Managing the “decompression zone”

1st April 2019
Have you considered the "decompression zone"?

Practitioners of marketing will know that physical evidence is very important in selling services and indeed, in selling any product.  This can mean front of house – how your premises looks at first glance, sales team appearance, staff uniforms, van livery through to the back office – the presentation of invoices, website and social media.

But for those of you who have a premises, what about the “decompression zone”?  This is the area that customers first enter.  It is usually calculated at the first two to five metres into the premises.  It’s where customers leave what they have been doing and focus on what you offer and what your physical evidence is implicitly saying to them.

Types of things customers will pick up from this physical evidence include luxury, quality, the expected cost of your product or service, whether you want them to linger or move on and even how organised you are.  For those of you selling a high value service or product, are you promoting your brand effectively, particularly in that first two to five metres?

In our experience the “decompression zone” is the area most companies disregard.  Their focus is on shelving and overall décor, but how often have you seen people walk into a shop and walk out within a few seconds? Their mind has been made up before you can even approach them.

The “decompression zone” helps clients focus, but also helps establish the context for the future interaction.  Correct and even outstanding floor coverings in this area may set the tone.  Getting it right is critical to the overall customer experience and your business reputation.

For help and guidance on the “decompression zone”, please contact us at