You're coming into the summer, camps are cooking, and now you're looking for that wow factor for families coming back in the fall! What can you do to make an impact without spending oodles of dough?
The first thing to remember is that you are a space for children, and that everything about who you are and what you do is about bringing joy to kids. Families should walk into your space and think "How fun!". If you can nail that, then you've won the Branded Lobby Game!
Here are some easy design ideas for giving your space a fresh look!
YOUR LOGO and COLORS
Your logo and your business colors are a part of who you are! So point to them proudly! It should be one of the first things customers see when they walk in the door, and there should be multiple places to see it throughout your space.
Gemini Gymnastics' colors are green and pink, which are very bold, so when we chose to redo our lobby we went with a neutral palette... greys, whites, and wood tones. This simplicity makes every green and pink logo in our business POP!
Logos should be simple and easily recognizable! Two or three colors with a bold icon or font, designed by a professional who understands you are a business for kids.
FAST ACCESS TO YOUR DESK STAFF
Whoever sits behind the front desk is your BRAND AMBASSADOR, happily delivering every bit of information any parent could possibly need! So making sure that your clients have quick and easy access to them, no matter where they are in the lobby, is VITAL to your brand.
Here are some design ideas for upping your front desk BRAND GAME:
DE-CLUTTER everything behind the desk! If your clients think you are unorganized or overwhelmed it will affect your BRAND!
IKEA is your friend. Drawers, cubbies, shelves and binders.Everything behind the desk needs a home (off the counter and off the floor)
RAISE YOUR FRONT DESK counter height, encouraging near eye level conversation.
CENTRALLY LOCATE the desk or workers.Have multiple desk locations.
PLAY AREA FOR LITTLES
Throw down a play rug and grab some toys because this is the greatest culture creator you can do for moms! The best versions of the play area will have a baby gate, comfy places for mom to sit, and little storage bins for the toys to get cleaned up everyday!
Nothing is better for a parent of multiple kids than to know that when they come to your business all their kids have something fun to do... even if it's not in a class.
You can direct your customer's visual experience... So think about it from their perspective. Where do you want your clients to look in your lobby? Where do they look now? When they walk in the door, what's the first thing they see? Is that what you want them to see?
Let's make that first branded impression awesome. The first thing they should see is your logo. The second thing they see should create a happy feeling. That could be your front desk staff, or a nice array of plants. It could be a well designed and clean seating area, or a giant stuffed animal named Ted. Fun visuals, cleanliness, a smiling face... these are things that create GOOD feelings.
Not Good First Sights
Trophies Dirty Lockers Cluttered Bulletin Boards Peeling paint, Gross carpet, Chipped walls
As you move through your lobby, what is your eye drawn to? Do you have too much stuff on the walls? Do you need more stuff? Most importantly... Can clients relax?
A simple trick for creating focal points is to paint your lobby in neutral tones and use accent walls with your company colors! This will anchor your space and really punch up your brand like a giant bulletin board.
CAUTION: If you do the whole lobby in your company colors you risk overwhelming your patron's brand experience. Your design becomes a jackhammer instead of a simple source of joy.
It is so often overlooked, but parents NEED to feel like this is just as much a space for them as it is for the kids. Here are some fast pointers to optimizing their experience as well!
Music: Silence is awkward! Some simple tunes in the back relaxes people.
Comfy seating: Would you sit in your chairs for an hour? And get up happy?
Good Wi-Fi: Everybody streams! Help them out!
Coffee Station: A Kuerig and some creamers makes EVERYONE happy.
For more ideas, check out my blog dedicated to MAKING PARENTS FEEL AWESOME!
*Easy Cheat Alert!* Put your posters and marketing material in frames on the wall! It gives a professional finish and is super easy to change out with seasonal events and programming schedules!
SOCIAL MEDIA STATION
Instagram is a thing. And Facebook, and Snapchat... We all know this. You can embrace this with little stations in your lobby for kids and parents to snap a pic and post! Make it cute, make it branded. No need to spend a lot of money, just make it fun! Set a box of costume props next it and let kiddos go to town!
CLEAN IS KING!
Make cleanliness a priority in your business. Every night the lobby should be picked up and wiped down. Make sure everything has a home and that your staff understands the importance of tidiness. It goes a LONG way in creating a culture of comfort for clients.
*Important TIP* SMELLS MATTER! Gyms have earned the reputation of being SMELLY places! There are lots of tips out there on how to address this unfortunate truth in our industry, but you know you've beat the odds if you can eliminate the funk odor.
Not sure if you're the smelly gym on the block? Ask your patrons! If you ask 5 and more than 1 says your space has a "smell" make a shift!
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