Standout With Style
Scott Spector March 2, 2016, 9:15 a.m.
Building a brand and getting the attention of clients aren’t all about catchy slogans and media blasts. When it comes to connecting with key customers and communicating your business’ main message, look no further than your office.
One of the best ways to reach others and enhance brand consistency is with signature elements and workplace impact zones. Done thoughtfully, they can elevate design and enrich a company’s brand.
Anchor with art and technology.
Creating a focal point helps anchor a space, giving those who enter a feeling of place. One way to instill presence and focus is with smart use of technology. The reception area of Indeed’s Austin offices, for instance, features giant, interactive screens that connect people to the location’s amenities and bring a “wow” factor to the design.
Well-chosen and strategically placed art also add ambience. Because art instills a mood, it can be used to establish an atmosphere that aligns with a business’ culture and pushes forward a company’s message, visually, depending on the type of art chosen, genre of the piece, colors of the composition, scale of the work or a combination of facets. Art also can be a means of wayfinding within an office or building and can be used to emphasize architecture, such as a tall sculpture set in a lobby with a to-the-moon glass ceiling.
Step it up—with stairs.
A staircase as a focal point allows companies to maximize this functional and often highly visible feature.
One idea is to incorporate a sculptural staircase for a visual centerpiece that draws colleagues and clients together. Or it can create areas of open access between floors to encourage multilevel exchanges, a concept that emphasizes a company’s commitment to an open dialogue.
Similarly, take advantage of colleagues’ tendencies to spontaneously discuss projects at the office’s stairwell by establishing nearby areas that support spur-of-the-moment or planned gatherings.
Another thought is to up the design ante with stadium-style seating. Staff can convene for meetings or lunchtime connections—an innovative solution that could differentiate an area while following a company’s vision for out-of-the-box solutions.
Amp up the amenities.
Outstanding amenities also can distinguish a space. Consider the corporate office of Pernod Ricard, where there are pool tables and a bar off the reception area, a feature that aligns perfectly with the brand’s aura of luxury. Other amenities that reflect a company’s high-end brand include a rooftop bar or expansive terraces with equally expansive views. Then again, a game room might work for a youth-oriented business or training spaces for a fitness-related company. The idea is to create a centerpiece that differentiates a company and builds on its brand.
Feature the façade.
Façades and entrances that match the sentiment of the surrounding neighborhood add authenticity and character, complementing a firm’s ideals—whether it’s bold and brash, like the large and brightly lit store-front signs of Manhattan’s Times Square, or creative and hip, like the vibe of Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood.
Then again, a stand-out exterior in an otherwise unremarkable neighborhood can also distinguish a brand and its messaging, such as the new Porsche dealership on 11th Avenue, whose innovative façade draws people in to see if they’re looking at glass or light, only to discover it’s the brand behind glass.
Whether it’s a building’s architecture, design of the space—like, say, Brookfield Place, where sculptural columns in its atrium make the area like no other—a sculptural staircase or the creative use of technology, a standout element can make a space memorable and distinctive. A solid, signature style adds to a company’s brand, letting staff, clients and visitors know what a business stands for and why it matters.