If you work in digital marketing you know more than most how crucial good branding is. Everything from a company’s website to its social media presence benefits from being on brand. When it comes to carefully crafting this image, it’s not uncommon for a key part of a business to be left behind: It’s within your office that your trademark style is created so why not extend the brand to the office itself?
A lick of bright paint and your logo in a prominent place isn’t a bad place to start, but there can be much more to a brand-led redesign than that.
Establishing your brand
Use this as an opportunity to review what your brand is and what you’d like it to be. One great way to do this is to look at how you describe yourself on your website and in company documents: it might say the company is ‘innovative’, ‘ambitious’, or even ‘fun’. You want your office to back up the claims you’re making.
Writing a ten word description of the company is another useful way to distinguish your brand. You can pick up on the keywords you use and aim to reflect them in your design. If you’re uncertain of the colour scheme you should go with, browsing those you’ve chosen for your website can help.
Client/customer profiles can also give you an idea of who uses your product and what they might expect from the office. Yet because the office is more of a backward-facing asset, it’s the staff’s opinion that really matters. Gather the opinions of as many employees as you can, both what they want and how they see the company. Be prepared for some extravagant requests but listen for good advice too.
Get everyone involved
Indeed, while there are lots of great office-branding/design agencies out there, looking internally can be a real source of inspiration. Art and design skills may have previously gone unnoticed but this is a chance to utilize your employees’ creativity, and your own! After all, who knows your brand better than you? When you walk through the door, you want your staff to feel proud and your clients to know what you’re all about.
The more you pay attention to your company culture, the stronger it should become. The design and contents of an office have a huge impact on the people within it. This is why when you’re branding your office, you should involve everyone right from the start. If employees help out with the initial ideas, the decorating, and the finishing touches, it’ll feel more like home to everyone when it’s done.
Featuring your logo and/or product in the entranceway serves as the perfect introduction to your company. Again, there may be a budding artist in the office who would be willing to paint the logo, alternatively, you can be sure a graphics company will do a professional job. If you find you don’t want either of them showcased, it could be a sign you need to update them.
Bright (ideally company-coloured) walls are a simple way to add a bit of fun to the workplace; lunch areas and break-out spaces are much more inviting if they have a splash of colour. When it comes to furnishings, there are lots of exciting options, why not have a ‘living wall’ of plants for example? Just keep in mind that usually, less is more, and try to keep in relevant.
You don’t want your office to give off an air of style over substance; more than anything else, an office needs to be functional. While your brand should shine in meeting rooms so that it can be sold to potential clients, in working areas it can be more subtle.
Taking pride in the workplace (and indeed the workforce) should be a feature of all brands. So investing in technology, competent facilities (a microwave that isn’t from the seventies), and all-important ergonomic office equipment is a great way to show this. It will help your employees get through their day more comfortably and more efficiently.
When you’re looking at your brand, the tiniest of things count. From the notebooks on the desks to the tea in the cupboard, these items can speak volumes about your business. This doesn’t mean you need to buy the finest Assam tea, it simply means you should care about seemingly-innocuous things too.
By the end of it you’ll have a better understanding of your brand and a better understanding of your staff. Make full use of your new office when it’s completed: enjoy holding meetings in your on-brand meeting room and eating lunch in your on-brand lunch area. Give your employees a chance to live and breathe the business in a branded office and you could well see some fantastic results.