Why should you even think about branding application at your work environment? Until a decade ago companies did not brand their work environment and office design of the company focused on functionality and beauty.
Introducing branding into the interior design of offices as part of the process is a product of several global trends of recent years:
The trend of moving most of the production in the world to China and the Far East, has created a situation in which presently a lot of products that belong to the same industry are identical or very similar with almost no difference in quality. As a result, the differentiation between the companies that sell the same product is expressed in the quality of service or the product design. As part of this trend, the weight of the design and branding of offices has also risen and has become an important element in the chain of marketing processes.
As part of the increased competition among companies there has also been increased competition to attract quality people to staff positions. Employees who are in high demand, especially in high-tech companies, have become pickier and need to be attracted to the company, in part by a cool and fun environment. The visibility and the messages passing through the offices have great importance for connecting workers to the company and creating a sense of belonging, and also affect the management of ongoing work.
Bottom line, application of branding of the work environment is very helpful for keeping existing employees and recruiting new and “attracted” workers.
The customer of a company that provides services can not physically see or touch its product and they search for other clues as a substitute, for quality of service and reliability of the company. Most people perceive a particular design environment as showing the reliability, stability and solidity. For example, you entered a lawyer’s office who you came to by chance to obtain some advice and possibly to hire his services. You are feeling concerned about the nature of the lawyer. If the office looks neat and stylish, and here and there are pictures of art on the walls and hanging on a prominent wall are some professional certificates and several articles in the press about the company. The “promise” that the walls convey is reliability, stability and prestige created by the combination of documents, articles and design which support you and make you feel calmer and more confident in the quality of that lawyer’s service.
Likewise, any company that provides services in any field can create the desired impression in their customer and demonstrate the quality of service and its differentiation through branding the work environment.
How does the process happen in our studio?
Parallel to the overall planning of the offices, about which you can read here
Planning for application of the company’s branding in the work environment is carried out. It is recommended that the company’s steering committee for planning include administrative, marketing and company branding managers – in small companies usually one person fills all three roles. The first step is defining what the central brand value is that the company is trying to convey through interior design of their offices. What is the focus for conveying the message? Is it intended primarily for employees or customers visiting the offices?
In development centers of high-tech companies normally few clients visit and therefore the message is for interior organization, the employees of the company. However, law firms, and free professionals should mainly target customers and guests who arrive, often to close a deal. The emphasis of the messages communicated to employees will be different indeed from the emphasis of the message to the customer but of course there will not be a conflict between them and the messages will complement each other. After the main message is defined Studio Michal Rosen sets into action and offers the unique concept for the company to convey the message.
For example, in the project to design the new offices for China Motors we were asked to convey the company’s area of specialty, importing buses and heavy vehicles and to emphasize the element of movement. The concept that we built for this purpose was a design with long diagonal lines that create a sense of perspective and movement, carpet strips stretched along the corridors and placed at the entrance diagonally which reminds one of a road, and also a combination reminiscent of heavy vehicle models complete the picture.
The concept is delivered to the customer for approval and after receiving comments and making adjustments the main idea of branding is integrated within the overall design of the office. In the second phase the focus is on conveying the message. Here we think of how to connect the design language we use in the interior design – space, form, colors, lighting and textures – to the branding language and its overall visibility: slogan, the nature of verbal messages (copy), graphic design of logos and letterhead, etc. The goal is that when visiting the office the office design will be seen as connected and continuous with the website, logo and the overall design language of the company.
In some cases, when one enters the process of strategic thinking about the messages the company wants to convey, one understands that the company’s existing look is contradictory or does not fit the messages they want to convey and so in parallel to the office design, the customer decides to initiate a new graphic design process or even do a root canal?to the existing branding.
This is the place to point out that in order for work environment branding to be effective and to touch the heart of both employees and customers, it must be authentic. The most important task to be carried out before the process is to check if the messages you want to convey represent the essence of the company and its DNA. On this subject I will tell you a personal anecdote from which learned a lot: my studio, which I painstakingly created with my own hands, always was a boutique studio. Since I prefer to be involved in every project down to the tiniest detail, my team has always been high-quality and limited in size. To some extent, the grass is always greener? on the other side, and I was a little jealous of the big offices that have dozens of employees and boast of projects of tens of thousands of meters. I called my studio “Rosen Designers” and got feedback from everyone who went on my site that the site and the name convey the impression of a large interior designer firm, the type that carries out dozens of projects simultaneously.
About eight years ago I arrived at an introductory meeting with one of the most well-known branding builders in the country, to talk about the possibility of cooperation. Towards the end of the meeting I showed him a catalog I had recently designed and asked him what he thought. The name Rosen Designers was at the top of the catalog. He studied the catalog and said “You fall into a familiar trap. You don’t have to try to show you are something that you are not, what you really are, a talented interior designer who has a boutique studio, that’s the best thing for you and also for the appropriate customers.” We talked about how today large companies are looking for the highest quality professionals who will give them personal service and not large offices in which they might find themselves, after the first introductory meeting with the owner, working with the planners who have less experience and knowledge. “Don’t focus on the size that you don’t have, focus on your name, on your professionalism and your excellent service you told me about and that’s what you should brand,” concluded the branding expert. Following this wise and professional comment that hit the nail on the head, I changed my business name from Rosen Designers to Studio Michal Rosen.
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