Archive | December, 2009

“Green” design choices make good business sense

From retail centers; to financial services branches; to entertainment, gaming and dining venues, design professionals are fielding an increasing number of requests to create exterior facades and interior environments based on environmentally friendly materials.

Business owners and operators have discovered that from their customers’ perspective, design elements inspired by natural materials can make spaces look upscale, comfortable, professional, elegant and more.

But it’s not all about looks, it’s also about sustainability. Using low-emitting, energy-saving and recycled materials and systems in overall design can reduce maintenance, improve energy-efficiency, eliminate pest damage and help curb rising operational costs.

Eco-friendly materials can also earn organizations and businesses “green building” laurels, leading to increased customer satisfaction and higher levels of staff productivity.

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Familiarity breeds good business for community-based banks

There’s an old saw that says in business, you tend to deal with those you know. That means there’s strategic and marketing value in establishing long-term business relationships and in playing the “local” card.

A premiere way to display home-town character is in the exterior and interior design of your company’s place of business.

In the financial services industry, independent banks create their own brand identity and can feature design that relates to the communities they serve. Institutions located in distinctive geographic locales may choose design elements such as facades, colors, textures, and accessories that suggest a regional theme and promote a sense of shared community. Other banks may draw design inspiration from a customer base that shares a strong cultural or ethnic heritage.

For larger institutions with extensive branch operations, creating exteriors and interiors that help establish a sense of community must incorporate national or regional brand design such as logos, colors and other elements. Melding the two identities allows branch operations to be recognized more readily as a community banks and to compete successfully for local business.

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Digital technologies monitor project design from day one to debut

If you’re on a tight budget and timeframe, the last things you need in a new construction or remodeling project are surprises – design elements that aren’t what you envisioned, structural elements not positioned where you planned, and more.

To avoid surprises, you need a design and manufacturing firm that can help you track your project visually from concept to completion.

Advanced hardware and software technologies can deliver video walk-throughs of your project, detailing exterior and interior structural and design elements.

Digital capabilities also can help you visualize your space from a customer’s perspective, gauging the impact of theme, color, lighting, décor and other design features.

Viewing your space as it will look on completion allows you to make adjustments to the design while it’s still in the planning stage. That can help to bring in your project on time, on spec and on budget.

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Progressive bank design balances high tech and high touch

Since their business became part of the hotly competitive financial services industry, success-oriented banks are focused on serving a range of customers with different priorities and expectations. How well these institutions employ interior design, furnishings, signage and other elements to attract, serve and retain customers today, will help determine profitability tomorrow.

Tech-savvy, younger customers tend to value the convenience of services they can quickly initiate and complete themselves. This segment is more likely to use ATM and kiosk outlets rather than seek out tellers for financial transactions. Way-finding signage will help provide a self-serve environment, easy access and greater customer satisfaction.

More traditional bank customers may respond positively to personal interaction with bank personnel and relationship-building customer service. Attractively furnished seating and meeting areas designed for comfort and privacy while attending to bank business are important to older customers and others who value personal service.

Creating a dynamic, cost-efficient sales environment that satisfies the needs of both high-tech and high-touch bank customers will help progressive institutions

achieve ongoing success.

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