May 31, 2011 in Business
Have you ever visited your local bank branch or post office and been particularly inspired by the artwork hung on the walls? Me neither. In my opinion, art could be one of the most undervalued assets any business can use to make an impression on customers and staff alike.
Sadly, I often see such cliché pictures hung in both small businesses and corporates – far too many printed stock photographs (local landmarks, smiling telesales assistants, handshakes) as well as very generic Mark Rothko style abstractions. What a shame to not fully utilise wall space to support your business after lovingly crafting products and services you care about.
In the Office
Before I start discussing how great art can affect sales and your bottom line, let’s start with something equally important – your greatest asset, those who work for you. Carefully selected art can be a key part of any office environment, whether you work in a creative industry or something far more formal. A strong image can provide inspiration and stimulate hard work from employees, as well as creating an opportunity to make any business less faceless and inject a degree of personality. At the most basic level, great art can stimulate comments, conversation and expression of opinion amongst co-workers, which can only go towards improving morale.
For even experienced professionals, visiting an unfamiliar workplace can be daunting at first, so it is important to create a welcoming environment. Many of our modern workplaces are designed with a very minimal look, often with lots of white (or grey) wall space and plenty of glass that can give a really cold feeling to newcomers. What better to break the ice than an original piece of amazing artwork that really says something about the business or your own personality? If nothing else, impress clients with your great taste and investment in a culture-rich environment for staff.
If your business deals directly with the public, like a high street store, then big, bold and bright art provides such an obvious way to catch passing trade and invite new customers in. You may have seen All Saints’ recent window display in which hundreds of antique sewing machines were stacked throughout the windows. An interesting statement like this, that is generally quite different from the approach taken by most high street stores, really stands out. I’ve even seen tourists having their photo taken in front of one of the store front displays!
If you sell products relating to home interiors then incorporating great art into your product displays is easy, adds a sense of stature, inspires customers and gives them a sense of what a finished room might look like. Creating a sense of desire for a particular look and feel can definitely be achieved by combining great products, display and artwork.
For businesses that have nothing to do with home interiors, great art can still help to reinforce these same feelings but also consider using art to define specific areas of your store through colour and emotional response for example, rather than dull signage.
This might be a generalisation, but I would be willing to bet that most customers, employees and clients often want some similar things – some inspiration to draw upon, something to break down formalities, and of course something beautiful and desirable to entice a sale. What better way to do that than with art that you love?