From the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur


If you're getting your company in shape to grab more customers, does it make sense to spend the time and money on redesigning your office? You bet!

Before

When Vicky Carlson purchased San Diego-based Office Pavilion in 1994, she took over existing space. Because the firm sells not only office furniture, but also space planning, refurbishing and warehousing services, it requires a working office, showroom and storage facility. The building was adequate, but it didn't convey the true functionality and personality of the firm.

During

When planning for a new facility, Carlson worked with The McCulley Group, a graphic and architectural design firm that addressed what John McCulley calls "the nutritional concept of branding." Every cubic inch of the space was examined to determine what it communicated. Flexibility was also a goal, as design and colors go quickly in and out of fashion.

After

Large-scale product shots, workstations and featured furniture can all be changed easily. The entryway features a timeline of the company's key vendor, Herman Miller, from 1920 to present. Blackout screens roll out of view, high-speed Internet connections and large-screen monitors are standard in conference rooms, and a multimedia theater allows for impressive presentations. Quotes from employees are painted directly on the wall throughout the 15,000-square-foot, two-story building, truly bringing home the brand message.

Carlson's close ratio has jumped from 70 to 90 percent since the change; today, Office Pavilion boasts $20 million in annual sales. Remember: Brand-building means projecting a consistent message, even in your office. It's one way to ensure wall-to-wall success.


Elizabeth J. Goodgold is CEO/chief nuancer of The Nuancing Group, a brand consulting firm in San Diego, and author of the monthly newsletter Duh! Marketing.

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