PLAN FOR EVERY AUDIENCE
As a designer at Markon, my average client is the small business owner and 9 times out of 10, they’re hyper-focused on their customer. I understand this hawk-like ability to focus on a certain audience, after all, @@my work is all about the details that come together to excite an audience.@@ What happens, however, is that everyone else gets lost in the shuffle. The exterior of your business, unlike the interior, is experienced by everyone and not just potential clients! It’s the first and last thing a person will see during an excursion, so it’s important to keep things fresh. Sometimes staying ahead of the game is as simple as being the one who’s willing to shake things up. Just because the system you’ve been using for the past several years is working, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved!
Take a step outside your routine and try to experience your business from an outsider’s perspective. Here are the questions I would ask myself if I were a business owner:
- How would someone bustling by your space know that it’s yours?
- Is your entrance clearly marked?
- How many entry points does your business have? Which one is the primary?
Observe how visitors interact with the front of your store. If you get a complaint that your business is difficult to find, don’t just brush this off and assume it’s just one customer’s problem. Think of all the people who have likely had the same problem and just never told you about it! Don’t worry, though, as this is nothing a new sandwich board or cheery window vinyl can’t help.
If you’re having a hard time being objective in the way you view your space, try taking out your phone and snapping some photos. Flip them horizontally, as this might trick your brain into seeing your storefront with new eyes! Try to notice all the details. Signage should be clear, consistent, free of stains and wear-and-tear. Anything that might have gathered a little grime through those wintery months should be groomed and spotless! Dirt is especially noticeable as the weather warms and the sun is shining bright.
Now let’s focus on interiors. When a customer steps into your space, is it a friendly place to be? Is the “mood” appropriate? For instance, warm, cheery, and feminine signage would be more than appropriate for a beauty salon, but that same “mood” wouldn’t fit the bill for an upscale, edgy clothing boutique. Also, If there is a specific order by which your customers should check out, or approach you for service, is it quickly apparent? For example, if you run a restaurant where customers can seat themselves, is this obvious? Think of the brand-new client. @@You want their first experience to leave them impressed and eager to return!@@ This won’t happen if they’re met with confusion, awkwardness or stress.
If you’re filled with any trepidation related to how your exterior or interior may be perceived, don’t forget that your team at Markon has you covered! Not only do we specialize in Exterior + Interior branding, we also offer On-Site and Service Experience evaluations! Learn more!