Grande Decaf, Room for ________.
While sitting at a Starbucks, catching up on email and killing a little time today, I started thinking about how a company’s brand is reflected in its physical space. Sitting here, you wouldn’t know that 100 yards outside this little haven is the busy corner of 76th and Layton. The mellow music in the background, the ambient lighting, and the coffee aroma drown out the distractions of the outside world.
Why is Starbucks successful? What have they accomplished that McCafe can’t?
Starbucks has provided room for _______. They’ve taken the traditional coffee experience and allowed customers to define the space. They’ve pushed the brand past the baristas and the beans and into the booth, bar stools and bookshelves. They’ve embraced the concept that their brand is not how THEY define it, but how their customers define it and how they use it.
Marty Neumeier, author of “The Brand Gap”, defines a brand as involving an emotional connection that customers have to your business. “A brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. It’s a customer’s gut feeling about your business or product. You don’t actually do the branding. They do the branding working with the materials and experiences you give them.”
At your office/clinic/store/warehouse/etc. do you provide room for _______? Are your clients, colleagues and even employees allowed to define your brand, embrace the space, make it their own, and uniquely “fit” into your culture? Are they comfortable to be themselves? Do they crave return visits? By allowing them room for _______, you invite them to come back to your brand time after time, and you empower them to be part of the brand-building experience rather than have the brand dictated to them.
As many of you know, our search for office space continues. I’m particularly honed in on finding a space that not only fits our image and needs, but allows us to bring you into our culture because YOU define our brand. Once we find our little corner of the world for our clients, our team, and our friends, we’ll invite you out for coffee with a little room for _______.