In my view, the best brands are the ones that come to life and radiate their culture and values.
A company’s offices are no exception to this. Thanks to innovation leaders such as Google and images of its cutting-edge office designs that have spread worldwide; space is now recognised as one of the most powerful vehicles for communicating a brand – and, by extension, building a business.
After all, an office’s design and location can equally affect client and employees’ perceptions.
Moving to a new office last year was a momentous opportunity for Branded3, not only in terms of team and business growth, but also to refresh our own brand. As businesses grow and change, brands need to evolve, too.
With a relatively blank canvas, I was asked to decorate our new offices, in a way which struck the perfect balance between creativity and practicality (at this point, I should add I began my career as an interior designer).
B3 Towers (as it’s now affectionately become known!) has been designed to bring people together, encouraging the interdependent working ethos we’ve become known for.
By embracing an open floor plan and avoiding solid walls wherever possible, we’re able to heighten the collective talent that makes Branded3 what it is, allowing the healthy work flow between employees, clients and the management team run seamlessly through the office.
Strategically placed in a position for all of the team to see, Branded3’s mission statement decorates the main office wall, along with our seven brand values which are embedded in all of Branded3’s work.
A great way to encourage interaction between the team is by having breakout areas. These have been designed to bridge the gap between home and work. We’ve used comfy sofas, giant beanbags, chalkboard walls accentuated with fun ‘Space Invader’ graphics, allowing team members to feel like they’re just hanging out with friends. After all, they are!
This room has become a place where colleagues can share knowledge, stories, tips and jokes. There’s no ‘set time’ to be in here, if employees have had enough of their desks or they feel like learning in a comfy environment for an hour or so, they can come in here and enjoy a different environment.
It’s important for employees to be able to form bonds which go beyond professional civility; when we know each other well and feel comfortable with our peers at work, we’re able to collaborate much more effectively.
If you come to Branded3 for a meeting, you’ll see that all of our meeting rooms have been named after Google’s algorithm updates (it’s safe to say Penguin’s not always a popular choice!). The Big Daddy room is aptly named as it’s our biggest room, and I thought we needed something special in here.
So a few months back, I asked the team to describe Branded3 in one word, and then created the artwork using this collection of terms. It’s definitely become a talking point in meetings and we’re proud of the fact that all of these words reflect how our employees see our company.
Just outside the Big Daddy room in our seating area is our awards wall. We’re so proud of the number of awards we’ve won so far; we even put up a shelf!
Another favourite space of mine is the Panda meeting room. This room was a collective effort by the team and perfectly reflects each and every one of us.
I provided each team member with an empty frame and asked them to fill it with an image which was personal to them. No work stuff, no ‘this is how you should be portraying yourself’, nothing corporate; just them.
Receiving the images back was such a great feeling, everyone had shed their reservations and captured a glimpse into their lives outside of work. Photo’s ranged from family shots, pictures of pets, favourite memories and favourite places. This was a really important project to me as I think it’s key for companies to highlight and applaud each team member’s individual personality and essence; they are, after all, what make up the company.
Brands are all about the experience a customer has with a product or a company. Anyone who visits Branded3 will experience the unique identity, culture and work ethos we have here, which our office space now lends itself to.