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Creating Extraordinary Places. 

How do we create extraordinary places for our customers, clients, patients, staff that support the growth of our small business?

Creating Extraordinary Places with Kevin Kelley.

Kevin Kelley is with us today to share his thoughts and insights on how to create extraordinary places that help us connect with people.

The questions he will help us answer include: Do we still need physical places like grocery stores, restaurants, and office buildings? Or will the “Replacement Economy” led by the tech titans and retail giants wipe out these venues?

What about museums, universities, and performing arts venues? Is there still a place for these thousand-year-old institutions in our lives? Or are we holding onto them out of habit, guilt, or nostalgia?

Kevin Ervin Kelley, AIA, is an award-winning architect, experience designer, and co-founder of the bi-coastal strategic design firm Shook Kelley.

As a lifelong advocate of bringing people together in prosocial settings, Kevin’s expertise is in studying how the environment of a place affects our behavior, perception, and decision-making. Since starting the strategic design firm in 1992, he has worked with executive leadership teams for some of the world’s most well-known brands, such as Harley-Davidson, Whole Foods, Kraft, JM Smucker, The Cleveland Orchestra, professional sports teams, universities, urban districts, and hundreds of local and regional businesses to stay relevant and profitable in our rapidly changing modern landscape.

In addition to being a frequent speaker at retail, food, and other consumer conferences in the U.S. and abroad, Kevin taught courses at Harvard University and his alma mater, the University of N.C. at Charlotte.

As technological replacements increasingly decimate the physical world and human interaction, Kevin gives away everything he’s learned in the field and the boardroom in his debut book, “Irreplaceable: How to Create Extraordinary Places that Bring People Together”.

Kevin lives in Log Angeles, California.

Creating Extraordinary Places:

  • Why did you study Architecture?
  • What were your plans for your career?
  • What led to you founding your firm Shook Kelley?
    • “Since 1992, Shook Kelley has been pioneering and perfecting a process for convening people around a physical place, space, idea, forum and experience. Practically speaking, we help clients figure out the best way to go to market, connecting strategy to design in order to create places of meaning that resonate with core audiences.”
  • What led you to focus on retail and gathering spaces?
  • “Irreplaceable: How to Create Extraordinary Places that Bring People Together.”
    • Why did you write the book and who is it for?
    • What types of “spaces” are we talking about as it relates to business?
  • What are the effects that physical spaces can have on our behavior, even subconsciously, and why should I care as a small business owner?
  • What should be considered when creating evocative retail “scenes” that are authentic to a brand?
  • Please introduce the five key, actionable steps for successful place-making and place-branding.
  • Please introduce the “Bonfire Effect”.
  • What is the public value created by making everyday places extraordinary?
  • What are a couple of common mistakes small business owners make when designing a space?
  • How has ecommerce impacted, and continue to impact, how physical retail spaces are designed?
  • What are some of the potential opportunities and negative impacts of applying evolving technology in retail spaces (including self-checkout and checkout-free)?
    • “Most of the technologies we’re coming up with, or a lot of them, are pouring fuel on this flame of loneliness, where we’re finding reasonable facsimiles of a relationship.” – Scott Galloway, clinical professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business
  • What’s one relatively simple, and inexpensive, thing small business owners can do to begin improving their spaces, or building a bonfire?
    • “Observe how people behave.”

Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.


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