Alaska is one of the two states that are not a part of the contiguous United States. Hence, it was one of the last to gain statehood for the country. Before it was a state, Alaska was a colony owned by Russia. The country had gone into bankruptcy and decided to sell that land mass, Russia had a few countries that they could sell the territory to, and in the end, they chose the United States. Before Russia owned Alaska, it had a vibrant history that goes all the way back to the settlement of native Indians. It is this past that also informs the current day ethnic makeup of Alaska. Alaska is one of the states that have a population with a very dominant Native American ancestry.
The impact and culture of the Native Americans remain and is shown in the practices and the culture of the state. The state was occupied by these settlers until the 1890s when gold was discovered in the state. This naturally attracted a lot of laborers and miners who wanted to cash in on the high value of the precious metal. Laborers also descended on the state during the oil boom which started in 1968. Though the oil boom eventually hurt the state, the migrants remained there and helped to build the Alaska that we have today.
Alaska and Digital Signage
Alaska is one of the unique states for obvious reasons. The location, the culture, the weather, the people, the economy all set the state apart from the others. So if you are new to business in Alaska, then you should not have the same expectations as you would for everywhere else in the United States. This applies to the erection and use of advertising strategies such as digital menu boards and digital advertising signs
. Advertising is something that requires an understanding of the demography, the location, and the laws. One must consider what they need to expect during the planning and execution process of sign erection. It is never a one size fits all; something that would be good for one state might not be probable in the other.
With that being said, we must take a look at several aspects of the state of Alaska. We must look at the culture of the people. Understanding the people is always one of the first things that advertisers do before they plan and execute an effective campaign. This will help you to devise a suitable strategy to target them and help you to figure out what to expect from them. You must also look at physical factors that will affect your signs and its erection like where you are allowed to place them and the weather conditions that might affect them. You finally need to look at the business landscape in the state, the types of businesses, earning trends, tourism and the economy and the culinary scene. This will help you to understand the demand of the digital signs so that you may act accordingly.
Local Laws Related To Signage in Alaska
Alaska has not been too friendly to the idea of elaborate outdoor advertising. It is one of the few states that ban billboards as a method of advertisements. However, the state does allow other smaller forms of advertising as long as that they are on the premises of the business
. Indoor advertising is preferred in Alaska. Outdoor advertising is done on a small scale provided that it not interfere with the right-of-way laws in the state which prohibits any sign from being a hindrance or bother to the general public. You also need to have a permit before you even start erecting an outdoor digital sign.
Here are some other regulations relating to signage in Alaska:
1) Your sign should not have any animations or moving images. Signage displays that are changeable are allowed but not in residential areas.
2) If your sign is internally illuminated, then it must have an opaque background with translucent writing or vice versa
3) LED signs should not be brighter than 5,000 candelas per square meter during daytime and 800 candelas per square meter at nights
4) your sign should be of no threat or discomfort to drivers and pedestrians
5) only a certified contractor should install and repair your digital signs
6) your sign should not be placed in the right of way of public roadways and should not be situated in a location where it obstructs traffic signs
7) The owner should make an effort to continue maintenance of their signs so that compliance is maintained.
The laws are pretty straightforward and easy to adhere to. Even though the preference for on-premise signs in the law may be a bit inconvenient for some, having electronic signage displays on the property might be a more effective way to attract people to the businesses that you are trying to promote.
Local Culture in Alaska
Cold icy Alaska has cultural practices that you won’t find in many of the other states. Its culture, for the most part, is defined by the group of original settlers that lived there before the Europeans arrived. The descendants of these indigenous people remain in the state today. Today Alaska is more multi-cultured as the population within Anchorage would show. Anchorage, which is Alaska’s largest city, has one of the most diverse communities within the United States. This makes it the ideal place to visit if you are interested in being exposed to various aspects of multiple cultures. There are always events being held to showcase the art, customs and the other creations, old and new, from Alaska’s different ethnic groups. You can also expect to find valuable artifacts that you may not see elsewhere. The state’s identity is rooted in that of its native population, and if you want to hear old stories passed on through generations or watch ceremonial performances, then this is the state to visit. Since natives still make up 15% of the Alaskan population, there is still a prevalence of fishing and hunting as contributors to the economy. It is a widely known fact that Seafood is a big business in Alaska. The arts and craft industry within the state is also unique and pure because the focus is on making art that is authentic to the native culture.
Impact of Alaskan Weather on Digital Signage
Alaska is extremely cold, and this might have a negative effect on the performance of electronic signage, especially if the sign is outdoors. This is why it is crucial that your sign is specially built and optimized for the Alaskan climate. The elements that come with cold weather might affect the function of the electronic sign, causing issues where the display is concerned. This is why it is good to have a means of shelter for outdoor signs, especially during the rainy months. It is advised that you build an enclosure specifically for each sign to keep them operating effectively throughout the year. You should also be wary of the way cables, and wires are attached so that they are not affected by any moisture or other elements that may cause deterioration or damage.
The Alaskan Tourism Industry and How It Supports The Demand For Digital Menu Boards
Alaska enjoys a high number of tourists each year who help to provide revenue for the state. Alaska has a beautiful landscape that attracts visitors who want to bask in the unique environment and immerse themselves in the state’s authentic culture. With its scenic mountains and glaciers, tourists will leave with numerous pictures and beautiful memories.
The cruise industry has been especially profitable for the tourism industry in Alaska because almost 50% of the visitors get to the state via cruise ships. This is why there was a sharp decline in tourist visits when there was a decrease in the number of cruise ships being deployed. However, the state is still enjoying a large number of tourists. The business of tours is trendy in the state, and many companies offer tourists tour packages to guide them around the cities. The hotel and restaurant industry also profit a lot from the tourist visits. This is why tourism is needed for the state’s economic stability.
Retail and Shopping In Alaska
It is no surprise that the business landscape in Alaska had suffered since 2015 when a recession began in the state. Because of this recession, several businesses had to close their doors leaving several residents out of a job. This forced residents to find employment outside of their fields or to equip themselves with different skill sets to be competitive for other tasks. Some even resorted to moving away to provide for themselves and their families. There have been over a thousand job losses from 2015-2018 in Alaska. This is very unfortunate considering that the state was experiencing growth before the recession happened. Several industries within the state suffered because of this change. The sports industry was one that suffered a significant loss, as many stores that specialized in sporting equipment had to close their doors in the state. Also, there were bookstores and music stores that had to close their doors because they could not be sustained in the failing economy of the state. Restaurants and other companies within the food industry have been struggling because of the recession. Other retail stores in different niches also suffered losses, and so the retailing sector has been on the decline ever since. The state has slowly been trying to recover from the failures and rebuild from the economic downturn. Businesses within the state are trying to stay afloat, and new companies might develop in the coming years to help provide jobs and boost the economy.
The Culinary Scene in the State Of Alaska
The culinary scene in Alaska has become diverse over the years, but the seafood industry still holds the dominance. Alaska is a large fishing state, and it has been like that for many years. This is why Alaska is revered as one of the top states for seafood. If you travel around Alaska, you will be able to find sources of fish of all kinds with amazingly delicious preparation techniques. Alaskans are experts at fish preparation because they have been doing it for years. They take pride in their fishing practices and food preparations. There is the Alaskan salmon (which comes with multiple species) and the crab which are the crowd favorites among those who are foodie experts. Alaskans also specialize in other traditional culinary practices that have been developed by the native population within the state. The state has a unique food culture that you might not find elsewhere. The state has several restaurants and other food-related businesses
that give visitors and natives the opportunity to indulge in Alaskan food.
The cold state of Alaska has so much going on and so much to come. The state, having dealt with a recession is prepared for growth and recovery and innovative business minded persons will know precisely how to make use of this. The state is much different from most of America with the practices and the culture and people. However, this is something that makes the opportunities even more of an exciting prospect. With interest in business comes the need for advertising, and through billboards are not a favorite for the Alaskan laws on-premise and indoor signs are allowed and are necessities for businesses. We already know how valuable they can be and so we are aware of why they are needed in Alaska. Business growth is very much needed, and as such, there need to be businesses that are willing to put out all the effort to help boost the economy. Understanding and embracing Alaska and its culture will help you to make significant decisions for your advertising and in turn will get you the conversion rates that you need in this beautiful state.