How Can I Keep My Office Design in Line with Branding and Company Culture?

Introduction

Today’s customers expect consistency across mediums and locations. What does this mean exactly?

Well, it means that they should be able to recognise your brand on your website, in your office and in any of your commercials, whether they are online, on TV or on radio.

Sounds like a challenge, right?

It is. We have been there ourselves (and still haven’t fully finished it… :)

Aligning your office design with your branding and your culture means more than using the colours in your logo for your walls and chairs. In fact, it means the opposite.

To begin with, you should avoid using the same colours. Instead, you should opt for those colours that complement the palette of your visual identity.

But this is only the beginning. If you aim for a coherent image, every shape in your office, as well as the way the furniture is arranged and the way your staff members interact with each other have to be on point.

You want to let the whole world know that you care about the environment and that you take steps to protect it? Then you should choose environmentally-friendly design elements. Do your brand guidelines say that you are open to new challenges and that you embrace collaboration and innovation? Then your office can’t be made up of stern cubicles or individual offices for each of your employees.

One of our suppliers Actiu, are a great example of creating a coherent image between their mission and values and their interior by incorporating Biophilic design in the workplace.

Cohesion and coherence can be attained by working with professionals who know how to translate your brand values into office design elements. If you choose the workplace consultancy company, no plant and no desk will be out of place – everything will be designed to tell your brand story.

At Amos Beech, we take the time to understand this story and work to find the best ways to express it visually. We make sure that everyone who visits your desk can easily recognise your brand and the values it stands for. Of course, we also keep in mind the comfort of your employees.

How Can You Get Interior Design In Line With Culture And Branding?

When you say office design, you probably think about ergonomic furniture, agile working, comfy employees and spacious meeting rooms, right?

While all those are essential parts of great office design, there’s one thing that often gets overlooked: the importance of branding in designing your office.

Your choice of office design speaks volumes about the company’s branding and culture to your employees and clients.

Most organisations focus on developing a great website and a great logo, but pay little attention to the physical appearance of their offices:

But don’t worry this company has moved on: Lomond Plant

Recent Haworth research indicates that culture, which refers to the company’s values and beliefs, can become a sustainable advantage over competitors when you choose the right office interior design. Culture is based on goals, attitudes, and ethics. Thus, it can serve as a great way to retain and attract customers and employees.

On the other hand, branding refers to what clients associate you with whenever they hear about your company. It adds to the customer experience beyond what is presented on your website. Incorporating the company’s personality in the design will influence brand perception, productivity, and revenue.

Now that we have established what organisational culture and branding are, let’s how you can get interior design in line with culture and branding so that you can reap amazing benefits.

Understanding Your Cultural Values and Picking the Dominant One

At Amos Beech, our main focus is workplace consultancy. We bridge the gap between branding and selecting the right interior design for your office. Each organisation has cultural values and a message to convey. We take the time to understand your company’s needs and culture before choosing a design for you.

Both the dominant culture and its subs are important. For example, you can use a collaborative and flexible design for the dominant culture and a controlled approach for the subs to create a balance. Controlled subcultures can be managed via departmentalisation while sustaining the overall business personality.

Understanding your cultural values and prioritising them will assist in selecting one that is not homogeneous, but offers foundation. It also provides room for creativity. You get to design a different environment to manage subcultures by offering a seamless relationship with the independent value.

Employer’s Power and Command Preference

It is important to consider the employer-employee relationship when selecting a design. Most employers are catching up with the current trend of using workplace design to express the organisation’s unique features and ethos.

However, some of them prefer options that still reflect their power or command. There are different office setups that would still provide privacy and a sense of power. For example, use of cubicles or offices for leaders and an open working area for employees.

Incorporating Colours that Reflect Your Brand Personality

Wondering how you can get interior design in line with culture and branding in a colourful approach for your office?

Well, it’s not hard at all. You just have to embrace colours.

Most people are shy or scared to experiment with colours in an office set-up. They end up going for the easy way out. They settle for dull colours in order to maintain an “official” look. But it does not have to be that way. Incorporating colours in your office not only communicates the nature of your brand, but also lights up the space.

Use of colours at Michelin Dundee

Understand what your brand stands for (see above) and pick a colour or colours that speak(s) on its behalf. Colour is linked to a person’s or a brand’s energy. Each colour is perceived to communicate a different message. Bold colours such as red or orange often give an energetic perception, while green can be used to show freshness or nature appreciation. You can also use blue to illustrate loyalty. Use neutral colours for board or conference rooms to allow some light in and maintain privacy.

And, of course, don’t forget to make sure that the colours you choose complement the ones in your logo and graphic identity nicely.

Consistency in Customer’s Experience Both Online and Physically

A study on Omni-channel expectations shows that consumers consider both online and offline brand set-ups as one. Customers can either complete a purchase online or visit your brick and mortar shop.

Some of them will visit your website to see the product availability and customer reviews then proceed to your store to make the purchase. This is why it is crucial to maintain consistency in customer experience from your website to your physical location, and this also applies to business to business marketing.

Companies work towards providing a good first impression on the website, but forget to do the same at physical location. If you provide a vibrant customer experience online, ensure that the same is present in your office space. You can use colour or branded messages in your space to help customers identify with your brand offline, too.

Differentiation while Maintaining Your Values

How can you get interior design in line with culture and branding in different locations while retaining your values? Opening new branches in different locations is common when a brand is growing.

And this comes with its own challenges, like incorporating the societal values of the region while maintaining your values.

For example, a Starbucks coffee shop set up in an urban center will be different from one in a remote area. The societal values in an urban place are different from those in rural areas and the shop should reflect that.

Incorporating the communal values through differentiation will provide a sense of belonging and acknowledgment for customers. However, they still need to visit the shop and be able to easily identify the brand. Your values should be constant.

Employee Welfare

A Steelcase study shows that there is a high correlation between employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. High satisfaction with the office space boosts engagement among the employees.

In turn, engaged employees often have control over their work and balance. For them, this balance is what supports excellent productivity. They are empowered and will seek privacy to work when necessary. But they still need access to common resources, don’t they.

So how do you balance the two to achieve employee welfare?

Employee consideration and involvement are crucial when you are designing a company’s office space. Encourage employees to brainstorm and come up with office design ideas that are in line with your branding. This will not only help you create a space that is perfect for both visitors and employees, but it will also make the latter feel included and part of the decision-making process.

It is a good approach for selecting an alternative that promotes employee satisfaction and engagement. They will be acknowledged and feel motivated to work towards the company goals.

Employees connect with a brand and with a company’s culture through the set-up. Is the working space promoting your cultural values?

For example, an open workspace will encourage engagement. On the other hand, a secluded working area is essential for workers seeking privacy and a quiet working area.

You can incorporate both to enhance workplace satisfaction for everyone. Just be sure to involve the employees when you make the decision, so you know which of the two should be prevalent.

Team Collaboration

It is essential to schedule a meeting with all the parties involved. You need to discuss all aspects together with your interior designer, architect and your marketing team to determine how it will work out.

It is easy to make corrections that might compromise the role of each party at this stage. Brainstorm creative ideas that will make your space stand out and also promote your brand and cultural values.

Company’s Visual Identity

How can you get interior design in line with culture and branding to promote the company’s visual identity?

Through going back to your visual identity, of course.

Visual identity is a primary component of branding. It focuses on using visual aspects to trigger experiences and feelings towards the brand.

For example, white on red will always make us think about Coca-Cola or Vodafone.

So should you use the same colours your logo has in your office?

Not really.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

STmicroelectronics at Tanfield in Edinburgh

You will be having your logo displayed in various areas, so you don’t want it to be “eaten” by the décor in the same colours. What you should aim for are colours that complement the ones in your logo and make it stand out.

Creating Awareness

Creating brand awareness should be a continuous process for companies that strive to be successful. Can you honestly say that there are enough people that know about your existence?

I didn’t think so.

Office design can help your marketing team with brand awareness.

Your working space should reflect what your organisation stands for. For example, a green office that saves energy and encourages outdoor working sends a clear message – your company is invested in environmental protection.

You need to go beyond placing your brand name and company logo on your office walls and door frames. Showcase your company’s personality and character via other creative mediums.

For instance, you can brand chair, cups or even publish a monthly magazine for clients. Speak about your beliefs through every piece of furniture you choose and every colour you place in your office.

Future Changes

Every industry changes every day. It is crucial to factor in future changes in your workspace while re-designing it. Balancing flexibility and permanence in brand expression is a challenge for most companies.

Do you intend to change your brand presentation in future? How easy will it be to implement the change with your chosen office interior design? This was something Scotland Food & Drink was faced with.

The current Scotland Food & Drink logo photo-shopped into the image as they are going through a re-branding exercise

How can you get interior design in line with culture and branding while leaving room for future changes? You need to plan and have a rough idea of where the company intends to be in a few years so that you can easily scale the office design accordingly.

Companies often map brand identity in various physical spaces. It is important to determine the pieces that cannot be altered. It is advisable to use a permanent approach to reflect the core aspect (or value) of your brand and a flexible alternative for adaptable aspects.

Relevance

Interior décor is an interesting and constantly evolving concept. The available options are overwhelming. This is why it’s easy to lose sight of what you are trying to do.

The thing that can keep you grounded while you navigate your endless options is relevance. Relevance is essential when you are selecting a design for your office layout. Otherwise, you might end up wanting every piece offered by a supplier or recommended by an architect.

Always ask yourself this: how relevant are these pieces and designs to your brand and cultural values? Do not select a colour, piece of furniture, or layout design just because they look good. Ensure that their relevance aligns with the primary values and goals of the organisation.

Clear Brand Communication and Presentation

How can you get interior design in line with culture and branding without distorting the intended message? Clear brand communication is a common challenge when designing a workspace. It is an important aspect of creating awareness among employees, clients, and investors. A company should invest beyond the logo design and implementation to avoid message distortion.

How do you communicate beyond the basic company logo? Invest in any approved medium that reinforces the company’s culture and brand’s traits. Visual language is a broad concept that can be used to provide an immersive experience for clients, employees, and investors.

Conclusion

The needs and preferences vary among companies when selecting an interior office design. Understanding that these variations will influence how you can get your interior design in line with culture and branding is essential.

Keep in mind the ever-changing office set-up trends and availability to accommodate everyone and provide easy access. The primary factor to consider is enhancing your brand and cultural values while selecting a modern office layout. Use historic and recent imagery to depict your company’s mission, vision and milestones achieved.

Your interior design should tell a story about your brand and organisational values. Consult with experts in interior design for the right choice that will match both your current and future needs.