When you walk into someone’s home, you quickly get a feel for the type of person they are. Maybe they have a bohemian vibe about them, or a certain level of sophistication. Maybe you can sense that they’re really uptight, or maybe just the opposite – they’re a bit sloppy and neglectful.
The point is, physical environments tell us a lot about the person – or the company – that inhabits them, and anyone that pays a visit gets an immediate and lasting impression from it.
So what kind of impression does your place of business make? Does your work space align with your brand? It should, and here’s why:
Branded environments improve productivity, and subsequently, increase profits.
An article on www.brandquarterly.com states that branded office spaces increase productivity by up to 20%, and in 2014, Fortune magazine reported that disengaged employees cost businesses in North America a staggering $550 billion each year. So what’s the correlation?
Think of it this way: in order for your brand to be powerful, it has to resonate with people deeply and on various levels, and in order for it to resonate with people your brand has be believable at all touch points – including your work space. If your work environment is out of alignment with your brand, your brand loses credibility – not just with customers, but also with your employees. You want and need your people to feel invested in your brand, because when they do, they perform better, and there are no greater ambassadors for your brand than the people who work for you.
Branded environments improve customer satisfaction.
Your business’s physical environment has the same effect on customers and clients as it does on your employees. If what they see when they visit you doesn’t line up with the values and image your brand is meant to convey, you’re brand is going to lose credibility. If you walked into a cleaning company’s office space and saw that it was cluttered and filthy, would you hire them to clean your home? Probably not. When your company’s work space aligns with what your customers or clients expect, it creates a level of comfort and confidence that drives engagement and promotes good will.
Branded environments are an extension of your corporate identity.
You spent a lot of time, energy and money creating your company’s visual identity – creating the perfect logo, choosing corporate colours, etc. and incorporating that identity wherever customers or clients engage with you – on your website, in your advertising, on your business cards and letterhead. Shouldn’t your work space get the same attention? If you neglect to brand your work environment, you’re missing a major opportunity to reinforce your brand. And it doesn’t just apply to offices. Retail shops too need to align with their corporate identity to create brand equity, and the best brands make every effort to nail it. There’s big difference between Starbucks and the Tim Horton’s down the street, even though both stores basically sell the same thing, right?
How do you infuse your brand into your work space?
There are some basics that you need to cover when branding your work environment, and the place to start is making sure your corporate identity is infused in the space. Going back to the coffee shop example, it would be strange to walk into a Tim Horton’s and see pink walls and a bunch of blue couches, wouldn’t it? Point being, choose furniture and colours that match up with the corporate identity you worked hard to establish.
Beyond that, think about your corporate values and mission, and consider ways you can reflect that in your space as well. Is your company passionate about kids? You’ll want to have bright primary colours and a rather playful space to work in. Are you about environmentalism? Eco materials, natural light and probably a good number of large live plants would be in order. At William Joseph, we have a great collection of artwork that helps give our space a lot of creative energy. And don’t be afraid to get your people involved. Ask them what they feel the space should include and incorporate what you can. Giant companies like Google and Dell have famously created some of the most incredible work places in the world, largely based on what employees have said they want and need in the space.
Have you seen our office spaces? Come on by for a visit and lets talk more about what work place branding is all about.