Your office interior plays a key role in helping consumers get your brand message straight away, says creative ‘fixer’ Jody Orsborn who works with companies to get it right
We live in a hyper-visual time. If you are sharing the story of your brand on social media then everything from your office decor to the events you run, need to be a true reflection of you.
That’s where I come in. With experience working with music, lifestyle and consumer brands, I created a business called The Backscratchers to help companies create better content by connecting them with creative freelance and team talent for projects. Whether it’s decorating their offices, putting on events or creating a killer website, we help brands build an on-brand reflection of they are.
We’ve learned quite a few things about good office decor along the way!
1. The customer should know it’s you from the second they step out of the lift.
The rise of office decor on Instagram and live Periscoping means your consumers can often see in even if they aren’t in the office (and potential employees too—social media is an important HR tool!) Having office decor that represents your brand and its values is an absolute must. Karmarama’s offices in London are a great example of this. From the light tunnel to their karma llama, their agency’s values seep through via their office design.
2. Empty or under-used space could fulfil a different, brand-led purpose.
Instead of having a massive reception area, Accept and Proceed decided to turn the front section of their office—which conveniently opens up onto Kingsland Road—into an art gallery. The space, called 43m3, is used by the team to experiment alongside their day-to-day work. In their own words, it’s a “collaborative testing ground for new ideas; developing unique concepts for spatial, interactive and informative exhibits.” Which is much of what they do for their clients like Nike and Rapha.
3. Bespoke functional pieces and furniture can represent your brand’s aims
It’s not just about adding another ping-pong table or commissioning a mural of London. What are some practical objects that would really reflect your brand? We’ve just worked with Red Bull and Evoni Design, for example, to create bespoke DJ decks for their office. Complete with built-in-fridges and a record shelf, when you see the decks, you instantly get Red Bull’s connection to music and their brand positioning. It feels authentically Red Bull.
4. It’s not just the inanimate objects that represent your visual aesthetic.
Office policies, like dog-friendly offices, can help to create some serious brand loyalty and adorable social content (check out Instagram: #officedog). There’s an office that I make it a rule to go visit whenever I’m in the neighbourhood just because I know that Charlie the Cockapoo will be waiting for me!
5. How your desks are laid out represents your attitude to how people work together.
Is your office open plan? Are there standing desks or is there a policy of hot-desking? How your office is set up and how people actually use the space is just as important as traditional décor for conveying who you are as a company and how your teams work together. Mother, for example, has one massive table that runs through the middle of their office, encouraging collaboration. Innocent took it a couple of steps further and completely rearranged their seating plan, making workers sit outside their departments with people they didn’t know across other areas of the business. What does your layout say about your business?
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