Archive | August, 2009

Business of Banking

The business of banking has evolved over the past several decades, from institutions largely limited to making loans and taking deposits, to financial supermarkets that offer a range of banking, investment and insurance products. Not surprisingly, as banks began to serve customers in new ways, they also changed in appearance. Today, trends in bank design support a hotly competitive, retail-oriented industry with a focus on customer-friendly environments, cost-efficient operations and brand-driven design elements. Today many banks are choosing to forego a thick brick and mortar style and teller cages that hold customers at arms’ length, for buildings designed to be accessible, efficient and customer-friendly. Even traditional bank facades, which may be favored by an older, more conservative customer base, can be designed with contemporary, innovative and “green” building materials that create inviting, but secure environments.

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Restaurant Environmental Design

If you’re in the restaurant business today, your customers are part of the Experience Economy. They want to be engaged in a personal way when they walk in your door and spend time in an environment designed for their dining pleasure. Exterior and interior design are key elements in creating an overall dining experience that brings customers in, keeps them coming back and encourages them to spread the good word about your establishment.One of most effective ways a restaurant can market itself as an appealing culinary destination is by word of mouth. Unleashing positive “buzz” means delivering a dining experience that’s out of the ordinary and in the minds of customers long after their meal is over. Great food and great service is the gold standard. But welcoming, innovative design elements that run the gamut from bold colors, dramatic lighting and, perhaps, an open exhibition kitchen — to a quiet, subdued ambiance that encourages ease, intimacy and desire to linger over a meal, all add to the total experience.

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I-5 Design_Casino

For many Native American tribal organizations, gaming is big business. In 2007, 425 tribal casinos in 28 states took in nearly $26 billion in revenue. But while gaming remains at the core of casino profitability, trends show a significant rise in non-gaming amenities and activities as potent customer attractors. Entry into gaming for tribal organizations has traditionally included bingo halls and stand-alone, day-trip casinos. But today, many tribes are opting to build gaming establishments linked to destination resort, hospitality, entertainment and retail venues.

The ongoing challenge for firms that design, remodel and create identities for casinos– from concept to completion– is two-fold: To deliver environments that keep customers gaming more hours, more often, and to create innovative, casino theme-driven amenities and venues that appeal to non-gamers.

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