As humans and consumers we experience brands in a many ways – whether consciously or sub-consciously, we know that our purchases are a reflection on us; from the clothes we wear or the car we may (or may not) choose to drive. Savvy marketeers and even more savvy customers, are well aware that these choices are all signals to others about who we are and what we believe in.
Physical environments are similar in that they reflect an ideology; although more obvious in retail, leisure and hospitality it is also true of the commercial world. Organisations that really know who they are and what they stand for, creating a workspace that imbue the company values way beyond placing a logo on the wall is a no brainer.
At BW, we have been fortunate enough to work with some of the leading brands in the world, with every detail of the project becoming a metaphorical building block in its brand equity.
The various structure of businesses can be as complex as they are fascinating, and the opportunity to express the personality of a company through a working environment is essential and vast, yet it isn’t one that all companies immediately grasp. It requires a client to consider every element of its personality and consider how that should translate on a functional and operational level.
Most organisations fall into one of two camps, with a Branded House like Google or Apple, or a House of Brands for example Unilever or Mars. There are many case studies and theories on the advantages and disadvantages of each typology of brand architecture, however when it comes to workplaces, it is definitely the latter that requires a more in depth understanding of brands from the project team.
The challenge is to create a unified space for the parent company whilst enabling each independent brand, each with its own personality and objectives to thrive equally.
In particular, one client needed to consolidate diverse business groups into a single Central London building and create an environment that could express a range of record labels and brands, each with its own unique feel and personality, whilst still ensuring the Group was greater than the sum of its parts through shared collaboration space.
Working alongside architects and designers, the importance of delivering an employee and visitor experience that is in keeping with everything that a company believes in cannot be underestimated. This level of brand awareness for the fit-out contractor begins in practical terms from site set-up, where every brand is visually present throughout the build process, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement for clients as they tour their new home.
The successful implementation of this vision is achieved when the fit-out delivery team also have a clear grasp of the client’s business strategy, as well and the all-important details that can differentiate a brand and become the ultimate asset.