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  • Dean posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Customer Environments Experiential Customer Environments 5 years, 9 months ago

    So I’ve been thinking about what you guys talk about in here. There’s all the talk about how the bank can make things new and exciting with touchscreens, new layouts, fancy technology, and all sorts of big ticket features. I was thinking about something on a smaller level. Like, not even close to any of that. In the office I work at I noticed that there are all sorts of people who have different preferences to how bright the office is. Personally, I like it with the blinds open and the light coming in, kind of like our lobby. Some of my coworkers prefer it pretty dim, so they have just a few lights going and the windows blocked. The crazy thing is that those people who prefer the dark seem to be less sociable. Not that they’re bad people, just they don’t seem all that welcoming. So for a bank, would you say the lighting can play a role in why people do or don’t want to walk in and do their business? Just a thought, nothing too crazy, but I noticed that maybe it does play a role somewhere.

    • From a personal standpoint I would say yes, lighting does play a role in how comfortable people are with banking at a branch. At the most basic level, would you feel safe banking at a dimly lit business that you could barely see into? With money being the focus of your entire trip you want to ensure that all threats are visible before you step foot into the establishment, and bright lighting will help reassure you that no one is waiting in the wings to rob you. On a deeper level, warm lighting tends to convey a sense of soothing warmth and compassion. Imagine how a baby’s room tends to use natural light or some sort of soft artificial light. This is not a random choice; bright lighting, while making things visible and clear, can come off as harsh in improper settings. For a bank I believe the idea would be to use as much natural lighting as possible with slightly dimmed lights to illuminate the rest of the bank. What a bank should aim for is a setting that is warm and inviting through the use of soft lighting. Banks currently are not fully trusted following the financial fallout, so their appearing must come off as inviting and genuine.

      • I think that makes sense. It’s common sense to want to be safe, so lighting does that for you. The different kinds of light though? I’m kinda unsure about that one. I don’t realize it so maybe that’s why I can’t really agree, but the idea does seem like it could be true. I’ll agree with you on the safety thing though. That’s a big thing that I can’t argue with.

    • Interestingly enough, Dean, I had read a publication about this very idea. I’ve included it here: (http://www.informedesign.org/_news/feb_v02-p.pdf) The concept of lighting is a fascinating one – one that shows that ambient and otherwise secondary sensory inputs can influence personality and action. As the article states, lighting can be used as a tool to influence the perceptions of others, effectively giving a space a more positive mood. With wholehearted agreement do I endorse their claim that you can create a pleasant space and focus attention simply with lighting. The concept may seem farfetched, but I can personally say that my eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, chiefly because the lighting differs from space to space. There are times when your emotions are swayed by how the lights “make you feel;” it is no coincidence that different forms of lighting are used in different contexts. Have you ever stopped to consider different businesses that use such lighting? Concert venues use focused lighting on specific parts of the stage to focus attention and make that section of an otherwise large venue command a higher presence than others. The entire area itself is usually set in a darker setting in order to instill a sense of calm and relaxation before the energy and excitement of bright lights and performances electrifies the audience. Yet all of this relies upon the clever use of lighting to be effective. So it is no question, then, that lights would also help banks change the perceptions of their customers.

      • Thanks for the article, makes this seem like less of a stupid question. Plus it really backs up what Ray was trying to say. I wasn’t so sure about the whole different kinds of lighting before, but the article makes it clear that it makes sense. Different places use different styles of lights, kind of like how they have strobe lights and different colors, even nightlights. So it makes sense that it would work in a bank too.

        • Well I guess that my idea does seem a bit more valid then. But light really does make us feel different. Safety is big, but it makes a setting totally different. A well lit room is worlds away from a room lit by a candle or nightlight – it just evokes a situation of literal night and day.

    • Hey, who doesn’t like mood lighting? You can’t go wrong with setting the scene, even if it is for a place as a bank which is all business and usually no fun. It’s kind of like when you walk into a bar or a restaurant. Usually it’s that sort of dim lighting that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, or in my case sleepy. Basically, it keeps you stuck there because you don’t wanna get up and move. But for a bank? Man, that place probably is thinking about getting people in the door. So I would say yeah, lighting matters. It can’t be dark like a restaurant because you want people to feel like they have security and safety when dealing with their money. Probably should go for more of bright lights and nice open air. Keeps it nice and homey, plus it would make it seem like a nice place to be.

      • When you put it that way I remember how all kinds of places have a different mood when you walk in. Is it really the lighting that does that? I wanna say it’s the atmosphere, but that’s basically the lighting, huh? It’s crazy that a set of lights can change the entire feel of a place. Who would have knew?

    • Now let’s not get carried away here. They’re just lights. This isn’t like a door with a sign that says “do not disturb.” They’re lights and they really are just lights. You are making it sound like they can make something seem different, but they’re just lights. Maybe your coworkers are just like that and they are used to low lighting. Or maybe their eyes just aren’t used to brighter lights. Don’t make it seem like changing how bright the lights are will suddenly make the bank a better place. The banks are fine as they are, and lights have nothing to do with how people view the bank. Let’s be honest, if the lighting was different at the doctor’s office would you be more eager to go? No, not at all. It’s a place where you get your business done. Don’t oversell something as pointless as the lights.

      • Now, Aaron, let’s not get too carried away when it comes to brushing off someone’s opinion, alright? Even things that seem unimportant to you may be important to someone else 🙂 Maybe you don’t care about lights, but how about other little things like decorations or chairs? There are all sorts of things that might matter to you but not anyone else, it just happens to be that you don’t really care about lights. So maybe lights can mean something. 🙂

      • But based off what everyone else said, they can be more than just lights. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong anymore, but it sounds like both of you are right. People don’t go to places they don’t wanna go, and it’s not like people decide to go to banks just because it’s a great place to be. But lights would help, wouldn’t they? Couldn’t they play a tiny role in how it all works out?

        • If you are thinking of an ant on an aircraft carrier tiny, then sure, lights matter. But when it’s that insignificant why bother making the change? The reputation is more important. The service is more important. The product is more important. Would you think the lights are as important as the rest of that? Are they as important as the actual bank functions? No, of course not. That’s why lights do nothing for your business. Because it’s still a business, and if your business sucks no amount of lighting will fix that.

    • Dean, I really like how you notice the little things that people would overlook. 🙂 Lighting definitely plays a part. Why would you wanna do business in a place that doesn’t feel right? I know when I’m in a bank I like for it to be nice and bright. I want to see what’s around me and know my surroundings just in case something bad happens (not like it would, right?) I think it’s why I use the ATMs so much. They’re outside, so that makes it quicker and easier to get to, but they’re always in the open and have lights around. I feel safe because I can be seen. In a bank I’m in a building where not many people would notice me from outside, so I guess my fears make me want to avoid going inside the branch. 🙁 Lights and more windows would definitely make me feel better about it because I know that if something bad happens maybe someone will notice. But that’s just me! 🙂

      • Thanks, but now I’m not so sure about if we even have a right answer to my question. Most of you guys say yes, but Aaron says no. Sure, we want to feel safe, but shouldn’t we already feel safer in a building like a bank with all sorts of cameras and panic buttons? Why would we need lights as well? I like the idea of lights, they really do change the mood sometimes like James said, but do they make that big of a difference?

        • Everyone’s got their opinions, so you’ve got to sift through them and decide for yourself what you think, Dean. Only you can do that 🙂 Lights are a really minor thing if you think about everything that is in a bank, so don’t think that it’s the end-all, be-all of the bank and safety. They’re just something that helps everything else out, and we all know that little things add up 🙂