Published October 19, 2010
innovation , leadership
Tags: Best Buy Co. Inc., customer experience, design, ECOtality Inc., Fast Company, innovation, leadership, management, Redbox Automated Retail LLC, Target Corporation, technology, Wal-Mart Stores
When is the last time you walked into Target, Walmart, Kmart or (insert name of any major retailer here) to find they completely overhauled the footprint of their store? We’re not talking one or two departments or switching out grills and patio furniture for artificial Christmas trees and those subtle inflatable holiday lawn ornaments but rather gutting the store and going with an entirely new layout. That’s what I found when I visited my local Best Buy over the weekend.
When I walked through the second of two sliding glass doors, said my customary hello to the security guard/greeter, and finally looked around I was blown away. Nothing (and I mean nothing) was the same as it was the last time I went shopping there. I actually found myself trying to determine how long it had been since my last visit–the construction project was that substantial.
Best Buy has long been known for experimenting with floor plans at various concept stores throughout the United States and they continue to push the envelope even though Circuit City, their biggest competitor, has gone the way of the dodo bird.
Published September 12, 2010
customer engagement , entrepreneurship , innovation , leadership
Tags: Bank of America Corporation, design, Fast Company Magazine, innovation, innovation + creativity, leadership, Pine-Sol Cleaning Products, sustainability, Twitter Inc., Veterinary Medicine
If you have or have had a pet, raise your hand. If you’ve ever taken said pet to the vet, keep your hand raised. Close your eyes. I want you to visualize the waiting room. Do you picture a standard reception counter with Formica top, 5-6 pleather chairs with metal legs, a small table with a generous supply of Cat Fancy, Fido Friendly magazines, and the smell of Pine-Sol wafting through the air? Whether you’re a dog, cat, ferret, iguana, or their owner, as a customer I think it’s safe to say most veterinarian waiting rooms are not a place you’d like to spend an extended period of time.
I recently had a chance to meet with the cofounders of evolveEA, an architectural design firm with a passion for sustainability (who also helped create a really cool cubicle-less work space). And that’s when I learned about the work they did with the East End Veterinary Medical Center and how it completely flipped the clinic’s customer experience on its ear. Instead of going with the same cookie cutter space (see above), they spent the time to really think about the experience of the customers (both human and animal) from the time they walked in the front door.
Add equal parts engineering, human sciences, and visual design. Mix in your unique business needs and a dash of Zen philosophy, and you have MAYA–a design consultancy and technology research lab that is hell bent on taming complexity. Oh, and I should also mention they are consistently ranked in the top 20 best small places to work in the country.
Recently, I had a chance to chat with Mick McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer of MAYA, about their continued growth (they have never taken outside debt or had an outside investment) and how they have been able to create and sustain a culture of innovation.