Shopping used to be simple. Growing up, It didn’t matter to my parents if you needed a new TV or if you needed to get a coffee; you found a product that you liked, at a reasonable price, with good quality and you purchased it. If your purchase experience was positive, you’d most likely return. However, if a competitor had a similar product for a cheaper price. Nine times out of ten, my parents were going to jump ship and change retailers.
In recent months, I’ve noticed myself returning to the same places over and over again. The same bars, restaurants and stores. I assumed it was for the same subjective reasons as my parents. Being in brand development, I wanted to dissect my mind and think about why that was. I discovered that it wasn’t the price or the convenience. Instead it relied all on the impression of the environment and the quality of product.
Every time I walked into a bar/restaurant with a well thought out environment that was physically and emotionally reflective of their brand image, I found myself understanding the message of that brand. It made an impactful impression from that moment on. Thinking about the environmental branding of your brick and mortar space is the first step to tackling objectives in your potential buyers mind. Business are more successful when EVERY aspect of their business is well thought out. Think of your space like your appearance on a first date. You should shine your shoes, iron your clothes, brush your teeth & do your hair, for starters. It should reflect who you are.
Environmental branding has a direct “first impression” impact on your customers. So what exactly am I talking about when I say “Environmental Design?” I’m talking about the color of your walls, the material and layout of your furniture. The uniform of your staff if that applies. The decorations and art. The lighting fixtures, all the way down to the kelvin temperature of your bulbs, etc. This shit really does matter.
So if you think your business needs to work on it’s environmental branding, it probably does. Start by finding the pain points in your space and remember, simple is better. It’s about being objective and putting yourself in your clients shoes. Never assume what they’ll care about. Hire a branding expert or look up environmental design inspiration on Pinterest. Get ideas, get creative & get money. And remember- brands drive value.