Yes, you read that correctly.
Believe it or not, something as seemingly irrelevant as your parking lot could be damaging your brand. Why is this the case? It all comes down to your brand image, which is influenced by every little thing related to your business. The way your employees act will influence the brand image, the clothes you wear, the way your office looks – and your parking lot.
We could focus on so many things that alter your brand image in the eyes of your customers, but we’re looking at parking lots because they aren’t something that most people would think about. So, let’s explain just how your parking lot is damaging your brand:
No parking lot can make you lose customers
What happens if your business doesn’t have a parking lot? There’s nowhere for potential customers to park. As a consequence, you could easily miss out on business because of how difficult you make life for people. Consumers want to roll up, find somewhere to park, then go inside and spend some money.
If there’s nowhere for them to park, it could mean they spend ages circling the block looking for somewhere to put their car. This is a particular issue for any business that relies on foot traffic and is located by a road. With a parking lot, you will actively gain more customers, strengthening your brand.
Poor parking lots make you look bad as a business
What is a poor parking lot? It’s any parking lot that’s horribly maintained. This means that the asphalt surfaces are all cracked and broken up, with loads of potholes everywhere. You don’t have clear lines marking out all of the spaces, and it just doesn’t look like a safe place to park a car.
Believe it or not, this can make your business look really bad. Your parking lot is an extension of your business, so the way it is maintained will have the same impact as the way your office/workplace is maintained. If a parking lot looks really neat and clean, it makes a business look more professional. If yours is rundown and terrible, then it makes your company look super unprofessional.
Paid parking lots make you look greedy
Likewise, charging your customers for parking can make you look like a very greedy business. Again, much like the absence of a parking lot, this can deter people from visiting your premises. Why would they park there and visit you if they get charged to do so? It makes you look like a bunch of money grabbers, which damages your reputation and can mean you lose out on customers.
See, parking lots play a much bigger role in brand management than you expect. The bottom line is that you have to pay attention to every part of your business that could influence your brand image and reputation. If you have a parking lot, ensure it is perfectly maintained, looks really nice, and doesn’t charge people to park there. This will help you draw in more customers, rather than scare them away.