• Chris Reese

Before You Build: Getting the Most Out of Your Tech Budget (Part 3)

Experiential design and planning.

Every experience with your organization is a reflection on your brand.

We’ve all experienced the restaurant so noisy you couldn’t hear across the table or the auditorium plagued with feedback and vocal clarity issues. What effect did that have on your perception of that brand?

The experience in your space is a direct reflection on your brand, and there is no such thing as a neutral interaction. The experience either reinforces the brand promise or creates doubt.

By taking time to consider the client and employee experience you want associated with your brand, and allowing that to drive the design, you will know what and how technology needs to be incorporated into the experience. This goes beyond things like access control and digital signage. Technology includes lighting, scenting systems, auditory experiences, energy management, and more.

One industry that has this concept down very well is the hospitality industry.

With the current situation, you probably have not been to a hotel in months. (BTW - They are cleaner now than ever.) However, I encourage you to get out and visit a few hotel lobbies - safely, of course. Take in the experience the designers for that franchise have created for you. Just within the Marriott brands, you could experience a Courtyard, an Aloft, a Marriott, a J.W. Marriott, and the Ritz-Carlton or a W. Notice how technology is incorporated into the design of the space. It is not an afterthought.

Now, think through the experience you want a guest, client, or employee to have when they enter your space. It's best to create specific use cases and write out a narrative as though you were writing a story.

Here is an example of what I mean from the perspective of a first-time client visiting a consulting firm.

From the moment first-time client, Jane, steps off the elevator, she is impressed with the cleanliness and openness of the space. Everything including the very air within the space glows with a healthy freshness. While the lighting is bright, it's not overwhelming or glaring, and adds to the sense of openness of the space. She notices the use of bamboo and other highly renewable materials which only confirm she has chosen the right company.

Remember to think through your space from an employee and prospective employee perspective as well. Attracting and retaining talent is always in the top 5 in the "What keeps CEOs up at night" lists. Your employees' experience with your brand will have a direct impact on how well they are able to support the desired brand experience with clients.

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