The Importance of Branding Your Space

Posted by Maddie Derdiger in blog | June 13, 2016

In today’s competitive markets companies are searching for ways to gain an edge, improve productivity and best the competition with new and innovative strategies. While others might pour money into studies searching for the answer, our creatives see an opportunity in every problem for great design. At Matchbook Creative, we are used to our clients challenging us with their unique design needs and we’ve never shied away from an opportunity to broaden our experience. So, when our clients come to us for an innovative marketing strategy to increase their impact, we are happy to suggest an outside-the-box idea that begins inside our clients’ office space.

As Charles Eames once stated, “Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.”

Eames claims that the connections we make in life, not only to other people but to ideas and objects that surround us, influence the quality of our experience. If this is true, could it be that the secret to success lies in the very spaces and objects with which we work?

The current trend in office design not only suggests that there is merit to this philosophy but has taken it a step further. Companies such as Google, airbnb, and Nike have created offices that extend beyond simple interior design, creating environments that allow their employees and clients to interpret their brand on an experiential level, breaking barriers between the company and the consumer. At Matchbook Creative, we have embraced this trend because we believe that the benefits of branding your office can transform your company inside and out (and of course the answer is always good design).

HOW IT IMPACTS YOUR EMPLOYEES:

Boosting morale is more than cupcakes and puppies

Yes, we love both of those things too (we love our puppy, Randall) but the shallow results of a sugar high and puppy kisses wear off. The spaces that your employees share and interact with have the power to alter their attitudes toward their role and each other everyday, all day. By projecting the pride in your product and the mission that drives your company on the walls of your office, you cultivate an environment of mutual purpose and loyalty.

For our client USA Track & Field (USATF), the primary goal of our design was to capture the energy and excitement of the sport and translate that into the very operations that drive the organization. By capturing the feeling of being part of a National team, we turned their communal spaces into “team spaces” instilling the same attitude of teamwork and obligation that the sport brings to its athletes. The centerpiece of the design lies in the heart of the office, the USATF conference room. Like the track/field that athletes compete on, this space is a performance venue for the employees of USATF. Whether competing for sponsors or celebrating a victory, this is the USATF stadium of business. Across the back wall a sea of track & field fans cheer on the events taking place around the table. Stadium seats were installed to give those not seated at the central table the feeling of being a spectator at a USATF event. Everything in this space, is designed to be a reminder of their shared mission “to build lifelong connections through the sport.”

Give your employees a daily dose of awesome

Aside from posting a sign at everyone’s desk that says, “Show up. Kick ass. Repeat” it can be hard to give a daily reminder to each employee why they work for your company and what it means to be a part of your brand. Employee retention and decreasing absenteeism is a struggle that all businesses battle, so why not address these issues in the very spaces that employees are trying to escape, their offices? Using graphic instillations and the right color scheme, you can communicate your company’s core beliefs, mission, purpose and inspire them 24hrs a day where it matters most.

Eli Lilly came to us with the challenge of doing exactly that. The Lilly Global Finance Shared Services department operating out of the Indianapolis headquarters noticed that their employees were feeling isolated. Rather than feeling like they were part of an important, life-saving corporation, they felt their department was lost in the larger company. Matchbook was brought in to help transform their vanilla workspace into a unique space that unified the floor/department and made their employees feel a sense of greater purpose; a space they can be proud to work in. Our solutions for them included creating custom artwork depicting inspiring imagery and phrases of empowerment, wrapping columns in signage designating specific areas, and brightening the walls with a new color pallet. The end result provided employees with an environment that invoked a sense of pride in the company and the department.

HOW IT INFLUENCES YOUR CLIENTS:

Is seeing believing?

One of the biggest challenges in reaching an audience through conventional media is trying to convey all of the complex feelings, abstract emotions, rich history, subliminal intentions, miracle working messages, and unbeatable promises of a product in an 8×10 print ad. Imagine how much easier it would be to reach your audience if instead of just seeing your ad or watching it on TV, they could walk around inside that ad and smell, taste and touch your brand. Office branding accomplishes that by enabling companies to utilize all five senses in communicating their message. From the moment a client steps into your office space their attitude about your brand can be altered with strategic color selections, logo placement, and even the sounds that emanate from your space.

For USA Track & Field (USATF), the first impression of their space was important to the overall effect of our design. Situated on the 8th floor of a large corporate building, USATF needed to make a statement as soon as the elevator doors open on their floor, not only to establish their location but also to set themselves apart from the other identical floors of the building where other similar organizations reside. Now when the elevator stops on the 8th floor, the first thing visitors see is a larger than life USATF statement wall and as they walk into the elevator lobby they step onto a custom designed carpet that mimics the flow of a track leading into the lobby. From the first moment, clients are immersed in the world of USATF where every detail makes a participant out of a visitor.

Give them something to talk about

While that first impression can be an important impact, what is left behind with your visitor can be just as important, if not more. After clients leave your office, instead of discussing the meeting or the quality of your coffee, what if they were talking about your impressive office? Better yet, what if they talked about your space/brand with people outside the office? Providing a spectacle inside your office can create buzz around your brand and leave a lasting impression on clients and employees. Whether it be social media, news media, or water cooler chit-chat people love to discuss the latest trends and to pass on the newest trending meme. So give them something to talk about and make your office a space the selfie-loving, meme sharing, pinterest worthy topic it can be.

While it can be easy to dismiss trends as a passing infatuation, the trend of office branding should be seen as an evolution in marketing and management instead of a fading fad. From empowering your employees to creating buzz worthy spaces that your clients will talk about long after leaving your office, branding your space is as much an investment in marketing as it is an investment in your employees.

If you have questions about how Matchbook Creative can help you with branding your space, contact Maris Schiess at mschiess@matchbookcreative.com.