When Facebook was just a humble startup in 2005 it famously commissioned graffiti artist David Choe to paint murals on its new digs. Choe asked for $60,000, but a cash-strapped Facebook persuaded him to accept stock instead.
As you might imagine, it turned out to be a wise decision for Choe, whose stock is worth nine figures today. An interesting part of that story sometimes missed is that Facebook, at a time when it was clearly not yet flush with liquidity, decided that a visually and culturally powerful office was a mission critical investment.
Today, partly because of the success of Facebook and other social networks, an energized, focused, motivating environment not only provides internal advantages, but can live on the internet and be shared to millions. It’s become a strategically employed but still highly creative outlet for displaying values, signature styles, and sources of inspiration.
Highly differentiated, branded environments have become showcases in visual storytelling, productivity-boosting design, and a key component in consistent brand alignment. A motivated and engaged workforce is a hard won resource. It requires continual replenishment.
An environment that accurately reflects your brand’s value proposition filters down to every person in your organization and beyond. Associations are created and confirmed by every choice you make from layout to signage to decor and so on.
Branded environments require a multidisciplinary approach that takes into account the input of brand stakeholders and strategists, architects, graphic and interior designers, project managers, and production and installation experts.
Your choices can be varied and flexible, but your values and overarching aesthetic vision should be uniform and methodically enforced. Proper use of these principles infers numerous benefits, such as:
- Motivating team members
- Facilitating better and easier use of your workspaces
- Increasing perceived value from visitors (in-person and online)
- Attracting top talent
- Improving satisfaction and retention of existing employees
- Building brand ambassadors from within
- Aligning your physical architecture with your brand architecture
- Fostering channels of interdepartmental communication
If you want focused, inspired, and productive employees, give them an environment that elevates those values. Likewise, if you want visitors who immediately absorb and understand your mission, show them a space that is unmistakably aligned with it.
Your brand is on display at all times whether you are managing it or not, and that includes in your own workspaces and offices. When employees and visitors enter your enviroment they are actively and passively taking everything in and making assumptions and value judgments about your brand.
Is it an environment that is welcoming, modern, productive, and coherently designed to communicate a message that ignites and impresses? Does it take your brand promise and ethos and imbue it into a physical space, extending and reinforcing it? Design your spaces to uplift, inform, and empower.