Have you ever talked to your boss or C-Suite about branding and heard the following responses: "I'm not sure branding is worth the investment right now. We have other things to prioritize like recruiting talent or hitting financial goals. We can put some graphics on the walls later"? I've personally heard these many times. But you can change the perception. After branding spaces in various industries, here are some things I've learned that can help.
Unfortunately, many do see branding as simply wall graphics and it's understandable. Branding is one of those terms that can mean so many different things to different people. Some see it as a logo or color palette while others see it as the overall experience and the way it makes you feel. The truth is, it's all of those things and more. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as, "A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers." The key here is as distinct from those of other sellers.
See an example of a distinct brand we recently worked with by clicking below.
We're not just talking about externally branding products and services either. When you think about it, your company is selling itself every day. It's selling itself to employees and external audiences. Your organization wants to be the best and set itself apart from companies trying to recruit you and from your competitors. Are you starting to think "Hey - maybe branding can help" yet? If you are, then read on!
So how do you convince your boss that branding your space is the right thing to do, right now? Explain it simply and effectively. Albert Einstein famously said, "If you can't explain it to a six-year old, you don't understand it yourself." Think about that the next time you try to convince your C-Suite that branding is the right choice. Sure, they're your boss/C-Level and have a lot of knowledge about many things, but most people no matter what their position aren't experts in branding. They may not be against it, but they might not see the importance of it as compared to other business strategies that are easier to measure.
At the end of the day, all of your business strategies are likely tied back to gaining more market share than the competition. That's why it's so important to distinguish yourself. But, how do you do this? Through branded experiences! Branding is about creating a best-in-class, unique experience internally and externally. Here are some talking points for your executives about branding your environment:
- Highlight how branding can help with attracting talent: Explain that workplace branding has become table stakes. Companies need it as much as they need furniture and flooring. Why? Potential employees and business partners want to get a sense of what your company's culture is like. The first chance they might have to do so is via the branded experience that your workplace offers.
- Explain that retaining and engaging employees is attainable with a branded environment: Engaged employees are more optimistic, inspired, connected, and tenured. Branding your space increases engagement and employees who are engaged are 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company's future and 20% more likely to feel inspired. Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when they're distributed by associates rather than the brand so their engagement links directly back to your brand success or failure.
- If available, back up your statements with credible sources: For instance, ask your branding partner if they have a case study or references and share those. Your C-Suite will respond well if they see third party endorsements from clients, partners, or other advocates. Most branding companies will have these pieces readily available.
- Challenge your C-Level's way of thinking and working: Your content will resonate more if it really gets them thinking differently. Executives are always learning and the more you can educate them on the benefits of branding, the more likely they are to hear you out. One great idea is to ask your branding partner if they can take you and your C-Suite on a tour of some other branded environments that they've developed. Let your C-Suite experience the power of a branded space first-hand.
- Discuss the cost upfront: Some C-Level executives are worried about the cost of a branding project. But what about the cost of not doing a branding project? It's difficult to measure the return on investment, but maintaining a sterile work environment can put a company in the express lane to poor culture and poor hiring. Let them know you can start with nearly any budget in mind and build from there. It doesn't all have to be done in the same week, month, or even quarter.
I hope some of these tips are helpful and will better prepare you to have the conversation with your team. However, if you're still having trouble coming up with talking points or a strategic vision for why branding is so important, ask your branding partner. They can be a great resource as they've likely heard just about every argument against branding at some point.
If you'd like to experience a branded environment or schedule a tour for your C-Suite, click below and we'll make it happen!