Office branding strengthens your company's relationship with employees, communicates your values, inspires trust, and helps drive success. As an example, when you think of McDonald's, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe you picture the golden arches or think of Ronald McDonald. Maybe you remember your first happy meal or suddenly have a strong urge to eat some fries.
Do you know what separates great brands from the average ones? It’s not just the imagery shown on commercials, billboards, and social media ads. Branding in office is about what happens under the surface.
It's the employees and company values — and how they embody those values. Great office branding bolsters your ability to support the company mission in a way that resonates with your employees.
Building a brand with a true competitive edge can be difficult. Branding, however, helps redefine what that edge means.
From a business perspective, your employees play a huge role in your success. The reality is that your brand can provide employees with a sense of pride and belonging. Workplace branding helps accomplish that and more.
A good office design helps support and create company culture. When employees believe in your values, commit to your mission, and are loyal to your brand, success will naturally follow.
Many elements of design play a big role in their experience at work — things such as aesthetics, atmosphere, comfort, flexibility, personalization, and emotional response.
People are becoming more aware of design in their everyday life. It's all around: in things they see, products they use, and everywhere they go — including the workplace.
As awareness increases among those who spend time in your office — from your employees and clients, to your investors — it is increasingly important for you to implement strategic office design.
In our Workplace Branding & Design webinar, design veteran Timaree Later discusses how office design plays a role in workplace branding — and vice versa. As she states, it's about leaders "really owning the culture first and foremost and showing their company and their people how to live that brand and culture, which really creates a sense of buy-in."
Thinking of it more broadly, it's the integration of your branding in office, culture, vision, mission, and the design process. You should incorporate and emphasize workplace branding in your office design. Here are the three key reasons:
Your brand isn’t just your logo or website. It’s the attitude and personality of your company. It represents what your company stands for and how you want to be presented.
Your office environment should be an extension of your brand through event and product promotion, company goals, and tools you already use — like digital conference room displays.
Daily reinforcement makes a big impact on anyone who spends time there — including them as part of your brand and culture.
People want to be comfortable while they work. When they come into work, they want to feel like they're surrounded by family and friends. That helps make work feel more comfortable, especially since they spend most of their waking hours there.
According to a recent report, 71% of employees feel more comfortable working from home compared to in an office. And there are many studies linking office design, comfort, and productivity.
When you walk around Chicago, everywhere you look you'll see someone in red and blue Cubs gear. Fans don hats, jerseys, and practically any item with their team logo because it makes them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Team identification fosters a sense of belonging, which in turn benefits an individual's well-being, social interaction, and self-esteem.
The same needs to happen with your office branding. The design and tools you use should create a sense of community and make your employees feel comfortable, which then makes them work harder.
For the workplace, R&R isn't rest and relaxation; it's recruit and retain. Workplace branding isn’t just about pleasing current employees. You have to look good to outsiders, too.
Anyone who steps into your office should have a sense of what the brand values are.
Ideally, the company culture will attract the people who connect to it. So it's helpful to create good buzz, word of mouth, and also give people a branded visual experience inside your office. Then, people who are in the office can get a sense of place. Plus, it can help avoid any disconnect or disappointment with your brand.
When we talk about connecting your brand with the workplace, it's about backing your values up with the decisions you make, actions you take, and things you provide. Employees will naturally connect and engage with your company when your office branding projects and reaffirms those values.
And if that's well-executed in your office design, it puts your brand in a stronger position.
Too often, companies think painting walls company colors and slapping a few graphics on windows of your company logo is all it takes. But that’s not effective branding. It’s just decorating.
There's a difference between amenities, culture, and activated spaces.
There's an important point about amenities, culture, and activated spaces. It's not simply a question of what perks to provide for a stronger company culture, because as Timaree mentioned in the webinar, "offering those amenities does not build a culture."
At the end of the day, employees need to feel connected to something, which relies largely on emotional experiences. People engage when the environment creates a positive experience — and can connect to things that make us feel happy, intelligent, effective, useful, or connected.
As Brian Brindisi, senior associate and design director at Gensler, said in an interview with Metropolis, “A good brand does more than establish a visual language; it creates an immersive experience for every person who enters their workplace. ... Today, everyone wants to work in spaces that closely mirror a particular lifestyle and makes them feel engaged, valued, and connected to a company.”
If you don't understand how to improve workplace experience, you need to start thinking in terms of connection.
Improve the workplace with your employees in mind — and do it in a way that reinforces company values. Most importantly, connect those values with every aspect of your business.
Here’s how you can do all that.
Employees expect to have all the tools and resources they need to do their job and do it well. A branded workplace is one of those tools. Incorporating workplace branding in office design is more than just trendy decor or quirky amenities.
Remember to make your workplace a reflection of your brand, products, and the office space itself. When you take that approach, you'll be creating a space that informs guests, inspires employees, and aligns with your culture.
Considering incorporating a hybrid working model into your workplace? Get up to speed on the latest flexible seating strategies. Download your free copy of How to Get Employees Warmed Up to Hot Desking.