Office Branding: Part 1 - Why Brand YOUR OFFICE Space

Why Brand Your Office Space? My short answer is, why not? It's a great opportunity to motivate your employees and set yourself apart from the competition. 

Many an articles have been written about the need and benefits of office branding but this one from Barbara Armstrong, Workplace Experience Strategist @ Kahler Slater stands out. In "Get Your Walls Talking: Leveraging the Workplace to Tell Your Story," she succinctly explains 5 key opportunities to brand your environment:

  1. The opportunity to authentically differentiate your organization 
    Any company can buy attractive artwork for decorating your space, but that doesn’t differentiate you from the next organization. Your people are unique, so why isn’t your space? Choosing the right visuals helps you to tell the unique stories of your clients and employees. There is a clear place for art in the work-place, but it should complement the story you want to tell.
  2. The opportunity to set expectations about your culture
    Your visual storytelling enables you to express aspects about your organizational culture without saying a word. The right visual reflects your values. It shows people how you can help them and where they may fit into your organization. People are able to look at your space and get a feel for what happens there. You are literally putting your culture on display – so make sure it’s sending the message you want.
  3. The opportunity to reinforce your brand alignment
    Your visuals announce that your brand in the marketplace aligns with your brand in your office space. It shows cohesiveness and purpose. People can understand this brand alignment and feel the connection between who you say you are and what they see in the environment.
  4. The opportunity to set the stage for how you tell your story to visitors
    You can use your environmental graphics to set the proper guidelines in place so the right story is consistently told. The cues and touch points you set up to tell the story are like signs in the woods, allowing you to express the particular points about your organization that you want people to know.
  5. The opportunity to help build pride among employees
    Your space plays a crucial role in engaging people. Visuals offer a special form of communication that helps employees feel proud of the accomplishments, the values, the products or services and the goals of the company. It all becomes part of a bigger story regarding who “my” company is and the pride “I” take in it. It focuses on building emotional connections and leveraging them to better the workplace.

From a marketing standpoint my personal favorites are the the opportunities to differentiate your organization and build your workplace pride. Large corporations like Google and Apple understand the need to attract and retain talent and have therefore put vast resources into branding their spaces and helping their employees really enjoy their work environment. Everything in their facilities, from the wall to ceilings, including colors, decor, furniture, graphics, and even the availability of workout, dining, day-care, onsite dental and health facilities is designed from that standpoint.

This trend, however, is no longer restricted to the Silicone Valley, companies in Houston are realizing that they too need to differentiate themselves and attract and retain their valuable talent. The new ExxonMobil complex in The Woodlands, TX is custom built with the employees in mind and how to make it a great live, work, play and pray environment.

As the O&G market in Houston continues to improve in 2017, the grab for talent will intensify. Large corporations will do whatever it takes to get the best talent not just from the O&G industries, but also from the Healthcare and IT Industry. What can smaller companies to do protect their talent against the Oil Giants. Learn more in this series of blog articles, where we will look at the elements of branding that small and mid size businesses can implement in bite sized chunks through a series of small investments.