Reputation: Universal Business Challenges Series

By Selina Khorana

A firm’s brand is essentially a promise. A promise of the quality, value, emotional connection, and consistent experience that is expected by clients, investors, partners, and employees. Companies spend billions of dollars annually to promote their brands through external media channels, but so often fail to grasp the value of reinforcing the brand experience through their most important ambassadors and most valuable asset.

The best employee brand ambassadors don’t stop when they leave the office; they continue to extol the virtues and values of their company’s brand even when they are off the clock.
— GALLUP “STATE OF THE GLOBAL WORKPLACE”

An authentically branded workspace can speak volumes about an organization’s commitment to its core values and key stakeholders. Branding in an office space is critical to giving employees a sense of identity and connecting with their company, and at its core, is a process of expressing a company’s critical values though experiences that ultimately enhance learning, productivity, and the overall workplace experience. Branding also gives those employees who don’t directly interact with customers a perspective and consistent reminder into the desired customer experience. Employees who work in such an environment acknowledge that it fosters a personal connection to the brand: they see it, understand it, and believe in it. In today’s world, that’s a tremendous competitive advantage.

The workplace should be a constant immersion in a company’s value proposition. It can constantly reinforce brand-right behaviors and brand-rich knowledge, and can function as a critical tool for aligning an organization around a strategy. It is often the first point of contact for a new client, potential employee, or strategic partner, and the appearance should be a strong reflection of the external brand promise.

When designing office space, think beyond surface level branding of company name and logo. If the goal is to design a workplace that reflects your identity and encourages brand-consistent behavior, the space needs to be injected with the firm’s philosophy, attitude, and core values. While that may sound like an easy enough task, there is often a surprising amount of misalignment between executives when it comes to defining some of these core philosophies. Before launching into design, it can be beneficial to align perspectives through experiential vision sessions, executive interviews and third party culture assessments.

It is incredibly satisfying to come to work every day in a space that seamlessly reflects who you are as a firm, reinforces your core values, and helps employees live the brand.

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Selina Khorana
SKhorana@pdrcorp.com
713-739-9050

Design strategist passionate about integrating design thinking principles with business acumen and consumer insights, at an organization that is committed to driving innovative user experiences.