When some people hear the name “branded environments,” many wonder what exactly that entails, as it’s a new concept to them.
One of the best analogies to explain branded environments is to say that you are telling your brand story in your corporate workspace:
- You are conveying the personality, spirit, heritage, and strengths of your brand, in tangible form and oversized images.
- You are using the rooms, walls, doors, windows, furniture, technology, and other details to stage your brand story in an impressive and memorable fashion.
- You are telling your brand story to the key people working or visiting there: your employees, your clients and prospects, your business partners, and the media.
Telling Your Brand Story Chapter By Chapter
Let’s continue the brand story analogy. Just as many stories have chapters, you can tell your brand story in your corporate workspace in chapters, too.
You can select different rooms of your facility to represent successive chapters in your brand story. Each room can focus on one chapter – an important part of your story, but not your story in its entirety. As people tour your facility, it acts as a stage as you share key elements of what makes you unique.
For example, look above at the overhead diagram of one facility’s planned branded environments. This layout tells this company’s corporate story in 6 chapters:
- Chapter One: Reception – Welcome
- Chapter Two: Conference Room – What We Believe
- Chapter Three: Project Management – How We Do It
- Chapter Four: Design: How It Happens
- Chapter Five: Production: Make It Happen
- Chapter Six: Showroom – How It’s Been Done Before
For each of these rooms, design elements are added with the goal of helping to tell just that chapter of the story. For example, here are the stories of two rooms:
In Chapter Two: The Conference Room – What We Believe, this room is about building trust, so that visitors will be more willing to share their true challenges. So, in this room, images, surfaces, and structural elements that help instill trust are paramount.
In Chapter Six: Showroom – How It’s Been Done Before, this room is about building trust in a different way, by showing previous work done for other clients. The goal is to present ideas and help prospects consider new possibilities, with real life examples that lower anxiety.
Consider how you could use the various parts of your own facility to more vividly tell your corporate story.
Telling Your Brand Story With Zones By Function
Similar to telling your story chapter by chapter is to consider the zones of your facility by the functions each zone hosts. This approach works especially well when your employees are the main audience for your branded environments.
In this facility, much of the space is segmented by their functions:
The first four of these functions are important for employees, especially Teamwork/Gathering, Meeting/Training, and Transitions (which take employees to individual offices and employee common areas).
The most important areas for clients & prospects are when they enter via the green Arrival space and visit in the orange Showroom space. They also pass through Transition spaces on the way to the Showroom.
So, knowing those areas functions, we chose content for their branded environments that tells their story to:
- Both audiences (employees and clients & prospects) go in the Arrival Area and Transitions
- Only employees go in Teamwork/Gathering and Meeting/Training areas
- Only clients & prospects go in the Showroom
Your own facility situation will likely be somewhat different, based on its layout and your own facility’s key functions.
Corporations can also consider which functional areas they believe have the greatest potential impact to their key audiences. Then, they can budget for branded environments in phases if they can’t afford to implement them all at once.
For example, the story told in the Transition area shown below includes content about awards won and corporate values. This content adds value for both employees and potential client visitors:
Whereas the content in the Teamwork/Gathering area is at the right level of detail for employees, where showing photos all employees by department helps instill a greater level of teamwork:
Telling Your Brand Story With Zones By Content
Here is another, similar way to plan for telling your brand story in your facility: by content.
There are several kinds of content that corporations often choose for their branded environments:
- Corporate Mission & Values
- Company Logos
- Brand Colors
- Brand Artifacts
- Company Heritage
- Founders Photos
- Top Performers Photos
- Location Maps
- Corporate Strategy
With strong design and implementation, these content elements can powerfully express your corporate story. You can spread them around your facility based on how they help your story flow, or who will most view them.
Here is an example of a facility overview, marked by which content will go where:
On the top side of the drawing, both employees and visitors will see Our Values, Timeline, and Our Vision. This content matters to help get buy-in from employees, and to gain trust from clients & prospects.
On the bottom of the drawing, one conference room content includes Projects and Capabilities (Interactive), which provides sales and marketing value to potential clients and prospects.
Holt Environments Is Ready To Help Tell Your Brand Story
Branded environments tell your corporate story in a visual, tactile, and experiential manner. As you have seen, you can tell your corporate story with rooms as if they were chapters in a book. You can consider what functional areas are best suited for branded environments, and consider what content will resonate with employees and visitors.
If your company is considering branded environments to advance your key business goals, we’re ready to help you bring your story to life. To get started, look at our portfolio of projects, or contact Holt today.