Your client's biggest branding tool? It's all around them.
Their space can do more to conjure specific emotions that directly connect to their brand.
As every architect and designer knows, the world is in a perpetual upgrade to vivid, high-def spaces where people expect every encounter to be as intense and intuitive as the digital screens that consume their day. And as more organizations in every sector compete for eyeballs and wallet-share, it's not going to get any quieter out there. The digital world has dramatically altered the physical one. Which has a profound impact on your client's brand.
People expect more from their environment. It plays a significant role on your client's brand—and visitors' inclination to be loyal to it. Which is why you need to consider how your client's identity translates to the way people experience their space.
Today's biggest strategic edge? Creating distinct, flawless experiences.
While digital life influences physical space, competition has intensified for customers' brand loyalty. Businesses have to work harder to differentiate themselves in a market filled with near-limitless choices. You can see it in the experiences retailers have created for customers—both online and in-store. Every color. Every fabric. Every fragrance and playlist. All painstakingly researched and choreographed.
The same strategy is showing up in the hospitality industry, the health care category, and academia. Which is why Evidence Based Design has become one of the hottest buzz phrases in the business. From color to texture to navigability, organizations increasingly recognize the significant impact that translating their brand to their space can have on their bottom line. But they're not always sure how to connect the dots. To measure real results. It's possible to do so, with the right planning.
To hit the right emotional chord, you have to consider the full experience.
If a visitor leaves an environment having had a bad experience,
nothing else matters much.
Simple enough, right? When something about the space evokes the wrong emotion—discomfort, insecurity, disorientation—it's as harmful as poor service or unprofessionalism. This is the opportunity of translating your client's brand to their space. But it's about more than thoughtful color palettes, the right art on the walls, and a lighting scheme. To hit the right emotional chord, you have to consider the full experience. And that's different for every brand and category. For instance:
Patients and their loved ones need to sense they're someplace that genuinely cares about them. They draw conclusions about the kind of care we're going to receive from the way the environment speaks to them. Which is why the trend in healthcare is to make interiors feel less institutional and more welcoming, even-hotel like. And effortless to navigate.
Financial Institutions & Banks
Customers are looking for cues that signal security and stability. They're looking for a sense that everyone here is doing well. Happy. Prosperous. Enduring. At the same time, customers want to know that they're banking with a financial institution that's ahead of the curve when it comes to technology like mobile banking, so the space needs to signal innovation and ingenuity.
Visitors expect a sense of wonder when they enter the high-tech environment. The space needs to communicate that this brand creates new possibilities. Even the fit and finish of graphics and signage makes an impression. Innovation can be reflected in signage itself, through construction techniques, hardware, materials and creative elements that reflect ingenuity and openness.
The institution's identity is vital here. This will ultimately be someone's alma mater. Prospective students need to sense that right away. They're longing for a connection to the school's brand. Once they're enrolled and on campus, you want people to develop a sense of pride and loyalty as well. The continuity and familiarity of the brand throughout campus, from building to building, creates a cohesion that reinforces a sense of affiliation. It's an emotional connection that needs to stick with students long after they graduate—and become lifelong champions of their school.
Final thought: Emotional connections lead to lasting impressions.
It's a simple, effective formula you can apply to your client's environment to gain a competitive edge. Bringing their brand to life in their space is a seamless, proven way to elicit the right emotional response from visitors. It starts with smart, thoughtful planning and design.
As you know, the discipline of branding spaces has matured over the past decade. It's more sophisticated. It involves more considerations. More training and expertise. But the results can be dramatic—and measurable. The people your clients serve will thank them for it. With loyalty.