The golden arches, an apple and the swoosh — these symbols reflect strong, instantly recognizable brands. But the power of any brand lies beyond the symbol. Strong brands offer an experience that builds loyalty with customers, clients, and employees.
Mike Gowar from Playgroup, a creative agency, believes strong branding coexists with culture, and that the workplace has to support the company culture to engage employees and attract talent. Hear what he says about translating your brand into a spatial expression involving the client, architect, brand, and communications agency.
How Important Is Branding in the Workplace?
According to a Steelcase study, “The workplace is a frequently overlooked but critical lever in supporting a brand and culture change. This was validated by a recent survey of 123 corporate real estate leaders conducted by CoreNet Global.
The results show that 77% believe that brand is a critical driver for their business; yet only 54% said the workplace plays a critical role in supporting it and just 15% said their facilities reflect their brand “very well.”
What Are the Key Areas Where Branding Is Critical?
Common areas such as the reception, conference rooms and break rooms are spaces we incorporate unique architectural elements and company color palette.
Mike shares that the reception area, large meeting rooms and enclaves off the main workspace often provide the most impact and the greatest visibility to tell stories around the building.
He also suggested that the various different types of spaces are used effectively. Reception areas, external meeting rooms and break-out spaces should be considered, making sure the appropriate brand messages are delivered in each area.
Provide a workplace that supports your company’s intent. Some companies are traditional in nature and prefer closed offices or panel-height cubicles. This supports a heads down, focused type of work. Because creative and team- oriented workplaces encourage collaboration, the company might go for open spaces and reconfigurable furniture to accommodate brainstorming. For example, turnstone’s Bivi Table For Two is an easy modular table that grows with you and can easily reconfigure your layout to fit ever-changing needs. Don’t forget mobile workers, either. Provide unassigned places and storage for personal belongings while they’re in the office.
How Can We Brand Our Space on a Tight Budget?
Mike suggests considering some of the core brand elements to represent the company. For example, if there is a predominant brand color, paint some walls in that color. Consider fewer but more impactful areas to brand, such as the reception area or key break-out areas of the building.
Bring these key colors and patterns into furniture and accents, too. Accessories, panel fabrics, metal finishes on pedestal file, upholstery on tasks chairs, lounge chairs and ottomans all provide an opportunity to brand. Architectural elements like glass or another specialty material can also make a big impact.
Bivi Board Rack installs directly on the end of a Bivi table or the office wall to hold skateboards, snowboards, mailing tubes—anything u...
Encourage wellbeing by providing bike storage in the office. Bivi Bike Hook mounts to a wall or the end of a Bivi Table, and supports up ...
What Other Creative Ways Can We Express Our Culture?
Incorporate accessories that support your culture. Bivi Bike Hooks, Bivi Board Racks and optional planters let you put individual personalities and corporate branding on display. Creatively naming conference rooms and lounge areas can be another fun and easy way to add a unique sense of individuality.
Establishing a brand allows you to add personality and make your company relatable to those who don’t know it. It builds trust with customers and loyalty with employees looking to invest in something bigger than themselves. Millennials, in particular, want to work for companies whose visions extend beyond the faceless buildings of corporate America. Great branding allows you to do just that.