We talk a lot about the importance of first impressions in business. How your receptionist greets callers, what people see on your website home page, and the appearance of your sales people in the field all have an impact on how clients and prospects perceive the way you conduct business. Well, what about the appearance of your corporate lobby? It presents a front-line opportunity to make a big first impression on every visitor – clients, prospects, vendor partners, and potential employees alike. Does your lobby communicate your current brand message and reflect your corporate culture?
Strategic Environmental Branding Defined
Strategic environmental branding utilizes a blend of architecture, interior design, and graphic design to communicate a sense of identity, personality, and place. The objective is to effectively and aesthetically communicate your core brand beliefs and corporate culture in the office environment. Similar to retail branding, where the current design emphasis is not so much on how to show product, but rather how to connect emotionally with the customer, corporate environmental branding creates a positive emotional relationship with clients and prospects.
Environmental Branding is Not Just for Visitors
Beyond the lobby, strategic environmental branding can deliver benefits in all common areas within your corporate offices. Conference rooms, hallways, cafeterias, and break rooms all present opportunities to reinforce your core brand message and culture. Employees respond positively to good, upbeat design in their work environment. Studies have shown that the atmosphere in which we work has an impact on overall productivity and employee satisfaction.
Environmental Branding Considerations
It should be apparent by now that quality strategic environmental branding requires well-defined brand messaging and core brand beliefs. If you do not yet have consensus on these, turn back now and invest in the due diligence to develop a comprehensive brand strategy.
If you do have a cohesive brand strategy, some things to consider for your environmental branding initiative would be:
- How many visitors do we have on a daily basis, and who are they?
- How much time do visitors spend in the lobby waiting?
- Will our messaging need be static or dynamic?
- What common areas in our facility are ideal for branding?
- How/where do our employees interact and move about the facility?