Green magic

Using colour to draw people inside

I was leaping about in the rainforest today (I'm in Dominica again), and ended up taking a detour which left me standing on a moss-covered rock in a deep ravine. The emerald stream was splashing around my feet, the vibrant green jungle was above and all around me, and a hummingbird flew past my head as the rain began to fall. Wow.

In terms of colour, it was the greenest moment of my life.

A living green is a powerful colour, as it suggests refuge, peace and refreshment. We are drawn to it, as the pictures on the right show. Who could resist stepping through these doors?

When planning the physical part of a customer experience, we need to set highlights at carefully chosen intervals. Some of these might be what Disney call "wienies" - things that we glimpse from afar and which draw us in. Others might be areas of quiet reflection or refuge. The living green of plants can fulfil both these functions.

If you want to draw people into your location, place a powerful display of greenery (human size, if possible) where they can glimpse it from the entrance - but not see it in it's entirety. You are trying to suggest a secret garden, or a hint of paradise. Light it brightly with sun-coloured light and keep it glowingly healthy.

Or, for a relaxed moment in the experience curve of a large location, create a leafy place to rest - and adding water if possible.

You will be amazed by the power of green.

PS A pocket-sized alternative for smaller locations can be a well maintained, thickly planted and brightly lit aquarium...

P.P.S. I saw this effect vividly after hours at a recent trade show. The Degussa stand had a central staircase leading up to the hospitality area. It was decorated with ferns and looked incredibly inviting - especially with the "landing lights" on the ceiling drawing the eye inwards, and the staircase spiralling up out of sight. This lousy picture (on the left) shows the stand, but you will have to look hard to find the green - I snapped it just after the cleaning lady turned out the light... sigh!

Garden pics by siegmar sommer, tahoe sunsets and wok at flickr.

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