Category: Office Design
Environmental branding is the process of communicating a company's brand values and characteristics within a physical setting, rather than through traditional marketing or advertising channels. Essentially, it is about making branding three dimensional and something which can be experienced in a tangible way.
While this may relate to retail stores, exhibition stands and showrooms, which aim to showcase brand values to external customers or clients, it can also involve office branding. In most cases, this type of environmental branding is intended to target employees and other internal customers instead.
In this article, we take a look at the ways in which environmental branding can improve an office design and explain why office fit out specialists and designers are increasingly championing the benefits.
Perhaps the most obvious and important way that environmental branding can improve an office design is by conveying aspects of company culture. This can be extremely important when it comes to hiring new employees and embedding them within that culture, but it can also be useful for reinforcing culture to current employees too.
"It's a very creative way to communicate to new and even existing staff what a company stands for," Vision Branding Solutions write. "This can be done in a direct way through mission statements and values, or a more subtle approach in visual communication can be taken in order to help create the culture."
For example, one interior design trend that has taken off in recent times is the inclusion of the company mission statement on a wall within the office. This serves to continually remind staff of the company's goals, reinforces the importance of the work they carry out and tells new hires or visitors what the company stands for.
Making the company mission statement clear also has business benefits. A 2016 global survey carried out by Korn Ferry found that 73 percent of people cite work that has a purpose and meaning as their primary driver, while research published by LinkedIn, shows that 48 percent of baby boomers, 38 percent of Gen Xers and 30 percent of millennials say that they value purpose over pay and titles.
Alternatives to this basic concept include listing some of the company's core values on a wall or display, or utilising graphics containing key quotes buzzwords that help to capture company culture.
Another key way in which environmental branding can benefit an office design is by helping to instil a sense of pride in the workplace among employees. This can have a number of knock-on effects, but perhaps the most significant is related to employees' engagement with work.
In fact, according to research published by Dale Carnegie, just 29 percent of the workforce is currently classed as engaged. Yet, this figure increases to 54 percent among employees who state that they are proud of the company they work for, which shows that pride is one of the key drivers of employee engagement.
An example of this was seen when a construction business, The McShane Companies, invested in an office branding project in 2016. As part of the new design, a new column was installed, with a brick motif, featuring the name and photograph of every employee. The brick theme reflected the nature of the business, while also highlighting the fact that each employee is an integral part of the business, helping to hold it together.
"We recognise new employees by installing their headshots... it makes everyone feel like they are a part of the team," says Josh Crankshaw, the company's marketing manager, in an interview with Work Design Magazine. "Team members know we'll be in touch for their photo, which creates excitement, and is a source of pride."
Coherent Office Design
Finally, taking an environmental branding approach towards office design can also pay dividends in terms of helping design companies and office fit out specialists to create a more visually coherent workplace. After all, when you design around company branding, it provides a clear basis for alignment.
As an example, when it comes to choosing the colour scheme of the office, established brand colours can play a key role. This does not necessarily mean painting entire walls in the brand colours, although that may be a viable option, because even using established colour palettes for highlights or furniture can be effective.
Creating a design that is coherent and in-keeping with established marketing and branding principles can also help to reaffirm a sense of identity, belonging and purpose among staff.
"One of the key areas to consider is the reception space where guests arrive and what messages you wish to convey to visitors and staff alike," the design company K2 Space say. "This area has the ability to leave a lasting impression and the colours used need to ensure that the brand is instantly recognisable."
Posted 29th June, 2018< Back to articles