Saturday, July 11, 2009

Luxury of Space

This is from my friend & client - David Jefferys' email and it seemed very apropos. If you need a brand check up, let me know, I will put you in touch with him!

One of my favorite stores is Barnes & Noble.

Yes, they have lots of books, music and movies. But what I love most is that it feels like I've been invited to hang out - big comfortable chairs, coffee and snacks.

Did I mention the big comfortable chairs?

Well it turns out, I love Barnes & Noble because they've created a "Being Space."
Sociologist Ray Oldenburg first conceived of the "Being Space" in his 1990 book The Great Good Place and described it as a place where people hang out, take it easy and "commune with friends, neighbors, and whoever else shows up." A place where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, people watch, read a book or play a computer game.

Think about it. Starbucks, The Apple Store, the Laundromat where you can watch a movie while you wash. It seems like the retailers have caught on.

But what about the service industry?

Imagine this - what if clients or business friends and vendors were invited to stop by your office. Maybe they're in between meetings or just need a place to catch their breath.

They could grab a cup of coffee, hop on your wireless high speed internet (or use the computer in your open work station), make some phone calls or grab a book off your bookshelf.

Do you think they'd take you up on your offer? Does it say something about your brand that you've created a space where they could? Would it alter or intensify their opinion of you and what working with you might be like?

What do you think - could you create a being space?

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