5 Ways Corporate Interiors and Experiential Branding Helps Bring Everyone Back to the Office and Close Deals

Corporate Interiors and Experiential Branding with Star
April 24, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes

The traditional 9-to-5 office job looks different than it did a few years ago. After a brief shift in focus to digital collaborative spaces and the virtual work experience, all eyes are back on the physical office. Companies are making a concerted effort to bring their teams, customers, partners, vendors and leadership back to offices for in-person engagement.

While many firms work with architects and interior designers to optimize their spaces for productivity, others take this a step further and work with partners on experiential branded projects – storytelling, creative designs, and interactive experiences that take the in-office experience to the next level.Upgrading corporate interiors can help bring workers back to the office, increase productivity, and foster connections.

Engaging corporate interiors can also reinvigorate in-person client meetings and tours.Here’s a closer look ahead at the ways businesses are using experiential branding within corporate interiors.

1. Entrances and reception areas capture attention

A reception area is often a high-focus space for companies that bring clients or prospects onsite. An experiential branding project will look at subtle ways to immediately bring engagement and impact to make a powerful first impression. For example, a company that manufactures mechanical parts might incorporate individual parts in an abstract art installation that’s showcased in the lobby. It brings the company’s work into the very DNA of how a space is imagined, while inviting curiosity and taking a unique approach to telling that story.

In other cases, side entryways that are used primarily by employees may be redesigned with different goals in mind, such as making sure the first thing employees see each morning leave them inspired, excited and connected to the brand’s mission. As the employee experience becomes a key corporate interior consideration, many brands are finding ways to add dimension, flare, and storytelling to these critical employee touchpoints.

2. Employee appreciation spaces highlight teams

Does your office have a space that celebrates the achievements, diversity, and culture of its employees? If not, now may be the time to consider it. Entrances, hallways, conference rooms, and other dedicated spaces can be used to showcase an organization’s talent in action.

Some companies focus on the positive impact that employees have on the world through their philanthropy and volunteer activities. Others celebrate a team’s unique talents, highlight their contributions to major company milestones, and even showcase their artwork in a gallery setting. Finding creative ways to tell the stories behind employees’ achievements and who they are as individuals is a powerful way of showing appreciation for an organization’s most important asset. It can also help communicate the company culture and help improve employee engagement.

3. Client-focused spaces tell brand stories

Smaller footprints – a result of hybrid work models – are allowing brands to rethink how they use corporate space. For businesses that host tours, see clients in the office, or use on-site meetings to close deals, there’s a trend toward finding new ways to create client-focused spaces. This trend goes beyond simple meeting spaces and instead looks for creative ways to share the brand’s story and inspiration through visuals and experiences.

Creating client-focused spaces to demo products, offer immersive experiences through virtual reality and augmented reality, and meet with consultants while being able to see product inspiration in-person or on digital screens is increasing. One food brand developed a tasting kitchen setting where prospective customers can sample their products, learn more about how they’re made, and even watch films about sourcing and where individual inputs are grown. Hands-on, interactive spaces help prospects see the tangible value you bring to their brand, while strengthening your relationship with existing customers.

4. High-impact storytelling throughout the office brings brands to life

Brand stories can be woven into the corporate interior through the office, fostering deeper connections between brands and the people engaging with them. Even small details of a space can help bring a brand’s story to life. Integrating creative brand strategy into the corporate interior allows organizations to reinforce their messaging with subtle visual cues. One example is wayfinding signs throughout a large building. A maritime company might choose interior wayfinding and signage that builds on the image of a compass to evoke the brand’s values and promise, for example.

5. Sustainability drives design decisions

Increasingly, employees and prospective hires are interested in working with sustainable and eco-conscious organizations. One Gallup poll found that environmental track record plays some role in whether 70% of candidates accept a company’s job offer. Corporate interiors can help reinforce a company’s sustainability values and bring it to life as a tangible layer to the employee experience.

From a design perspective, organizations are looking at ways to incorporate more natural light. Builders are prioritizing recycled and sustainably sourced materials and service partners with a strong environmental track record.

Many organizations are also making strategic upgrades to ENERGY STAR® certified appliances, embracing long-lasting and energy-efficient LED bulbs, and installing digital signage that can help eliminate paper-based processes. Sustainability is an important part of your story, and your corporate interior is a dynamic canvas to illustrate those values.

The shifting corporate interior

By leaning into the power of narrative, engaging design, and experiential branding, the corporate interior can become a powerful touchpoint to engage employees and customers alike. In the year ahead, brands are finding engaging new ways to tell critical aspects of their stories – from the impact their teams have to the very stories behind the products they create and sell.

Create spaces for collaboration and engagement — and lay the foundation for employees to be eager for an in-office experience.

Learn more about Corporate Interior Solutions from Star.

Read more about companies are bringing their brands to life across in-person experiences, from trade shows and events to retail spaces and corporate offices in the 2024 Trend Report: 6 Marketing Best Practices for In-Person Impact

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