Branded Environments, aka, your home
The space you live in
You’ve decided to throw a dinner party, or just have a couple of neighbors over for root beer floats… why all the anxiety? Because now, you’re looking at your space with squinty, what-if-I-didn’t-live-here, eyes.
Like any environment that you’re a part of routinely and frequently, you can easily overlook things. Things like, “This does not inspire, motivate or engage at all. This isn’t me.” At the core, this is why intelligently and creatively branded environments matter.
Also known as
Often called, “Environmental Graphics,” which can cause some confusion as one might wonder if the graphics are always shades of green, or perhaps everything’s constructed of hemp.
You may also hear, “Experiential Design”—nice enough, but that indicates the element of digital or mechanical, which is not always the case.
Here at Sussner, we like to go with, “Branded Environments.” (We’re all about brand clarity and communication.)
P.S. Interior design is about lighting, furnishings, fabrics, decoration and flow. Architecture is essentially about structure and engineering. Elements of both can factor into branded environment work, but these are very independent and worthy disciplines of their own.
Impressive first impressions
Yes, branded environments include basic signage and wayfinding elements, but it goes far beyond that. We would never dismiss the importance of accurate and attractive signage. Sending folks in the wrong direction, or mislabeling a stairwell for a conference room, is not a good look. But today, this blog is all about brand identity, and in particular, brand identity in the business-to-business context.
Back to our dinner party. Just like your home, when guests, i.e., clients, potential clients, vendors, media, and employees, walk into your space, they instantly should feel something positive.
Their brains need to be telling them, consciously or unconsciously, that this space is occupied by people who care about details, have a defined personality, and respect me.
Reasons to upgrade environments are many and unique, but generally it’s about a scheduled renovation or location change, a push for recruitment, and/or someone finally seeing what their dinner guests have been seeing.
A dingy conference room yields dull ideas. A cheerless workspace or warehouse generates negative energy. And no matter how happy your receptionist, a sad reception area will always tell the wrong story.
Speaking of story
The best movies are based on the best books. So too is the case with branded environments. The best environments are based on a strong, defined and compelling brand story. If you know anything about us, you know we love a great brand story.
As we’ve spoken of, written about, and done on a daily basis for 20+ years, developing a brand foundation, made up of your unique characteristics and philosophy, is critical to a thriving organization. This is equally true of the physical spaces your business occupies.
The essence of your brand should manifest itself in your actual environments. While that manifestation is a universe of creative possibilities, it is bordered by the specific outline of your distinct brand story.
Think of a branded environment like the Immersive Vincent van Gogh Exhibit… except you succeed while you’re still living (with both ears intact).
Own your space. Not every interaction is remote or should be. A well-branded environment can aid in closing deals, retaining/recruiting talent, engaging communication, inspiring innovation, motivating action and energizing an organization.
Too often businesses are content with the, “Hang in there baby” cat poster, or the framed photo of silhouettes climbing a mountain ridge, reading, “Determination.”
Your environment is an ever-present reminder of what you are and what you strive to be—your identity.
Set the table, we’re having a dinner party.
From the inspired spaces of Sussner,
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