Companies spend big money on crafting the perfect brand. In a world where there are endless options available to customers, branding and communicating a brand is incredibly important.
A company’s brand can have two big purposes:
- Communicating a company’s purpose and values to the right target audience.
- Connecting to and building a positive relationship with customers.
So what does this have to do with commercial interior design?
Whenever someone, an executive, an employee, a prospective client, or a customer walks into a space, it either positively or negatively contributes to their decision to either work for you, with you, or buy from you.
They either buy into your brand or they don’t. Your space has a huge impact on that.
A top question for marketing executives should be: How can you use your space to reinforce your brand, inspire customers, and reinforce positive behavior?
Speak directly to your target audiences interests through design:
Speaking to your target audience means knowing their interests at both a conscious and subconscious level. Digital marketing and the realm of communicating these things online has changed this. Companies are honing in on what styles, colors, fonts, and imagery speaks to their target customers most. For example, millennials and younger generations appreciate cleaner, more modern designs with unique elements. This can be communicated in person as well. Spaces should be an extension of the brand that the customer can walk into and experience. Including key brand elements into your physical design can help create that experience in person.
A company that did a great job at this is Nekter, a juice bar franchise from California. Their brand took off from the experience and brand they created alone.
Design for your pricing:
People are willing to spend based mostly on perceived value. Essentially, value can be created with perception and experience. Think about how anything “luxury” works. It’s a perception of the idea of a higher value. That may be through style, a long standing brand name with history, or materials used. Often times, it’s a combination. Regardless, the perception of value is carefully crafted. The same can be done with commercial design. You can design to support a higher price point or communicate a casual experience. Both attract different target markets. It’s important to be intentional about your design choices because they directly affect customer buying decisions. This is particularly true for restaurants and bars. Your customers are paying for the experience just as much as they are for the food.
Be cohesive online and in person:
Your brand should be effectively communicated and recognizable both in person and online. Your customers, these days, will have multiple touch points with you both online across a multitude of platforms and in person. Building a familiarity across all touch points with your brand is important in beginning to build associations and a relationship with potential customers. Your customers come across hundreds of ads and plenty alternatives every day. Creating an experience that is cohesive and memorable helps reinforce your brand for them. They are more likely to engage with something and choose something they are familiar with rather than something they’re not.
Create spaces that live out your values:
Companies’ values are increasingly important to millennials and other generations groups of customers. We are overall becoming more conscious about business. We want to spend our money and time with companies with purposes that align with ours. Communicate your company’s values throughout your space. There are so many ways to do this that connect and include your customers. For example, using sustainable materials and energy efficient features if you are focused on sustainable efforts. You can incorporate local art and artisans into your design if you are community focused. Including details like this in your physical space helps bring your values to life for customers.
Timberland, the shoe company, is a perfect example. Their location in London features an incredible natural, forest style created entirely from sustainably sourced wood to reflect the company values and the values of their clientele.
Go beyond sales and design a marketable space:
Your space can actually become one of your best marketing assets. The strongest marketing tool at your disposal is still word of mouth. And with social media, it’s on steroids. Your customers can instantly refer you to thousands of target customers with better messaging and targeting than your marketing team ever could. Provide them with an experience they like and they will likely share it. Most of the top performing restaurants and bars have to do with their “Instagrammable” atmosphere. Have you seen Sketch in London? It’s unique design that is perfect for guests to take photos in has spread in popularity very quickly thanks to thousands of amazing photos being shared via Instagram. Thanks to the in-person brand that’s been created, people immediately know where these pictures are now. Sketch is a recognizable brand in person and online. This is the kind of marketable space and brand you want to create for your business. Your customers will sell it for you.
It’s easy to talk about amazing commercial interior design and what it can do for your brand and sales. But actually making it happen is a whole other science that is specific to you, your company, and your long term goals.