Insight from our Chief Creative Officer on the relationship between workspace and brand and what this impending move means for The O Group.
There is no shortage of office space in the United States – from traditional to open concept, co-working spaces to owned buildings – there is something for anyone.
As I’ve learned lately, there is also no shortage of content advising on the pros and cons of different types of workspaces. I’ll leave that discussion to the interior design experts. Instead, I’d like to focus on the relationship between workspace and your brand. When done properly, good retail environments are literally built around brand experience. Successful property management companies and retailers are dedicated to location, the economics of the deal, and building out profitable and engaging spaces. But what about office space? So much of our work at the agency focuses on restaurants, hospitality, retail and home decor. So, as new physical experiences are emerging in retail, lifestyle, live/work, places like Pirch, Brookfield Place and WeWork, along with the prevalence of working remotely (as I am today), the choice of where to work and how to utilize your space as a brand asset is especially relevant. Just like your website, logo, social media and other assets, your office space communicates with prospects and clients or consumers. Your choice of headquarters is a part of your brand. If your brand is fun, collaborative and targets millennials, your space ought to reflect that. If you were more focused on corporate work with big financial firms, you would create a totally different vibe. A highly considered space should evoke both rational and emotional responses, so carefully controlling that experience for team members, prospects and clients can provide an impressive nudge in the right direction – or be a disappointing let down. Brands who want to get the most for the their rent dollars must leverage their positioning to inform an office selection and design.
Think of your brand as a filter for space decisions, an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
Brand consideration during office design and development forces brands to look inward and forward at the same time. Purge, cleanup, reminisce and move on – not only with physical but also with how you think about your brand and your business too. Just as we do on creative work for our clients. I recommend you articulate how your office space addresses your Category, Culture and Consumers or Clients. A redesign or move can be exciting. A new space can symbolize a fresh start. Seek out opportunities to use the move as the impetus for new ways to enhance your process. Breakout spaces, working walls, audio visual equipment, client meeting space and amenities all must be carefully considered to ensure proper alignment. The O Group has been in our current office for ten years. Over that time, our business, our brand and our work have changed significantly. When we started in this space, we were 25 people predominantly functioning as a high-end graphic design and production firm. We’ve rebooted our brand twice and launched 3 websites over the course of the last 10 years, just a third of our agency’s 30-year history. The world changed. Millennials have risen. The O Group formally introduced strategy and reconfigured our processes and services to better suit the times. We’ve looked closely at what we have to offer, reorganized the structure of our team and have targeted a new clientele via an agency repositioning. By now, you may have guessed it. We’re moving. Collaboration, with our clients, with partners and internally, has become more critical than ever before. We spend less time at our desks and more time out in the world. Sometimes we work form home, on the road, at our clients and in the cloud (literally and figuratively). Our new office will be smaller yet more open and connected. We’ll be as digitally dialed-in to the world as possible, but still encourage face-to-face meetings and working. We’ll be better set-up to do what we want to do and will function at a higher level. We’ll bring to life our brand positioning – Rethink Luxury – as we create a comfortable and highly functional workspace that we look forward to calling Home for years to come.