Get Out.

No, really—get out!

Can your Experience Design say “This place is not for you” to certain visitors, based on:

  • Age
  • Habits/preferences
  • Gender


Sometimes telling someone they’re not your Ideal Customer can be an important way of defining your firm.

Warning! Warning! I am NOT talking about discriminating against people who attempt to shop with your company! We’re discussing focused Experience Design here. Focused on who is, and yes, is not, your Ideal Customer.

How to do it:

  • Color
  • Sound
  • Scent
  • Design elements (accessories, artwork, traffic flow…)
  • Price

Even little verbal cues, such as staff who overuse the word “like” when they aren’t describing something or someone they have affection for, can exclude.

If that’s what you want, you can drive people over 35 crazy in a hurry using “like” several times in each sentence. It’s the meaningless, less-offensive version of using the eff word six times per sentence. (Do you think they allow staff at the jewelry counter at Saks to say, “it’s, like, so beautiful on you”?)

How NOT to do it:

  • Attitude
  • Service
  • Rude or foul language

Though I may not be your target market, there will be times when I will put up with the frou-frou, or the house music, or the overwhelming scent of patchouli, to broaden my own Experience or to shop for someone else. Though you may think my buzz-topped 20-something cousin has wandered in accidentally, he’s got his buyout check from the Internet marketing company he helped found in his pocket and bizarrely he’s decided it’s a good time to propose to his girlfriend. He wants a major rock to show her that he means business.

Never try to dissuade buyers with your sneers. These days, they may just have a blog. And a lot of friends.

Let me know in subtle ways, in case I’ve wandered in unawares, but don’t make me feel unwelcome if I decide to stay. Very often your most unlikely customer is there with an agenda and may be the best customer of the day.

WHO might want to do it:

Nightclubs do it. Tattoo parlors do it. Mercedes dealers do it.

Go ahead, say “No place I’d go does it.”

Fabric stores and auto parts stores do it. Lots of places you’d go do it.

Oh, yes, really, a lot of places are trying to tell somebody, “This place is not for you.”

Who else might want to do it?

Is it right for you?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson