I pulled into the hospital parking lot. I had a Daddy Class to teach in 15 minutes. I hate this parking lot. Almost with a passion, which seems much too strong a feeling for a patch of pavement with white lines.
My problem is the white lines. They are too close together. My Chevy Silverado barely fits between them. And with the extended cab back doors that swing open, it is impossible to get anything or anyone out of the back seat if a car is parked next to me.
And this is a hospital. With elderly people. With wheel chairs and walkers. With babies. With car seats and strollers.
If I don’t want to go into this parking lot (and it is empty on Saturday mornings when I go to teach my class, yet I still feel this way), I wonder how many other people get filled with negative thoughts before they even walk through the front door.
If you have control of your parking lot, control the emotions people feel when they pull in to visit you. Make those lines at least ten feet apart, not nine feet (like the hospital) or even nine and a half like most lots. Make the spaces wide enough so that moms with strollers and elderly with wheel chairs have plenty of room to maneuver.
Sure, you might have to give up a spot or two. But a few less spaces filled by happy shoppers who feel good when they pull in is far better for your business than putting everyone in a foul mood before they walk through the front door.
PS Those lost spaces often only come into play at peak times, and peak times are when people expect parking to be more of a hassle. This is simply an exercise in managing expectations and feelings, the fundamental principle of Branding.