Here at FM we have just finished two facility branding projects. Over the years I have worked on a number of large-scale building and interior branding projects so I thought I would take the time to reflect on why it is a project worth doing.
What is facility branding?
Some examples of facility branding include indoor and outdoor signage, wall decals, privacy decals, internal displays and 3D lettering.
Facility branding enables you to let your customer know who you are. It aligns your working environment to your brand. It also instils a sense of confidence and pride in your team members, through immersing them in your brand and reinforcing your brand values.
Brand hygiene, say what?!
One of the facility branding projects actually started when one of our clients asked me about “brand hygiene”… to be completely honest I had to look up what it meant. I am pretty sure he had read it somewhere as something to tick off if you have engaged a marketing consultant. Nevertheless, it sparked an important conversation. Brand hygiene is not the type of hygiene we must all be vigilant with now that COVID is around, but the kind that is important to your reputation as a business.
Brand hygiene is your set of values that your client expects. Your hygiene factors include your customer service, how efficient your service is, and if your product/service offers value for money. In order to set yourself apart from your competitors, you need to go above and beyond and exceed customer expectations. How consistent is your brand across these factors?
Brand image starts from within
Brand consistency, which you’ll often hear me talk about, falls into brand hygiene, which in simple terms takes a step beyond physical consistency. It is found in your brand values and reflects on your ability to act consistently within those. This got us talking about how we could get our client’s team to buy into “living the brand”, as well as consistently using their brand assets.
Being consistent with a brand requires your team to recognise it, to live it, know how it should look and feel, and what its values are. Brand hygiene needs to start from within. Branding up this client’s fairly non-descript workshop and office in a Brisbane industrial estate was one of the steps we have taken to enable their team to live their brand.
Beyond the team, customers can now instantly recognise they are in the right place and feel confident that the organisation is aligned on how they go about their business. I have said this before when talking about brand image. It is a tricky thing – you can’t actually control how each customer will perceive your brand, but you can work hard to build a brand image that helps ensure you come across the way you intend to. The fact is that people buy into what you stand for, and looking the part is a grand step towards showcasing your capabilities and the quality of your output.
Enabling your brand
Facilities branding has more power than you think. It is equally important for internal and external communication.
Many moons ago I worked as an internal communication lead on a large merger. Our project KPIs revolved around enabling the teams from each of the different companies to buy into the collective benefits of becoming one company, helping them become one team. Being a cohesive team with a consistent customer experience fundamentally comes from having shared values.
To help the teams learn to thrive together, we exposed all team members to the combined company’s values and branding by surrounding everyone with it – through facilities branding. By the time the offices had been redecorated and buildings badged up all over the world, we could guarantee that all 44,000 employees globally knew what we stood for, and I have no doubt were proud of their corporate values and their workplace. We had a video that played in various locations and values posters in lunchrooms – internal advertising you might call it. Both internal and external communications showcased our expanded customer offering, with brand colours throughout and inspirational imagery that reflected our mission.
This is where I learned the subliminal power of being surrounded by your brand and what it stands for. That power instils pride. A workforce that is proud of your brand empowers your external brand image.
Rebrand with confidence
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of facilities branding, ask yourself how your office space looks to your clients AND your staff. If you were visiting your office for the first time, is it easy to find from the outside? Is your branding clear and visually appealing? Take a walk around.
It is equally important when you rebrand to surround your team with rebranded assets and remove all traces of the old brand. On a global scale this can be quite hard to manage, as well as expensive when rolling out a new brand or logo. However, for everyone in the team to understand how important consistency is to your brand image, you must lead by example.
If you have invested in a new brand, or even if you haven’t but you want your team to use your brand consistently to build its strength and recognition, do your company a favour and surround your customers and your team with your brand and its values through facilities branding. It will make them feel proud to work with you.
If you need advice on any aspects of your brand, please contact Caitlin Dillon for an informal chat. We would love to MAKE IT HAPPEN.