Infusing your brand into your workplace - Part 1: The Client Experience
Ask your marketing team and they will tell you that a focus on branding is essential to business success. In fact, 77% of B2B marketers say branding is ‘crucial for growth’ and your clients agree. According to McKinsey & Company, B2B buyers consider the brand ‘a central element of a supplier's value proposition’.
Your workplace is an extension of your brand. It is the physical manifestation of your business, your story, and your values. When your clients enter your workplace to view a proposal, to sign a contract, or to meet the team, they will make buying decisions based on emotional connection, harmonising values, their overall experience, and the consistency across your sales channels, which includes your physical space.
Infusing your brand into your workplace is more than just hanging your logo on the front desk. A successful workplace will have an immediate impact on your client’s perception of your business. You should ask yourself, ‘What do I want them to feel immediately when they walk in?’
To help you create a consistent and positive experience for your clients, we have collated case studies about businesses who have successfully infused their branding into their workplace.
Transparency on display at Axis Communications
Axis Communications is a manufacturer of network cameras for the physical security and video surveillance industries. They offer solutions based on sight, sound and analytics to improve security and optimize business performance.
Axis Communications’ culture prioritises ‘openness, honesty and willingness to share’. This transparency is the first impression clients get when they visit the Axis workplace. In the front-of-house area, a showroom displays the company’s latest security and surveillance solutions. Continuing through their workplace, their technology is not only on display, but solutions are demonstrated in real-world scenarios.
According to Facebook, experience is one of the top four qualities people use to describe why they are loyal to a brand. Allowing clients to experience first-hand the way Axis Communications technology can be applied ensures a positive perception of the business and will ultimately lead to stronger brand loyalty.
An unconventional client journey at hipages
hipages is Australia’s number one site for hiring trades. They have a variety of tradespeople regularly visiting their workplace and want them to feel comfortable throughout their journey in the space.
Tradespeople enter the workplace through a lift area that has been styled to look like the front of a home, with brick detail on the walls and featuring plantation shutters. They are greeted by a home-style door and a welcome mat. Inside, the reception area is styled to look like a living room.
Each meeting space is themed to help tradespeople feel comfortable in the space. One meeting room, Gardener, is styled like a garden, with lawn chairs and hedge details. Another meeting room, Electrician, has an electrical cord feature wall and feature lighting. The boardroom is called Master Trades, which features a bespoke timber board room table and pays respect to tradespeople who have mastered their craft.
Successful businesses focus on the client experience and infuse hospitality into their physical spaces. As a business that was started ‘in the back of a garage’ and remains focused on connecting the best tradespeople with customers, hipages’ workplace reinforces their brand and creates a positive experience with an unconventional link between home and work.
Emotional connection with a leading private health insurer
One of Axiom’s recent clients is a leading private health insurer who values care and wellness. The health of their clients is their priority.
The client-facing spaces prioritise health and wellness by incorporating biophilic elements. There are large, pebbled garden beds at the entrance, throughout the client areas and in the breakout spaces, with a variety of garden plants. Planter boxes with hanging plants, made from natural materials, hang from the ceiling. Rattan furniture and lighting, terracotta breezeblocks and a soft, natural palette, give the space a garden feel. Large windows flood the space with natural light and provide sweeping views, bringing the outside in. The overall feeling in the space is one of calm, wellness and wellbeing.
Clients want to feel an emotional connection to the brands they choose. By creating a space that feels like a garden, where the client walks in and feels immediately at ease and cared for, this leading health insurer creates an emotional connection with their clients that builds trust and longevity in their relationship.
Sustainable solutions in Axiom’s new Melbourne studio
At Axiom Workplaces we live our values every day and our workplaces reflect this. Sustainability is an important part of Axiom’s integrated methodology for our clients, so it was important for us to lead by example in our very own Melbourne studio we opened this year.
Throughout the workplace, we have used energy efficient lighting and installed technology that reduces printing needs. We used sustainable materials and prioritised suppliers who have circular systems. Our carpets are made from recycled PET bottles, we sourced our furniture from suppliers who use biodegradable, ethical and recycled materials and the timbers were from sustainably grown forests. When clients visit our workplace, they can see real-world applications of sustainable solutions.
With consumers saying that shared values are important in building a trusting relationship with a brand, we have enjoyed successful relationships with clients by showing them the ways we can support their business to develop a more sustainable workplace strategy, build a greener workplace and bolster their ESG policy.
What can you learn from these businesses?
In each of these case studies, you can see branding is infused into every aspect of the workplace. It is more than just hanging a logo or painting the walls your brand colour. To create a workplace that truly reflects your business you should think about how it makes people feel, how it displays your values, the story it tells and how it helps you to connect to your clients.
When you are updating your client-facing areas, consider:
Does your workplace have the same look and feel as the rest of your branded collateral?
According to Forbes, consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23%. If you have clients visiting your workplace, it is a marketing and sales platform that needs to be branded as thoughtfully and carefully as any other. Moving beyond simple logos and colours, you should create a space that reflects your industry, your culture and your values.
Does your workplace show off the best parts of your business?
With hybrid B2B buying becoming more common, your workplace is one of many channels you will engage your clients on. Leverage your physical space by displaying parts of your business that can not be shown online or over the phone. Consider an interactive showroom where clients can see your products at work, moving your labs to the client-facing areas so they can see the work you are doing, or put your team culture on display, allowing clients to feel an emotional connection and see your values match their own.
Does your workplace tell a story through the client journey?
B2B brands that create and emotional connection with their clients have twice the impact over brands who only sell their business operations. This can be applied to your workplace as well. When clients visit your workplace, their journey should encourage them to connect with your business on an emotional level. Consider paying homage to your past, sharing your future vision, and showing respect and understanding of who your clients are and what they need.
Does your workplace live your values?
Research has found B2B buyers often can’t tell the difference in business value between suppliers, so they will make decisions based on personal values. As a physical manifestation of who you are as a business, your workplace should reflect your values. If your business has a strong focus on sustainability, ensure your workplace is built sustainably and your workplace strategy prioritising sustainable business practices and circular economies. If you regularly talk to clients about caring for your people, it is important to display your wellness and wellbeing in the workplace. Having your values on display will help you to connect with your clients on a more personal level.
Infusing your brand into your workplace is essential to successful client relationships. If you are ready to rebrand your workplace, get started with our guide, What to look for in a workplace design partner.
This was part 1 of our two-part series, Infusing your brand into your workplace. In Part 2 we will study successfully branded workplaces from the employee perspective.