Corporate identity can influence interior design

The ‘look’ of your facilities can support your brand

It’s becoming increasingly common for corporate culture and branding to influence the interior design process.
Many companies want to impart a certain type of culture and corporate identity into the design of their office spaces and businesses. As a result, the look and function of office, retail, medical and education facilities are increasingly impacted by image-positioning strategies.
Regardless of size, companies are using the interior design of their offices, meeting facilities and businesses to convey images that will have a positive impact on employees, customers and others.
The use of signage and the repetition of logos are established practices in large restaurant chains and retail outlets. That aesthetic sameness approach to interior design means one facility will look like sister facilities.
Although a customer might never have been to a particular location of a restaurant or retail business before, the familiar design elements help to facilitate immediate trust in the quality of products or services offered.
That feeling of trust can also be generated in employees and customers who visit corporate offices in multiple locations that share common interior design standards.
Design-conscious image building can help support a company’s overall branding strategies. For instance, technology-based companies typically want the interior design of their offices to convey a cutting-edge mentality and image, often through a modern, deconstructionist style that incorporates metals and bright colors. Financial service firms, on the other hand, strive to create an image of stability and success through more traditional interior design, utilizing darker woods and heavy brass fixtures.
Law firms may design office space to convey a feeling of power and control. That can actually become an influential component to negotiations that take place within the facilities.
CJ & Associates has helped develop corporate design and furniture standards for medical and educational entities that have multiple locations and facilities. That standardized approach to interior design can provide many benefits to the comfort and reassurance of employees and customers. It can also result in cost savings to companies with multiple facilities that can share common furniture elements from one facility to the next.
Using corporate culture and image in the interior design of facilities can play an important role in positioning companies in the marketplace.
If you operate more than one facility, it may be worth the time and effort to evaluate the benefits of standardizing interior designs based on the type of business or service identity that you want to strengthen or establish.

Kim Hastings is vice president for operations at CJ & Associates, a contract office furniture distributor in New Berlin and Madison.

May 2, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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