Have you ever considered the role that your office interior plays in the brand image of your company? As one of the leading office refurbishment companies in London, we’ve seen offices at both ends of the spectrum – those with interiors that really resonate with their brand, and those that are little more than functional spaces in which to get work done.
Don’t get us wrong – functional is good. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary. But there’s also much to be said for a company that knows how to communicate its values with the world through well-branded touchpoints.
Your brand is a living, breathing entity. If defines who you are as a company, and how you would like to be perceived by others. With that in mind, good branding is really about authenticity – about understanding your company and the role it plays in the market.
It’s important to recognise the role that authenticity plays in the success of your company. There is plenty of research suggesting that consumers are thirsty for authentic brands with a strong social purpose. This trend is growing as well, perhaps due in part to the increasingly virtual state of our business affairs. With so much buying and selling taking place over what are essentially anonymous channels such as the Internet, people are eager to find and connect with a brand that they feel genuine and authentic.
In order to appear authentic to customers, your company needs to internalise its brand – make it part of the fibre of its being. When you really succeed at this, your target customers will take notice. They’ll appreciate your company for being true to itself, and for being honest to them.
Opposite this, it’s important not to underestimate your audience’s ability to sniff out authenticity. If your advertised brand says one thing about the company, while its products, representatives and other markers say another, the public is going to smell a rat. And these days, with the speed at which information travels over social media and other online channels, the tides of public favour can change seemingly overnight.
Your office’s interior design is one of several branded touchpoints through which others interact with the company. The colours they see, they textures they feel and their experience when passing through this physical space all contribute to an overall impression of your company.
Most of us readily accept the role that product packaging plays in a brand. A prime example of this is Amazon’s ‘frustration-free packaging’, which is designed to allow customers to open their parcels with minimal fuss and without the so-called ‘wrap rage’ that too much packaging incites.
This branded campaign has become so successful now, that the act of unboxing something ordered online is practically a rite of passage. These days, video reviews of products that are available online inevitably include some ceremonious unboxing, during which the reviewer comments on the order of assembly, the location of various parts or the overall ease of getting started with the new product.
This is a prime example of a branded touchpoint – be it an experience, physical feature or interaction – that makes a real impression on customers. By the same token, your office’s design is a form of branded packaging. Just as the act of unboxing a product can reflect on the company that packed it to begin with, interacting with an office space can reflect on the company that inhabits it.
Of course, accepting the need to extend branding to your office’s interior is one thing. But actually making that happen is quite another. However, an experienced office refurbishment company will be able to help you with this endeavour – whether that means consulting with you on a primary basis or referring you to an interior designer who specialises in branded spaces.
Along those lines, here a few tips for how to go about branding your office interior:
ü Begin with the obvious.
Your company logo, mission statement and other brand icons are an obvious place to start. These elements play an inevitable, front-and-centre role in the company’s identity, and they’re certainly going to be present in a well-branded office space. Just understand that there’s much more to be done in addition to this.
ü Think about colours.
If your company already has a strong brand image, then there are certainly one or two brand colours associated with it. If this is not the case, then you may want to start by hiring a brand consultant to help flesh out these matters. Your brand colours should be present in the workspace – though they don’t need to be dominant. Instead, look for opportunities to use theses colours as accents. Say, for example, yellow is a prominent colour for your brand, a bit of yellow trim or a bouquet of yellow flowers on the welcome desk will be much more effective than, say, painting the walls yellow.
ü Move on to more abstract concepts.
Your brand colours simplify the decision-making process when it comes to painting, upholstering and decorating, but what about the even less tangible aspects of your brand? Here are a few questions to consider:
The answers to these questions may guide you to some important interior design decisions. For example, a firm that views itself as ecologically friendly may use recycled materials for some of its interior furnishings. Or a fun-loving company may stock its reception area with puzzles or games. Both examples reinforce brand traits.
If you’re interested in updating your office interior in order to bring it more in line with the company brand and culture, feel free to contact Saracen Interiors. Our extensive experience as office refurbishment contractors means we’re well-equipped to help create a space that resonates with your brand culture.