It’s a word often associated with logos and letterheads. But branding is more than office materials and print ads – it includes your company’s physical space, too.
As designers, we create environments that reflect your company’s culture, beliefs, and goals. Because your space – whether it’s a small, renovated warehouse or an 80,000-square-foot office building – should tell the same story as your website. Here are a few things to remember about the connection between branding, storytelling, and interior design.
Create a seamless transition.
Have you ever walked into a place – a restaurant or hotel, for example – and said to yourself, “This is not what I expected”? Sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised by our surroundings (which is good). But other times, there’s a disconnect (which is bad). As this rd + d magazine article says, “Advertising, word of mouth, digital outlets, reviews, and more culminate to build expectations, guide perceptions, and usher a person through the front doors for the first time. Once at the threshold … the space via architecture and interior continues the storytelling.” In other words, your company’s interior space should meet the expectations of potential clients. If you market your company as being collaborative and vibrant, don’t surprise first-time visitors with a field of cubicles. Let it be a seamless transition.
Visual storytelling is as important as verbal storytelling.
Think of the last book or long-form article you enjoyed. What kept you reading? Relatable characters? Interesting situations? Now take a look at your office. Is it just as engaging? Good storytelling speaks to the individual; it establishes a connection. So, when an individual walks through your space, they should be able to discover your company’s culture, values, and goals. Rolls-Royce, for example, uses abstract art to communicate who they are and what they do. One custom branding element? A wall covering in the lobby, which features a graphic art pattern inspired by turbine engines. The piece is engaging and informative, and connects individuals to Rolls-Royce’s mission.
Stand-out branding = higher retention rates.
It’s true – your brand influences your ability to attract new employees and retain top talent. Take Tangoe, for example. In the last year, they’ve added 115 new employees, 34 new customers, and service expansion to 30 countries. They’re one of the top tech companies in the Midwest, due in part to their working environment. Their 60,000-square-foot space encourages collaboration, and the layout includes a movie theater, conference rooms named after Star Wars characters, and a communal kitchen that serves complimentary craft beer during the last hour of the workday. The space celebrates Tangoe’s quirky, casual culture, and allows employees to interact with their environment. (LEGO wall, anyone?)
Make your brand an experience.
As designers, we want your office to accurately reflect the beliefs and goals of your company, your employees, and your clients. It is our job to help you materialize your story. So, whether you want your space to include literal elements of your brand, or are interested in out-of-the-ordinary ideas, we’re here to help. Your space should be more than a place; it should be an experience. Don’t underestimate your company’s “vibe.” Be it energized, focused, peaceful, or eclectic, the atmosphere dramatically influences the productivity, motivation, and behavior of both employees and visitors.
Thinking about your space and how it could better reflect your company’s brand? Contact Kathleen Lemaster at 317.264.8162 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.