What is Environmental Branding, and What Can it Do For You?

Every communications director, HR executive, and marketing expert knows that building a brand is about much more than logos and color schemes. Establishing a company with a full-fledged brand image involves every aspect of the business, from graphic design to diversity to employee mindset. But at the same time, many companies fail to optimize the most obvious part of their business—the office.

Get Started with Environmental Branding

Environmental branding is the practice of building a workplace that matches the major themes and values of your company. From paint colors in line with your marketing materials to a work-play balance appropriate for your organization, environmental branding is a physical representation of what your company does well. Think about it like your website–you want the virtual representation of your business to match the graphic design and culture of the real thing. Take this online principle and apply it to your physical spaces, and the value of environmental branding becomes even clearer.

Many corporations only go halfway, maintaining top-notch corporate office decor but failing to tie the space back to their company’s values. Over the next few blog posts, we will do a deep dive into the process of environmental branding and how it can affect everyone who comes through your doors, from clients and customers to employees and executives. For now, let’s look at some of the most practical benefits and how environmental branding can maximize your spaces.

Revolutionize Your Most Important Relationships

First and foremost, intentional design can increase employee engagement, because branding is motivation. When your spaces are oriented towards the mission of your brand, they provide a constant reminder to employees of why they love where they work, whether to not they consciously realize it. In an even more practical way, providing the best possible configurations for collaboration, recreation, and work-life balance–whatever your particular organization needs in order to get things done–can directly increase productivity. When your graphic design and architecture match what you’re trying to accomplish in the office, these spaces happen much more naturally.

Increased employee engagement will drive up your corporate productivity, but what’s the point if there’s no change in demand? Luckily, one of the biggest benefits of environmental design is that it equally impacts both members of your company and potential clients and customers. Think about a potential client entering your office for the first time. They are far more likely to remember a space where the graphic design and corporate office decor mesh seamlessly with the promotional materials handed to them than a generic office with cubicles and color schemes that could belong anywhere.

By impacting both ends of your business, environmental design has enormous potential to drive a positive feedback loop where employee engagement and increased sales help increase each other. And although it may take some work to transform your current space into an atmosphere that matches your mission statement, the changes you make will last as long as your brand does–no need to worry about it every quarter.

Customize Your EB Experience

Practically, environmental branding can take many forms. One great way to personalize your space is by improving wayfinding; rearrange the office to make it more navigable for potential buyers, knockdown certain walls to make spaces more accessible to employees, or simply update signage to reflect the attitude of your business. If your business is aiming for a fun, modern vibe, there’s no reason for your signage to be black-and-white and typed using stock fonts. If you want to start with an even easier change, try working with the marketing department to strategically update the color scheme in different areas, or seek feedback from employees to see what new types of spaces they need.

Although these first steps may be easy, completely transforming your space can be difficult. To help ease the challenging yet necessary transition to environmental branding, we’ve created a series of blog posts that explain how to get started and what results you can expect. In the next few posts, we’ll take a deep dive into how environmental branding can uniquely impact three different types of people who interact with your office: current employees, potential partners, and customers.

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