The Power of Words (and Placement)

Written By: Kathleen Riessen

As a mother of three boys, I thought I wouldn’t have to handle emotional roller coasters. Imagine my surprise when my middle son learned that the words, “I hate you” could immediately send my oldest into a raging river of tears. Of course he doesn’t hate him, but he figured out an effective way to terrorize his brother using key words. If only all of us could use words so effectively!

Unfortunately, many businesses forget the power of words. A little over a year ago, I was in Indiana with my family attending a funeral. As we were driving, we noticed the below two signs. Three blocks later my husband and I looked at each other and both said, “Did that sign really just say that?” It took us three blocks to process two separate yard signs placed next to each other. Both appropriately represented their businesses. If these signs stood alone, there would have been no cause for a double take.

Can you see why we took a double take?


Curl-Up & Dye (a Salon) next to (Fred Lamb) a pain management and rehabilitation center. Awkward.

A few weeks ago, I drove by a local vet clinic and another sign caught my eye.

Vet Clinic Pic

Effective or not? That decision rests in the eye of the beholder and how the message is interpreted.

Key takeaway: Creative yard signs do garner attention. The question to ask is if it is positive or negative attention?

What do you think?


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