Tag Archives: niche

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Artists Co-working Space to Open in Scottsdale

The historic arts district of Old Town Scottsdale will be the site of new co-working community for artists that is the first of its kind in the United States. The Creative Center of Scottsdale is a community for artists including sculptors, to painters, to photographers, to graphic designers, mixed-media artists as well as businesses and organizations that serve the arts community.

“We have been working to develop this concept for quite some time,” said Michelle Pelberg, creator of The Creative Center of Scottsdale, “It was important to us that this facility not only serves the needs of the next-generation artists in our community, but also preserves the history, architecture and legacy of the building and the district,” she said.

The Creative Center works similarly to an incubator-a collection of creative minds exchanging ideas and insights with one another in a common space. Their goal is to use collaborative co-working as a tool to build the Phoenix area art scene into a thriving hub of opportunity.

The Center is designed to be a flexible workspace for the vast and varying needs of all kinds of creative minds. Artists can work and create in their open workspace, focus at their private desk, create and showcase their work in gallery-like private studios, store their equipment in private lockers or recharge at the Center’s onsite coffee shop, SIP. With monthly rates ranging from $125-1,422 there is a space that works for everyone. All options include free Wi-fi, a full kitchen, and access to 2 conference rooms.

Housed in the iconic Scottsdale landmark, Mandall’s Shooting Supplies store, the Creative Center of Scottsdale will proudly participate in the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program. Scottsdale-based Architect Christina Noble of Contour Architecture is spearheading the building design and implementing unique green building resources and protocols.The Program encourages a whole-systems approach through design and building techniques to minimize environmental impact and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health of its occupants.  The Creative Center is focused on adaptive reuse through preserving the original structures as well as sourcing their materials responsibly. All fixtures and materials were selected looking at the proximity of their creation to the space.

“The Creative Center of Scottsdale is one of the first new buildings to be built according to the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building program,” Nobel said. “We are working closely with the city to make The Creative Center a model for all future green building in Scottsdale,” she said.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is the answer for those looking to escape the home office, the kitchen table, or the unpredictable realm of public spaces. With their artist-friendly environment and beautiful studio spaces designed to showcase work, the Center aims to be a haven for those who create and work in the creative field.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is expected to open in early 2014. The center is taking reservations for workspace and gallery space now.

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National Bank of Arizona adds medical banking services

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announces the addition of premium, specialized banking services specifically for physicians, to accommodate the bank’s growing niche of medical banking clients. This specialty and expansion will be led by seasoned NB|AZ banker, Suzy Powell, and recent hire, Paula Wichterman.

The new specialty provides an opportunity for local medical professionals to access banking services and benefits, offered exclusively at NB|AZ. The elite program includes premium pricing on interest-bearing accounts, convenient one-on-one personalized service at home or at the office, expedited responses to all banking and loan requests, and a unique home financing program.

“At National Bank of Arizona, we believe that our specialized loan program for physicians is a great opportunity for doctors to purchase or refinance their primary residence and take advantage of these record low interest rates,” said Paula Wichterman, vice president of National Bank of Arizona’s Medical Private Banking Division. “An added benefit is that NB|AZ provides physicians with concierge style banking by a dedicated relationship manager who can work around their busy schedules to ensure their loan and banking needs are met.”

As a vice president in the private banking sector, Wichterman is responsible for increasing NB|AZ’s focus on the physician banking market, in addition to contributing to NB|AZ’s overall strategy, growth and performance. With the goal of generating awareness of the bank’s new offering, NB|AZ has made an effort to partner with local medical associations and groups in several philanthropic endeavors. Prior to joining NB|AZ, Paula spent nine years in various advisor roles for two national banks.

“The medical professionals in our state are tasked with the important job of keeping our friends and families healthy, and shouldn’t be burdened with the strain of navigating financial services that are not tailored to their individual needs,” said Suzy Powell, vice president of National Bank of Arizona’s Medical Executive Banking Division. “We have specialized the integrated, personal approach to banking at NB|AZ to fit with the unique needs of these clients. We’re proud to support their long-term wealth management goals, guiding financial success from behind the scenes.”

Untapped Niche 2010

The Untapped Niche Of Green Aftermarket Auto Care

By Rissy Sutherland


Going green is a major step to take, but it’s the right step for businesses, their customers and the planet.

In late 2007, Honest-1 Auto Care hired a market research/strategic marketing agency to help discover an untapped niche in the aftermarket auto care and maintenance industry. Results of the research project revealed that consumers wanted an environmentally responsible company to provide their car repair and maintenance needs.

There was a void in the auto-care market for such a company, and Honest-1 made the strategic decision to fill it by going green and providing what consumers wanted.

By August 2008, every Honest-1 Auto Care shop was Environmentally Sustainable Actions Certified (ESA). The ESA Certification is implemented by the company through its own standards for pollution prevention, recycling and resource conservation. To demonstrate the brand’s commitment to going green, Honest-1 Auto Care launched an exclusive line of auto care products that combine leading edge technology with innovative additives.

Initially, there was some concern among franchisees about moving to an eco-friendly positioning because they felt comfortable with the existing position of Honest-1 as an honest and female-friendly business. Another concern was the cost to operate as an eco-friendly business. As it turned out, the incremental expense was nothing substantial because it was mostly substitutions and  changes in business practices. The new positioning helped to engage customers more closely to the brand and increase their loyalty. Same-store sales are up 10 percent this year over last year.

 

honest autocare 2 2010Girls planting trees.
Photo Courtesy of: American Forests

The biggest impact on franchisees was the ESA program, which spelled out what would be expected of them as they operated under the new business model. The franchisees had time to review and assess the program, and Honest-1 Auto Care executives visited each store to ensure they were ESA certified. Every franchisee is required to update their certification when significant updates to the program or system are needed.

Communication was the key during the transition process. Communication among franchisees, between franchisees and the franchisor were equally important. Honest-1 also convened a board of advisers, which sorted out all of the benefits and potential pitfalls. The board gave the franchisees a voice in the matter. Franchisees communicated their ideas and concerns, and Honest-1 executives responded to them.

So far the response from the franchise community has been very positive, and customers have also provided strong, positive feedback. Both groups are attracted to the cause Honest-1 is supporting, as many share the same values in their personal lives that Honest-1 believes in as a business.

Because any company that “goes green” has to demonstrate to consumers that its efforts are sincere, Honest-1 formed a partnership with American Forests, a leading nonprofit organization that plants trees for environmental restoration. As a franchise system, Honest-1 has jointly committed to planting 40,000 new trees to reinforce the company’s promise to be the most eco-friendly auto repair and maintenance chain in the nation. Honest-1 Auto Care is currently the only auto repair franchise chain to enter into a year-long agreement of this magnitude with American Forests.

It’s important to remember that companies that don’t practice what they preach will be called out by consumers, especially those who identify themselves as eco-friendly.

Rissy Sutherland is senior vice president/operations for Honest-1 Auto Care, based in Scottsdale. More information is available at www.honest-1.com