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November 2010
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Make it Dark to become more Visible – Tip #29

As a marketer, I love this time of year.  Halloween is over and focus switches to preparing for winter and the holiday season.  The one thing that we can absolutely count on at this time of year is that the sun is going to set earlier and the effect of darkness on your business needs to be considered.

Many people see better during the day because of the affect age has on our eyes.  At night, our eyes have to adjust and work harder to see everything we would easily see during the day.  Rain makes it even harder to see at night because of the reflections of light on the road.  The disadvantage of it being darker at this time of year can actually work as an advantage for business owners who know how to pay attention to changes in light. 

If you place yourself in a dark room with only a single source of light, the light is always visible.  If you place yourself outside during a dark and stormy night where a business is well lit to capture your attention, you will notice that business as it stands out from all of the dark windows and reflections.  Take a drive tonight and have a look at those businesses that stand out after dark.  What grabs attention at night?  Neon OPEN signs?  Bright interiors?  Window displays?  Backlit signage?  Parking lot lighting?  Flood lights? What works and what doesn’t?

Now take a look at your business after sun-down and see what you are doing well and what you can improve.  Does your backlit signage automatically turn on once it is dark?  Do you stand out?  Does your signage work as well at night as it does during the day?  Does window tinting make you appear closed?  Can you make changes that will improve your visibility at night?

How many times can you remember walking up to a business and wondering whether they were open or closed until you tried to open the front door?  Pay close attention to your business at this time of year and consider some adjustments that can increase your visibility under the worst of environmental and lighting conditions.  You can stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of evening traffic whose eyes are straining to see in the dark.  If you don’t have enough ideas on how to improve business after dark, take a trip to Las Vegas and learn from the city that never sleeps – you can call it research, just be sure to take enough cash for the daytime.

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