Do Your Clients Appreciate the Value of an Effective Design Strategy?

Ask any decision-makers and most will tell you that saving as much money as possible on office design represents a major factor in the improvement of their company’s bottom line.

They’re Doing It Wrong.

Saving money in key areas is strategically wise, but when it comes to office design, excessive frugality can often be disastrous. Clients may choose to save thousands on office design, but if the environment they create by default sends the wrong message, all of their branding dollars will be counteracted over time. Instead, encourage your clients to work in reverse, focusing on the desired feelings and mindset they wish to create for customers and staff before they even consider where to save money. Effective office design optimizes the workspace to influence and convert an audience in a planned direction.

You might choose to explain it in this way: conserving money on office design optimization is like a tire with a slow leak. Your clients could save money temporarily by delaying the purchase of a new tire, but they will eventually lose air, and spend their time refilling the old one—or, worse still, become stranded at an inopportune place and time. If they miss an appointment with a key client or need to call roadside assistance, any preliminary savings is of no real value, and a choice that initially seemed economical becomes an imprudent drain on capital.

If a corporate team seems to be leaking enthusiasm, caring, motivation, or commitment to customer service, immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the workplace stands a fighting chance of becoming successful. Here are some points to consider:

Understand the Target Experience

People don’t really want to read or listen to involved, verbose discussions about how great a company is. They really only care about what matters to them in the moment. As you know, most people are influenced first by what they see in their immediate environment. The visual impact of a workplace must actually be relevant to the experience they desire.

By familiarizing clients with their own targeted audience and asking key questions, designers can help business owners get to the heart of what they want most. To open the conversation, inquire about the following:

What are the general demographics of the people who experience your workplace?

What emotional connectivity will customers most want to experience in relation to your product?

How can you show that everything connected with your company experience is about making people’s lives better?

The answers to these questions can help uncover key emotions that customers will naturally want to associate with a company and product. Using this information, you can encourage clients to construct an office environment that speaks clearly to their target audience.


Establish Feedback Loops

Customer feedback gives clients crucial information about their activity and message, along with valuable insight about how people actually feel when they are inside their office.

Feedback can help identify problems that staff may be experiencing while working in the space. Maybe they feel disorganized or frustrated, and these emotions are coming through as they interact with customers. Perhaps team members are really upset, and want to leave without communication.

Without feedback, clients may never have the chance to discover the existence of elephant-in the-room problems. Once they have the answers, you can help them to manifest optimal solutions. Cultivating honest, forthright, unambiguous feedback saves time and money, and stops the flow of funds leaking out undetected.

Making the Message-to-Audience Match

One of the biggest disconnects within most companies occurs when the brand they envision does not match with the experience visitors and team members are having in their workplace. The break occurs when customers or staff begin to see for themselves that the message and the visual do not match.

You can help clients sidestep this problem by designing an environment that is 100% aligned with their message.

Consider First Impressions—and Lasting Ones

People’s brains are on autopilot. The message their environment sends is not analyzed logically; it is communicated instantly and exclusively by the way it makes them feel, and feelings will influence every decision, every time.

The instantaneous perception generated by a business or office space represents the most crucial element within a designer’s control. For the sake of intended message alone, clients should consider creating an optimal workspace using design intelligence. This will allow their office to be brought to life in a way that feels intuitive to customers and staff alike.

If elements of a haphazardly-created office repel a staff member, it becomes obvious that their feelings will then be subconsciously conveyed throughout the workplace.

It’s All About the Emotion

Use visual mastery to teach your clients that emotional elements create a specific mood, enticing both occupants and visitors to react—either positively or negatively.

As a designer, you are able to communicate the identified emotion clients wish their visitors and staff to experience while inhabiting their office space. After clients have selected exactly how they want their audience to feel, they’ll want to figure out ways to replicate that feeling throughout the workplace. You can then inculcate emotional triggers through design, color, and texture. Each element they choose lends individualized support to the whole picture, creating an image so powerful that it will magnetize loyalty and profit.


Re-educate clients about utilizing office design to shape their message and cement brand identity. If they are able to stop taking environment for granted, they’ll get to know their target audience, become familiar with the problems customers experience, and understand design elements that appeal to them emotionally. Create a space in which design directly addresses these highly personalized problems and preferences, establishing your client’s office as a true sphere of influence.

Each staff member and visitor, by extension, can then assist your client in announcing their desired message to the world. This is something they will begin to do subconsciously, because it will feel natural rather than like something they need to think about.

It doesn’t need to cost a bundle to accomplish this; it just takes thought, caring and creativity. When clients choose to follow feelings and emotions, their message will scream loudly—in the most positive sense.

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