We usually think of a brand identity as the way in which a business wishes to be perceived by others. A variety of components, including logos, slogans, color schemes, fonts and imagery, make up a brand identity, but the emphasis is usually placed on influencing the way consumers feel about a business and its products or services.
However, employees can also be influenced by branding, which is why workplace branding is so important, even in offices that do not receive in-person visits from clients or customers. Generally, office fitting-out, design and relocation projects provide the perfect opportunity to think about workplace branding and make adjustments.
With that in mind, here is a win-win formula to ensure you are successful in branding your office.
1. Work Closely with Your Marketing Department
When planning your office branding project, it’s vital that your marketing department is represented within the team. Nobody understands your current brand identity and branding strategy better than your marketers and they may also have opinions on whether changes need to be made to adapt to new challenges, or existing failings.
In addition, a sensible starting point is to review your organization’s mission statement. The stress of day-to-day operations can make it easy to lose sight of core principles, values and goals. Re-familiarizing yourself with the mission statement can also be a huge help when it comes to dealing with external design teams.
2. Synchronize Internal and External Branding
Next, it is vital that your internal and external branding are in sync. If your branding strategy is going to generate trust, it has to be consistent and believable. This means that there can be no mixed messages, no room for confusion and the messages being sent through branding need to match up with the experiences of your employees.
“Internal and external communications are often mismatched… and it threatens employees’ perceptions of the company’s integrity,” explains Colin Mitchell, a senior partner at Ogilvy & Mather, writing for the Harvard Business Review. “They are told one thing by management but observe that a different message is being sent to the public.”
3. Place a Strong Focus on the Reception Area
In workplaces where clients or customers visit, the single most important area for branding is the reception. In most offices, this will be the first point of contact for visitors. It will also be the place in which a first impression is formed and research shows it takes just seconds for customers to make this judgement.
Your business’s name and logo should be clearly visible and it may be sensible to include a slogan too, to sum up your attitude. Moreover, the reception should be decorated in a way that matches up to the brand colors you use for external marketing. Although customers should be impressed by what they see, they should not be surprised.
4. Target Employees at Key Work Touch-Points
When it comes to aiming your branding at employees, it is important not to go overboard. Instead, your branding efforts should be focused on key workplace touch-points. One way to do this is to have on-brand messages in specific areas. A message about togetherness is ideal for the walls of a collaborative space, for example.
Logos on stationary, including pens and notepads, may go some way towards helping to instill pride, and giving some of these items away to customers is a great way to keep your company in their mind. Finally, the messages presented through workplace branding should be continually reinforced in person, by management.
Author: Reno Macri is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and office design company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office space planning, event branding, conference set design and much more. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.