26 / 03 / 19
7th March 2022
We know how important branding is to the outside world, but what about what's on the inside? From retail stores to corporate headquarters, interior branding can have just as much of an impact on both customers and employees alike.
Good branding requires you to consider all touchpoints but brand interiors can often be overlooked. A drab office space that has no connection to your values can have a negative effect on your employees and make them feel disassociated from your brand and the way you’d like to be perceived. On the other hand, a space that resonates with those values can make them feel part of something and want to strive to achieve shared goals. That’s why interior branding is so important, for communicating a clear and consistent company identity and culture. It transforms the way that you feel about a space and can have a profound and lasting effect on those who experience it.
Google Inc, have famously created a fun and vibrant place to work which has been described as “more of a kids office space than the headquarters of one of the most successful tech companies on the planet” *1. From group cooking classes and free gourmet meals to a bowling alley and beach volleyball, Google’s offices are designed to make employees feel like they have somewhere to call home, stay relaxed and help them produce their best work. Google’s Dublin offices have 14 floors of uniquely designed spaces, all different and all eclectic.
Google Docks, Dublin, Ireland. Copyright https://www.officeinspiration....
In stark contrast, Apple’s campus and retail stores are a reflection of the brand's attention to detail and consistency. Having living trees inside its retail stores is a nod towards their efforts to be eco-friendly and sustainable. Whether it’s the giant “spaceship” in Cupertino California, or any of its many retail stores around the world, wherever you are you would know it was an Apple facility.
Apple store, Regent Street, London, UK. Copyright Apple, Inc.
At Abstrakt, we give all our new employees the opportunity to buy something for the studio that makes them feel like the space is theirs. If you ever visit us you might notice a “Diagon Alley” sign, a Tie Fighter LED lamp and our iconic handmade “A” (for Abstrakt). Our space is quirky and designed to help the team feel like they are in a home-from-home and is inclusive and that they are part of something.
A is for Abstrakt, Nottingham, UK
Aside from making your employees happy, just as important and arguably more so are the retail spaces your customers visit. A well designed and branded store can drive sales and engage with consumers in a way that an Instagram post never could. Take IKEA’s iconic stores as an example. Utterly recognisable, they will never be mistaken for any other brand from the yellow tote bags to the pencils and measuring tapes to the wayfinding. It’s all part of IKEA’s hugely successful interior branding strategy. In the image here, it is unmistakably IKEA yet their logo is nowhere to be seen.
IKEA, Batu Kawan, Penang. Editorial credit mokjc / Shutterstock.com
These ideas don’t only have to apply to retail and enterprise giants though. Any business of any size can benefit from the visceral emotions you can only get from being in the physical space. If done properly, and with the care to reflect on who you are and what your brand values stand for, anyone from local estate agents to international banks can leave an indelible mark that won’t easily be forgotten.
Some of the most inventive spaces come from independents who don’t need to apply branding at scale but still manage to convey their message in unique and interesting ways. A favourite of mine is Ideas on Paper in the funky Cobden Chambers in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter. The white space really lets the book cover artwork shine and lets you know that they care about one thing and one thing alone - great books that you will want to pick up and get stuck into.
Ideas on Paper, Nottingham, UK
At the end of the day, branding your physical space is a perfect chance to showcase what you are all about in an environment that you just can’t achieve in the ever-changing digital space (don’t get me wrong, that’s important as well!). It’s also an opportunity to think about how you would like your customers and clients to feel and give them an experience that will keep them coming back for more. It’s becoming so important to improve brand loyalty and advocacy and it should be a seamless experience, whether that’s through the interior execution of the brand or how a brand connects online.
At Abstrakt, when we’re working on brand identities, it’s imperative that we consider how a brand is applied across all channels, whether that’s social media, website, print or interior. Not only is it a great way to demonstrate consistency but it shows how a brand can live and breathe in the physical space too.
If you’re looking to evolve your brand and make your space more personalised by embodying your brand in the physical space, get in touch to discuss improving your premises with interior branding.
Interesting? There’s plenty more where that came from…