Lessons From Napa: Rental Business Aesthetics

While in Napa last week, I was struck by the role aesthetics play in business. While many companies pay attention to their logo, online personality, or printed materials, few are very thoughtful about aesthetics throughout the customer relationship.

One winery we visited hosted our tasting in a barrel room surrounded by dusty cobweb-covered bottles. The atmosphere was charming, casual, and peaceful. Wine was served from a 12-foot-long vintage bar. The aesthetics impacted my whole experience.


Our second tasting started with a tour of beautiful underground wine caves, a luxury vintage car collection, and a tasting overlooking the vineyard. While the space, label, and wine all aligned aesthetically, our group found the presentation to be a little too scripted. By contrast, the last winery we visited felt like coming to an old friend’s house with a casual walk through the vineyard, a homey tasting room, and family-style cheese pairings.

Each of these vineyards makes wine. They all take grapes, ferment them, bottle them up and sell it. They each have unique brands, flavors, logos, and styles. Each wine is different but the liquid wasn’t the only thing these companies were selling. The aesthetic of the experience they each created contributed to the sales process as well.

When Tim and I open a bottle we bought on this trip, we’ll enjoy the flavor of the wine. We’ll savor each sip but we’ll also get to reminisce about the experiences we had on our vacation. We’ll talk about the conversations with friends, the beautiful things we saw, and the intentionality of each place we visited.

Even the smallest details contribute to the aesthetics we’ll remember. Where one winery wrapped their barrels in a traditional method with willow branches, another marked theirs with blue painter’s tape. While one cave was built from stone, another had concrete walls. All of these decisions add up to the experience and memories we’ll have.

As a rental business, you have the opportunity to make choices about the experience you’re crafting for your customers. You have the power to create an unforgettable, warm, friendly experience or a memorable uber chic, hip kind of hospitality. Even though your customers may come to your rental business because of the products you offer, they’ll leave talking about much more than tables and chairs.

Attend to the aesthetics of your rental business so your customers remember your company the way you want them to.

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