By Hayley Watters
Head of Design
11th October 2023
Brand identity in office design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a holistic and consistent brand experience for both internal (i.e. employees) and external people (e.g. clients).
In other words, it’s not just about how great your office interior design looks.
It’s also about ensuring your working environment is a solid physical representation of your brand and its identity.
When done effectively, incorporating brand identity into an office design scheme has the power to:
- Enhance employee engagement
Foster a stronger company culture
Boost customer retention
Contribute to the overall success and reputation of the company
Here, we teach you how to do it.
We cover two key topics to help your office design become a successful extension of your company brand guidelines:
- Why visible brand identity in the physical environment is so important and how it impacts staff productivity and business performance.
- 5 easy ways to communicate brand identity through office design to ensure when someone walks into your office space, they recognise your business.
Brand identity in the office space
Brand identity is about way more than just your business logo, the colours you use on your website and the tone of voice you deploy for your marketing and communications.
It also includes much wider factors related to the perception and experience of your brand—one of these factors is your physical working environment. Not just what it looks like but also the kind of culture it reinforces and the behaviours it encourages.
Think of it this way:
The clothes you choose to wear and how you present yourself to the world in terms of things like speaking tone and body language all contribute to your personal identity.
These are choices you make in order to tell the world who you are and what you stand for.
The same approach should be taken when deciding how to present your office design, including functional aspects such as furniture configuration and strategic space zoning.
Why brand identity is such an important office design consideration
Brand consistency is crucial for building trust and recognition. Using consistent colours, imagery and shapes makes your brand feel familiar and safe to both employees and outsiders.
These sensory cues should match up to the things these people would see across other brand touch points, such as marketing materials and your company website.
Your office space can serve as an effective storytelling tool too. Through design, layout, and the choice of materials, you can convey a consistent narrative about your brand.
A clear example of this in action is the bespoke bar made from empty rum barrels we constructed for our Liverpool client, The Main Rum Company.
Not only does this reflect what the business does but it also aligns with the original industrial elements of their space and the heritage-rich, maritime location of the building itself.
Creates a sense of cultural cohesion
Consistency is key for creating a sense of cohesion too.
When employees are surrounded by a consistent brand identity in the workplace, it can help foster a stronger sense of unity and shared purpose.
This allows employees to feel better connected to the brand as well as each other, which then leads to improved collaboration and teamwork.
An office space that reflects the brand’s values and overall identity creates a more inspiring and motivating environment for employees to thrive in.
It also boosts productivity and morale and nurtures a sense of belonging.
In a competitive business landscape, a distinct brand identity can set your company apart from competitors. As we said above, this goes beyond how your brand’s identity is relayed on your website and marketing materials.
When your office space embodies your brand’s USPs, it helps you stand out and be memorable.
The workspace transformation we completed for Willson Grange in Liverpool is the perfect example of this.
The financial planning services company wanted to go against the grain and provide a non-traditional office space for staff filled with colour and modern design elements.
Willson Grange take a fresh, innovative approach to financial advising and this is reflected in the non-conventional workspace they provide staff with.
Reinforces company values
Your office space can also be a powerful communicator of your company’s values and ethos.
For example, a business with an active sustainability agenda might incorporate more eco-led design elements, while a company at the forefront of the tech industry may prioritise a contemporary look and feel with cutting-edge workplace AV and technology.
This demonstrates your commitment to these values to both employees and visitors.
Employee wellbeing and work-life balance are important parts of Willson’s Grange’s company values so we made sure to incorporate this with features such as a purpose-built meditation space and games area.
Creating valuable impressions on visitors
When clients, partners, or potential employees visit your office, the physical space is often their first direct interaction with your brand—outside of online or other marketing touchpoints.
A cohesive and consistent brand identity in the office space leaves a positive and lasting impression, reinforcing credibility and reputation for your business.
Recruiting and retaining talent
It goes without saying that when you create a workspace that fosters inspiration, motivation, productivity and wellbeing, your business then becomes more appealing to top industry talent.
Employee recruitment and retention are boosted by creating a workspace that people can enjoy going to and feel proud to be a part of.
As we’ve covered above, consistent brand identity in the physical working environment helps create a sense of unity, familiarity and trust – all key in nurturing a happy workforce.
Keep reading to understand how this works in practice…
5 ways to communicate brand identity through office design
Now you understand why it’s so important to ensure your brand identity shines through your office interior design scheme, let’s explore ways you can go about executing this holistic approach.
Effective ways to incorporate your brand identity into an interior design scheme include:
- A consistent brand colour palette.
- Space layout that aligns with brand values.
- Brand-centric visuals, imagery and decor.
- Consider all sensory experiences.
- Maintain consistency across all offices and work settings.
1. Use a consistent brand colour palette
Incorporate your brand colours into the general aesthetic of the space. This can be through things like paint, furniture fabrics, decor items, lighting or other accent pieces.
Use of brand colours doesn’t have to be bold or overbearing. You can still include them in a subtle and understated way if you’d prefer a more minimal visual approach.
2. Configure a space layout that aligns with brand values
How you configure your office space, the furniture and technology you install and the working methods you encourage say a lot about your company’s values and cultural identity.
If diversity and inclusion is one of your priority values, you should consider things like:
- Walkways wide enough for wheelchairs.
- Textures and colours that are going to trigger neurodivergent stressors.
- Dedicated quiet spaces where people can go if they’re feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated.
- Privacy spaces.
- Gender-neutral facilities.
If your brand stands for agile, activity-based working and you want teams to collaborate more efficiently, you need to create a space that supports and facilitates this. More breakout spaces than designated desks, for instance.
3. Use brand-centric visuals, signage and decor
As well as using your brand colours as a key part of the overall interior aesthetic, use images and signage that align with your brand guidelines too.
This includes using your chosen font on any signs, wall murals or manifestations that contain typography, as well as digital signage where possible.
If you plan to include imagery, decor or artwork in your interior design scheme, make sure this is in line with your brand image too. Every element should consolidate the identity you have worked hard to construct.
4. Consider all sensory experiences
Depending on your budget, you could also consider how your brand could engage other senses within the space. This might involve using scents, music, or interactive elements that convey your brand’s personality.
Read more on how to create a multi-sensory office experience >>
5. Maintain consistency across all offices and work settings
If you have multiple locations, ensure that your brand identity is consistently incorporated across all of them. This is a key part of achieving familiarity and a recognisable brand.
Not only does this mean across multiple office locations but you also need to ensure consistency across different floors and different work settings within each office space too.
Plus, if you work in a co-working space and there’s an opportunity for you to customise to bring your brand identity more into the spotlight, go for it.
Remember that the key to effectively integrating your brand identity into an interior design scheme is to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality.
The space should not only look good but also serve its intended purpose and reflect the values of your brand.
Looking for an office design company in Manchester or Liverpool?
Are you thinking about transforming your workspace with a new office design or fit out project? Want to be sure your brand identity shines through?
Our team of experts based on the Wirral and in Manchester city centre are ready to help.
We’ve been chosen by a number of leading brands across the north west as their workspace transformation partner, working closely with top furniture manufacturers and local fit out suppliers.
Clients include Handelsbanken, Ombudsman Services, Bloc (Bruntwood Works) and Bridge Architects.
Want your workspace to be next? Get in touch and tell us about your ambitions for the project.