With everyone going green and becoming ecologically conscious, it’s all too tempting to hear a term like “Environmental Branding” and jump to the conclusion that it is all about positioning your business as being ecologically friendly. Though this might be a leap of logic that goes a bit too far as true environmental branding might have little to do with how ecologically conscious your company is, and a lot to do with the branding messages you put out into the world.
In marketing terms, your brand image and consistency in branding messages play a major role in not just attracting new customers and clients, but also in converting them into loyal customers in the long term. If you want or need your company to be on point with your brand image to connect with potential new and existing customer base, this article can serve as a good guide.
Though to truly understand the value of environmental branding and how to implement it for your company, we need to first ask and answer some important questions.
Branding is essentially a message and an image that represents the core concepts of your company. This includes the combined presence of several things including the company’s name, your logo, your key visual design cue, your specific brand voice, as well as your colors, and other key factors that give your business an identity that consumers can connect with.
Most small businesses use a combination of branding messages throughout various formats to market their physical products as well as their specialty services. A lot of successful businesses consider a lot of factors in creating their branding image. This includes small things like the brand stationery, brochures, and logos on company vehicles to large things like the company website, social media messages, and their presence in the community.
Though one of the most overlooked areas of branding that can have a significant influence on how new and existing customers perceive your brand is your interior space. As awareness of this branding element continues to grow, more and more marketing analysts have started to embrace the term “Environmental Branding” to reflect the impact of their interior space.
This includes your brand image’s physical presence as well as other visual elements, that offer consumers a unique, and robust experience.
How To Develop Your Environmental Branding
If your company already has a firm and consistent brand message in place, it can serve as a guiding light to help you develop multiple brand assets. With a strong brand direction, you can better extend your presence and awareness of your company into your interior. This means that your clients, customers, and employees should experience your company’s brand through interior design concepts and fully thought out physical experiences.
On an essential level environmental branding your interior space creates different opportunities to connect with your customers, as well as set expectations for your employees. Especially those employees who directly interact with customers. This can include creating condensed small experiences that occur at multiple levels with the goal being to create a deeper connection between the customer to the brand.
To truly make the most out of interior environmental branding you need to give strong consideration to every interaction point a customer might encounter. This also includes indirect spaces that might not necessarily catch a new or existing customer’s immediate attention but will nonetheless influence their perception.
During this process, consider the touchpoints with the highest impact, and make them a priority. These areas of perception need to be designed and branded to connect with the consumer with the most emphasis.
You also need to consider the relationship between an area and other interior spaces in your company. The goal is to create a seamless transition from one area to the next in a way that engages your customers and keeps them engaged for every second they are in your space. Hard transitions not only send a confusing message but can give a new customer the misperception that your company lacks professionalism.
Pay Attention To The Details
Consistency is key with any brand image or branding message. In terms of environmental branding, this means that every conceivable detail in the space is given the opportunity to communicate your brand. The overarching goal is to create a connection with an individual via an immersive branding experience in a way that engages all their senses.
This might mean that there are some items that they will feel directly, as well as some that will have an indirect influence. Some of these elements might even engage their senses in a way that they don’t immediately realize is affecting them.
Key Elements Of Environmental Branding
While all visual and sensory elements of your company’s brand are important, there are some high contact areas of emphasis that need to be touched on. This includes things like:
- The presence and identity of your logo
- The use of brand-specific graphics
- Brand elements
- Furniture and paint colors as well as finish
- Light fixtures and hardware elements
- Signage language
- Wayfinding signs
- Employee dress codes
The Historical Presence Of Environmental Branding
If you have a long-established brand identity, but you have needed to refresh it over the years, it can help to tap into elements from old, outdated environmental branding. Just make sure to give it a vigorous reinvention to keep it feeling new, while still connecting to the success you’ve had in the past. This can be especially important if you already have a strong base of existing loyal customers.
Rethinking Your Environmental Branding
If your company’s environmental branding isn’t connecting with your existing customers or attracting new ones, then it’s probably time for a refresh or even a full rethink. You and your marketing team need to ask some hard questions. This includes looking at what you want people to feel, experience, and think when they engage with any of your interior environments. You don’t want to overwhelm visitors who engage directly in your brands space, so it’s a fine line to incorporate a natural flow.
This might be customers who visit your retail location, it might be clients who visit your office spaces. It might even be employees who are “Off Message” with your environmental branding when they engage with clients or customer service personnel who need some retraining to stay on message.
Environmental Branding’s Impact On Employees
The larger your company is, the harder it can be to keep employees on message with your brand image. Consistent environmental branding in all interior areas will go a long way toward reminding employees of your brand identity whether they are in the showroom, out on the retail floor, or in the private office spaces. Even your storage and inventory areas should feel connected to your environmental branding image to produce a truly comprehensive experience for all. Your branding is the glue that helps drive team spirit internally. It drives teams to be successful with each other for a collaborative cause that is beyond perks such as financial incentives and vacation days and becomes the embodiment of part of who they are and what they care about which becomes a magnet to new talent that seeks you out, and keeps those employees wanting to say for years to come.