hogg Mechanical’s online presence was born.

How much time and effort do you think companies should put towards their marketing/advertising?

We think all industries and companies are different. In our industry our leadership team dedicates approximately 45% of our time to marketing/advertising. The HVAC industry is extremely competitive in Southwestern Ontario and we feel that we are doing an amazing job staying ahead of the game. We allocate approximately 6 to 7% of our budget per year towards marketing and advertising.

How often do you see your efforts turn from leads to sales?

We have about a 60% conversion rate of our leads to sales. We constantly strive to generate the best leads and feel that Quality over Quantity is our competitive advantage.

Working for a company that has been in business for many years, what challenges do you face when it comes to implementing changes?

Our first step is to ensure that everyone on our team is brilliant at the basics. Setting realistic change patterns and taking baby steps towards an end goal. We have had success in accepting that co-workers change at different paces and styles. We approach this in a way that allows everyone to adapt and grow at their own reasonably oriented pace and style.

How do you stand out from others in your field?

We truly let our customers dictate what we offer and how we offer it. We found the old approach of HVAC companies selling what was best for themselves as opposed to what was best for their customers inhibited growth in today’s market. Ex. Our generously priced $45 tune up fulfilled a need in the market for homeowners to have a reasonable way to keep their heating and cooling equipment running safe, efficiently and with having an educated piece of mind about their Air Conditioners, Furnaces, Fireplaces, Pool Heaters etc.

Want to learn more about JR Waddell and Hogg Mechanical? Make sure to RSVP for our Sign Depot Demo Day on June 20th to network with JR and many other fantastic business industry professionals. We will have lots of onsite demos and our expert signmakers will be on hand to let you know how we can enhance your marketing through the use of custom business signs.

Exterior The Sign Depot



Build Your Business With Julia Rosien

This month The Sign Depot is featuring a few of our Sign Depot Demo Day attendees that are in the Business Marketing Industry.  When we wanted to improve the SEO of The Sign Depot’s website we went straight to Julia Rosien.  Her ability to clarify and create focus for our online pressence has made an impact on our site as well as our custom sign business. We chatted with Julia Rosien of SocialNorth to get her take on marketing in the modern age.  

Get To Know Julia Rosien

Julia can you tell us the nature of your business, SocialNorth and how you got started?

SocialNorth is my pearl. It was that grain of sand that grew out of working for a company fast-tracking to bankruptcy. I was reporting to a president who allowed his employees to shoulder the burden of his mismanagement and the stress was unreal. As the communications director and the online spokesperson for the company, the negativity spurred a need to leave for my own survival.

Thankfully, I’m married to this guy who believes in me and together we dreamed up SocialNorth. He is an integral part of the organization and deserves kudos for his faith and patience in putting up with me.

SocialNorth specializes in social media (strategy and community management), SEO, copy writing and content strategies.

Knowing your background in journalism, what do you think are some of the differences between traditional media marketing and social media marketing?

As a journalist, I was trained to remove myself from the story – to present it from a non-emotional, balanced perspective. Social media puts your heart into the middle of your reporting – it’s expected that you’ll share your opinions and personal experiences. One thing hasn’t changed though – the need for strong communication skills. I’m always amazed when I see bloggers and community managers make silly typos or spelling mistakes. Quality is still far more important than quantity.


What knowledge do you hope your clients learn from you?

When I’m working with a client, I hope I pass on as many of my skills as possible – and the confidence to get out there and do it. I want them to be 100% successful after I’m finished with their strategy, training and coaching. They hire me to contribute to their success and I’d be disappointed if they didn’t soak up as much from me as possible during our time together.


What online marketing trends should we be watching for?

Mobile and video. If you’re not looking at how people are using both of these, you’re already late to the game.


How do you stand out from others in your field?

While SocialNorth is still a small company, we’re big with ideas and our team never fails to deliver in unexpected and amazing ways. I’ve always made working with younger people part of my strategy. People just beginning their careers are still full of big, beautiful ideas. Their fearless energy is contagious and it pushes me to think beyond what my training and career has taught me. When my clients come to me, they know they’re going to get a lot of great ideas coupled with a maturity that comes from being through more than my fair share of corporate crisis’.

I would also like to think that my clients come to me because they know I’m as ridiculously attentive to detail as I am to creativity. Failure is simply not an option.

Want to learn more about Julia Rosien and Social North? Make sure to RSVP for our Sign Depot Demo Day on June 20th to network with Julia and many other fantastic business industry professionals. There you will see the behind the scenes of The Sign Depot just like Julia did.


Five Ways To Build Business Buzz With Custom Business Signs For Your Company

Jump-starting January

Welcome to the New Year which for many means getting back to business and for others means starting plans for a new business.  When putting together your business plan for the year, remember the importance signs play in building buzz and getting attention through word of mouth.  Creating a custom sign is an important part of your business’s strategic marketing plan and advertising agenda.

Just A Tease

When The Charcoal Group was introducing their latest Restaurant Concept, Beertown Public House, they incorporated their custom sign creation as part of the buzz building for their brand.  They built a strategy to get people talking about  Beertown long before they opened the restaurant.

Building Buzz With Signs - The Sign Depot

Choose To Be Visible

The Cakebox was already well established in the community, but they wanted to ensure that they were easily found when they moved locations.  By choosing to use multiple types of signs, they were able to make sure they could capture both drive-by traffic and the attention of those walking in the area.

Business Signs For Outdoor Exposure - The Sign Depot

Find What Fits

If you have ever heard the phrase measure twice, cut once then you understand how important it is to go over the details before proceeding.  Knowing what you want your sign to do for your business will help you decide on the budget you want to put towards it.  Other details like proper sign permits and professional sign design are also things to consider when it comes to signs for your company’s establishment.

Take Note Of What You Notice

 A business sign is a 24 hour advertisement for your business.  It doesn’t take days off.  What types of signs catch your attention?  Those are the signs that are working.  Make sure you think of the surroundings and distractions for your outdoor business signs.  Findability is key for a new business and keeping on trend is important for businesses looking for a refresh.

Now that you have five ideas to start building buzz with custom signs for your business, what ways will your company be implementing signs this year?


Signs, Sticks and Superbowl. Why Brands Need To Build Community Spirit


Setting The Stage With Your Signage

By now you have saw the majority of ads that will be played during Superbowl XLVI, but this one is the real Standout.

Notice The Signs

At no point in this commercial are there any beer bottles being opened or draught beer being poured.  The only representation of the brand during this commercial is through the signage.  It starts with the little signs on the announcers’ microphones, but then the 1:11 mark of the vid is when the impact of the banners hit.  After that the brand image is shown on the arena boards. The brand message shows up at the end, displayed on the screen.  

Creating Impact Through Community Involvment

Finding a way to impact a community is a great way to bring your brand to the masses .  They become your audience and you just might convert some of those community members into clients for your business.  Whether the community you hope to reach is online, watching on a television or in a hockey arena you need find creative ways to grab their attention and get them to recognize your brand and what it can do for them.  Choosing new marketing ideas like social media, can be challenging, but creating a community of ambassadors for your brand keeps your business top of mind for many.  Many don’t realize marketing is different than sales.  Marketing is about bringing your business to market.  Where do you fit in with your competition? The best marketers know that a community makes your brand.  It’s how they feel about your business.  That is what can give you the edge over your competitors and in turn can bring you more clients.  Find a community to market to and do it in a way that makes them feel appreciated.   Choose your method of communication.  This brand chose signage.  We commend them for that.

Not once through the commercial is the brand name spoken of.  They let the signs speak for themselves.


Make Marketing Matter And Start The Year Off Right For Your Business

Get Your Goals In Place

The best way to start off the new year is to get your goals in place.  Where does marketing fit into it all? Many think that Marketing and Sales are the same thing.  They definitely are not.  Marketing is about using tools to attract customers, which in turn may lead to sales.

Last year Sign Depot posted this on the WaterlooMIN site

You may want your website to be a good representation of your products, but did you strive for a GREAT representation your business? Your website must catch the eye of someone who is unfamiliar with your business.  Just like the tale of the Three Pigs your solid based website may take a lot more effort, but in the long run you will outlast the quick setup ones.

The word “marketing” can easily be substituted for “website” in the statement above.  You want to market your business well and show potential clients that you represent the answer for what they are looking for.  If your You want to market your business well and show potential clients that you represent the answer for what they are looking for. .  Make sure you stand out from the rest and really think about what best represents what you do.  If you’re in the service industry make sure your marketing reflects that the potential client is in good hands by choosing your company.  Make sure your whole team is on board with the marketing goals you have set and lead by example.

Get Some Advice

Not sure how to start your marketing goals this year?  Look to your local organizations to see what presentations/meetings/groups are available to you.  If you are in the Greater Kitchener Waterloo area and a Chamber of Commerce member several new Peer2Peer groups are starting in 2012.  The Sign Depot is heading up the Marketing Peer2Peer group as the business lead and if you are a Chamber Member it may be a great place for you to start. Chamber Of Commerce - Lawn Sign - The Sign Depot

If updating your logo, entrance-way or reception area is part of your Marketing Plan Goals, we’d love to help.  If you have other suggestions about ways to Market yourself we would love to hear them too.  Just leave a comment, send a tweet or post a message on the facebook page.