Archive for September, 2011

When Handwritten Signs Go Awry

steveparkhurst | September 22, 2011 in Advertising,Promotional,Visual | Comments (0)

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I posted recently about handwritten store signs. Sometimes the signs work, or can work. Then, there are other times. I returned to the same cafe that provided me the last sign. This sign, is not quite as good. It’s also not terrible, for instance I like the drawing of the coffee cup with arms and a face, oh and the steam is a nice touch.

Perhaps part of the problem is that the sign has had quite a bit of accidental erasing throughout the day. Anyway, as I said, it’s not a terrible sign, it could just be better.

Bad Handwritten Sign - The Parkhurst Group

Fast Company: How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop

steveparkhurst | September 16, 2011 in Advertising,Branding,Promotional,Visual | Comments (0)

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Fast Company has a great article by Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology and Brandwashed, about the power of in-store advertising that we don’t even see as actual advertising. In this case, Lindstrom looks at Whole Foods and he begins tearing down many myths. It’s a fascinating story.

From Fast Company:

In my new book Brandwashed, I explore the many strategies retailers use to encourage us to spend more than we need to–more than we intend to. Without a shadow of doubt, Whole Foods leads the pack in consumer priming.

Let’s pay a visit to Whole Foods’ splendid Columbus Circle store in New York City. As you descend the escalator you enter the realm of a freshly cut flowers. These are what advertisers call “symbolics”–unconscious suggestions. In this case, letting us know that what’s before us is bursting with freshness.

Flowers, as everyone knows, are among the freshest, most perishable objects on earth. Which is why fresh flowers are placed right up front–to “prime” us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store. Consider the opposite–what if we entered the store and were greeted with stacks of canned tuna and plastic flowers? Having been primed at the outset, we continue to carry that association, albeit subconsciously, with us as we shop.

Read the entire Martin Lindstrom article here.

Handwritten Store Signs Can Work

steveparkhurst | September 13, 2011 in Advertising,Promotional,Visual | Comments (0)

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I saw this earlier at a local cafe. This handwritten sign, a smaller version of a dry erase board, is pretty effective. The person who wrote this had a clear vision for what they wanted to say. They made this seem like a real conversation. They also did a nice job of presenting their preferred drink to the typical drink of choice. And a little social pressure never hurts, right?

Good Written Sign - The Parkhurst Group

With the exception of a little bit of accidental erasing, this sign looks good, with barely any room to spare. Have you seen other well written signs like this? If so, please share them with us at Steve @ this domain or on twitter, @ParkhurstGroup.

What Type of Customer Are You?

steveparkhurst | September 3, 2011 in Visual | Comments (0)

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This sign makes me laugh everything I see it in its different formats and renderings. As I will usually ponder what kind of customer I am, I ask you, what type of customer are you? The type a shop likes to see enter, or the type they’d rather see leave?

Customer Sign - The Parkhurst Group


My background in the hospitality industry especially, reminds me that what kind of customer you are determines what kind of service and respect you get. That does not mean you have to be passive and uncaring, but it does mean that arrogance and rudeness can work against you.