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How to evaluate the purpose of carwash signage

Signage plays an integral role in enticing customers to frequent your carwash.


As most carwash owners and operators know, location is a key component of running a successful carwash. However, in addition to securing the ideal site, launching an effective marketing and advertising campaign is critical. And, signage plays an integral role in a carwash’s efforts to target customers.

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In the special two-part article “Stand out with signage,” Group Assistant Editor Maria Woodie discusses why signage is crucial for lucrative operations, smart design considerations and best practices, and how to utilize signage as a marketing tool.

Since signage selections are nearly limitless, and before executing any design plans, Mercedes Mannino, director of marketing for Cleaning Systems Inc. (CSI®), explains in the article that first step is to evaluate the sign’s purpose.

“While placements of potential signs might seem fairly obvious, determining the purpose of each sign requires a bit more thought and is key to the sign’s ultimate impact,” says Mannino in the article. “In fact, the purpose of the signage should be the driving force of the sign’s design.”


In order to effectively determine the purpose of a carwash’s signage, Mannino suggests in the article asking the following questions:

  • Is the sign meant to drive traffic from the street?
  • Is it being used to convey information about available wash options and encourage customers to choose more expensive wash packages?
  • Is it designed to simply enhance customers’ experience as they go through the wash?

Moreover, Colleen Wolf, LED project manager for Signs Plus (, notes in the article that carwashes should also consider additional questions, such as those listed below, to better target the information they are trying to convey to customers.

  • Do you need to direct customers to the self-serve line?
  • Do you need to explain how to use equipment or how to pay for service?
  • Do you want to advertise special discounts, sales or promotions to customers driving past your location?
  • Do you want to upsell customers waiting in line?

And, to ensure an optimal signage implementation strategy, Mannino suggests in the article carwash owners and operators actually drive around on-site and walk through their facilities.

“Try to imagine what the customer is doing, thinking and feeling at every step of that walk-through,” she recommends in the article. “More importantly, carefully evaluate what you want them to be doing, thinking and feeling at every step. [This] should help you determine the purpose of every sign … and will be your foundation for your design objectives.”


Read more about carwash signage strategies here.

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