SpellBrite Brings Back The Selling Sizzle Of Neon At A Fraction Of The Cost


You’ve done your advertising. Printed up new business cards. Came up with a catchy name for your new restaurant.  But did you think about signs?

“With all the focus on social media and digital customer engagement, it is easy to overlook a marketing strategy that, for over a century has proven to drive sales,” says Sean Callahan, President of SpellBrite.

SpellBrite signs, with the look of neon but with LED as their illuminating source, not only are brighter but allow restaurants to change the words on them at any time, according to the company whose motto is “An LED Sign with the Bright Look of Neon but the Flexibility of Print.”

SpellBrite signage was born from the technology developed by iLight, a pioneer and leader in innovative LED illumination solutions. Founded in 1999, the company’s award-winning legacy of exceptional lighting products known for high brightness and smooth even glow was the seed that became SpellBrite. iLight continues to develop and deliver innovative LED illumination solutions that transform, excite, and energize architectural environments worldwide. The company currently holds more than 100 patents in the U.S. and International markets.

SpellBrite was introduced in 2012. Retailers and restaurant owners quickly grasped the benefits of the signage system; SpellBrite was named a Retailer Top Pick at the 2012 NACS trade show and Best New Product at the 2012 ISA International Sign Expo. In 2014, iLight was named one of the winners of the 12th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards for its unique SpellBrite LED signage system.

“Neon signs have been used for over a hundred years to successfully drive traffic and sales,” Callahan noted. There is no greater proof of the effectiveness of illuminated signs, and neon in particular, than Las Vegas. Casinos there have used neon to the extreme to draw in customers and their money. “However, neon is declining in popularity, even in Las Vegas, due to safety concerns, maintenance hassles, environmental issues, and aesthetic challenges and many municipalities are banning neon.”

MPS/Malachy April 2016 Top

Spellbrite’s LED-based signs have none of the drawbacks of neon signs and derive significant benefits from LEDs: long life, durable, low energy usage, light weight, etc.  LEDs are points of light and this creates aesthetic challenges if viewers are able to see the pixelation.  Several technologies have successfully addressed the pixel problem: large billboards and display screens which can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Viewers are typically far enough from the display that the individual LEDs are not distinct, but actually form a composite image.

Unlike signs from the past, which were static once they were created, SpellBrite signs let restaurants change their content whenever they want. With the SpellBrite click-together letters, numbers and symbols, eating establishments can switch a word or words at a moment’s notice.

Some restaurants swear by them. After hanging his first sign, Steve Scaglione, owner of Maurizio’s Pizza & Sports Bar in St. Louis, was all in. He immediately invested $4,000 more in SpellBrite signs.  Steve said, “Within weeks of putting up the sign “BANQUET ROOM AVAILABLE” with our phone number, we went from getting almost no calls on the banquet room to 20 to 25 calls per week.”

Sam of Big Sammy’s Hot Dogs in Elgin, IL uses SpellBrite to promote the combo at his three shops.  When food costs increased, Sam changed the price on “2 HOT DOGS FRIES & DRINK $5.00” to $5.50 and later to $6.25 just by buying a few more numbers.  “Large chains spend millions of dollars to promote their value meals.  SpellBrite puts my value meal on equal footing and for much less money,” says Sam. “And you can’t miss the signs.  They bring the customers in.”

LED-based signs have none of the drawbacks of neon, says Callahan.  LEDS have a long life, are durable and use a lot less electricity, and can sometimes cost half the price. “Business owners can inexpensively test multiple messages, promotions and price specials to find the most compelling to prospective customers,” he adds.
Callahan added that SpellBrite signs can differentiate your business, promote specials and attract employees.

A multi-unit owner of a national pizza chain found using a “NOW HIRING DRIVERS” sign led to a fivefold increase in driver candidates.  The owner is pleased, “Drivers constantly turnover.  I’ve gone from hoping for a warm body, to selecting candidates that will represent our brand well.”

From increasing sales to attracting top-flight employees, SpellBrite’s new signage system is delivering big results for foodservice operators. Learn more here.